Blessingway or Baby Shower? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Blessingway or Baby Shower?
Blessingway 6 12.24%
Baby Shower 27 55.10%
Combination of both 7 14.29%
Other, feel free to elaborate 9 18.37%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-31-2008, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been a part of and helped plan many Blessingways and am curious about others experience with them compared to a more traditional shower.
Which do you prefer?
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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Unless you're Dine, then I don't feel a "Blessingway" is appropriate.
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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Pardon my ignorance, but what's a Blessingway? And what's Dine?

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Old 03-31-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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Dine Blessingway (scroll down a touch)

IME, many mamas here at MDC feel it is important to respect the origin of this term (from the Navajo, Hozhoogi, is "life").

When we had a ceremony to prepare my BFF for her second child, we called it a mama blessing. It was a beautiful experience of singing, story sharing, and creating (similar to the ceremnies of the Navajo).

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but what's a Blessingway? And what's Dine?
I don't know what Dine is either.

Blessingways come from a Navajo Right of passage ceremony. Basically it is a ceremony or gathering where you honor a woman before she gives birth. It is a place for a woman to share any fears or concerns, and have other woman share their experience and support. There are many different elements you can add to a Blessingway... sometimes each woman brings a bead to the circle and explains its significance to the mama, after they are all collected it they can be strung into a birthing necklace so the mama will have their energies with her while she has her baby. Brushing hair, washing feet, sending a wish cup around a circle for the mama to drink up all the wishes placed upon her and her baby. The list goes on and on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blessingway
I honestly didn't intend disrespect to the origins of a traditional blessingway.
I wasn't aware that anyone would consider this inappropriate. Rites of passage ceremonies don't have to be attached to any particular belief system IMO.
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by slymamato3 View Post
I wasn't aware that anyone would consider this inappropriate. Rites of passage ceremonies don't have to be attached to any particular belief system IMO.
I really disagree. So if I threw my daughter a party when she turned 13, do you think I would be ok in calling it a Bat Mitzvah, even though we're not Jewish? What if we went through all the motions and steps of a Bat Mitzvah? There's a big spiritual component to the Navajo (Dine) ceremony, and I think it's disrespectful to try to say it's the same thing.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whateverdidiwants View Post
I really disagree. So if I threw my daughter a party when she turned 13, do you think I would be ok in calling it a Bat Mitzvah, even though we're not Jewish? What if we went through all the motions and steps of a Bat Mitzvah? There's a big spiritual component to the Navajo (Dine) ceremony, and I think it's disrespectful to try to say it's the same thing.
When I made up this poll I did not intend to offend or disrespect anyones beliefs. And all of the Blessingways I have been a part of were coming from what I learned from many of the MWs I have known along the way.

A Blessingway is a tradition used to mark any change in a woman’s life. A Birth Blessingway is a special way to help a woman transition into motherhood surrounded by those who love her.

And I feel that comparing that to A Bat Mitzvah celebrated by someone who isn't jewish kind of odd.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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I'm not trying to be argumentative or make you feel bad, I just wanted you to be aware that it's considered culturally insensitive by a lot of people to take a ceremony that's specific to a particular culture, and try to co-opt it as your own.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear ya but I still really feel as though rites of passage don't belong to just one belief system or culture. Maybe we shouldn't call them Blessingways?
Thanks for your input I wouldn't send out posts if i wasn't ok with people sharing their perspective.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Bingo - it's not the rite of passage, it's the term for it.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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I think the PC term these days is "Mother Blessing" I still don't see what the big deal is calling it a Blessingway but whatever. I've been to both Blessings and Baby Showers and definitely prefer Blessings. Baby showers are so typical and superficial....games, corny jokes, emphasis on presents. The Blessing stuff really brings people together in a way that our society is desperate for. However, I went to a Blessing recently that was simply too emotional, too many tears and somberness for the happiness of the occaision. One that I threw for a first time mama, we did a couple games, then Blessing activities, then some presents. I did a Blessing for another mama having her 2nd that was just Blessing activities but then we did presents afterwards because her mom and grandmother wanted that. Her grandmother kept saying how much she loved the Blessing. Anyway, I think a combo can work well. Or you could have 2 different ones.

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Old 03-31-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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iirc, the Navajo (Dine) people specifically asked people to use a different term. so that might be part of what the big deal is.

i never had a baby shower or mother blessing. not really my cup of tea.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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i never had a baby shower or mother blessing. not really my cup of tea.
Me neither, and I've only attended one in my whole life.

It's just not a Jewish custom. In my culture, we shower the new family with gifts AFTER the baby is born, not before. I bought a few basics while pg- just the stuff I'd need for the first month or so. My Mom started crocheting baby blankets ahead of time, but gave them to me after.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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I would say Baby Shower because I love having parties and get-togethers for whatever reason. Knowing some of my friends, it will be more of a “blessing” experience anyway. I want it to be co-ed, casual and with lots of good food. I’m not into games or opening gifts.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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iirc, the Navajo (Dine) people specifically asked people to use a different term. so that might be part of what the big deal is.
So, the Dine language includes the word Blessingway?

Huh, you learn something EVERYDAY here!
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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I voted other.

Mama blessing, Baby blessing or some such term is fine with me, since I'm not opposed to the right of passage kind of thing, nor am I opposed to a term distinguishing it from the more consumerist kinds of baby showers. We inevitably put our own stamp on it; it's not a Navajo religious rite we are doing, so I don't want to call it such, which I feel like Blessingway does.

Of course, some people may feel this is just semantics and that by doing something that isn't the US traditional baby shower but uses aspects of a Blessingway is cultural appropriation. But I agree with you that rights of passages are fairly universal, and I feel no connection to a party with crisco and food coloring frosted cake and melted candy bars in disposable diapers, so...I had a baby blessing.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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Honestly I would love to have both. The mother blessing with just me and my really close girlfriends. The baby shower for all our friends and family. I really love parties!

Barbara:  an always learning SAHM of Ilana (11) and Aiden (8) living in Belgium with my amazing husband.

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Old 03-31-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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One day when I was huge pregnant, my boss says, "Hey we want to take you out to lunch. Do you want to go to Mexican place or the pizza place?" I decided on Mexican food, and he and several co-workers chipped in to cover my bill.
My friends just weren't shower or Blessingway kind'a people. Later on, one of the ladies gave me a beautiful hand made quilt she'd done, and my mother and MIL gave us lots of cloth diapers.
Sometimes I feel sort of snarky when relatives start in on how they didn't have to buy anything for years between the shower gifts and hand-me-downs. Then I remember that I'd probably have gotten a lot of crap if we'd had a shower, and instead we have a beautiful quilt, a happy memory, and a funny story.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ht=Blessingway

You may find this thread interesting and educational.

 
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by delicious View Post
iirc, the Navajo (Dine) people specifically asked people to use a different term. so that might be part of what the big deal is.
Do you have any links for that (and not the thousand page MDC thread!)? I would really like to see them because when I researched it I only found one very obscure reference to it from any Native American person or organization. I'm not saying you're incorrect. I would just be very interested in reading about it. TIA!
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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i used to have a link bookmarked but that was two computers ago. sorry. a quick google brings up this site, which just mentions it in passing. http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/blessi.../aa102202a.htm i don't really have time right now to do a bunch of searching. maybe later. i bet there are tons of links on that million page thread.

offwing, i think probably when we forced our language on the Dine people, they won use of the term. sorry.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:37 AM
 
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I personally wouldn't have a blessingway. I did have a babyshower though.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by delicious View Post
i used to have a link bookmarked but that was two computers ago. sorry. a quick google brings up this site, which just mentions it in passing. http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/blessi.../aa102202a.htm i don't really have time right now to do a bunch of searching. maybe later. i bet there are tons of links on that million page thread.
There's not actually. That's why I asked you because I thought you might know. If you find any, please do pass them on. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by slymamato3 View Post
I have been a part of and helped plan many Blessingways and am curious about others experience with them compared to a more traditional shower.
Is the actual poll question which we prefer or what we've experienced more often?

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 04-01-2008, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is the actual poll question which we prefer or what we've experienced more often?
Sorry that wasn't very clear. I added which do you prefer to the 1st post.
And I suppose if people want to elaborate with their experience that works.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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A blessingway is just not something I'm interested in. So, babyshower it is!

Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February!  I need a nap. 
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