Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dusiga! Dusiga! My unlicensed backyard nail salon

Ever since my family visited, bringing with them a selection of colorful nail polish, I have been greeted by most of the village children with cries of “dusiga, dusiga”: “let’s paint, let’s paint." Sometimes I do their nails as they squeeze their hands through holes in my fence. Both girls and boys: equal opportunity nail painting. If I have time and they're a small group, I invite them to sit in my backyard on a straw mat, giving them play-dough or crayons along with a manicure.

It's taken a few play-dough sessions, with me suggesting they make things like cabbage, chappati, donuts, and modeling my haphazard cow and sandal and tea-cup making skills, but they've finally gotten creative: a person in a chair, trees, spoons and forks in addition to a variety of soaps, carrots, candies, gums, and other common items they stack up to "sell." Score one for imagination!

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