Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wedding!

I got to see a wedding on Wednesday with a group of students who graduated from the school where I’m working! I’m staying at Maxine’s house for the week until I move into my more permanent home with another family, and she has been playing social director the entire time. Whenever someone comes to the house, she has the two of us sit down and chat for a half-hour or so. This has the double benefit of giving them English practice and giving me some social contact with people closer to my own age. Her most recent “playdate” was a student named Tahir who just earned his bachelor’s degree in Engineering and starts his job in Mumbai in a month. He came over to help with Maxine’s dog- Roni- and by the end I was invited to attend the wedding of his friend who was in the same year at the KNB.


So today, five of us packed into a mini-van while the rest of the former classmates rode motor scooters to the neighboring town where the ceremony would take place.
Here's Tahir (looking rather stunned) and Madhura, the one who took me under her wing. Together, the two of them made sure that I was involved with and generally understood every bit of rice throwing and eating during the day. Plus, her English was exceptional. The room where the wedding took place was a about the size of two tennis courts, with a small stage tacked on the front, and it was packed. The crowd only attended the first portion of the ceremony, and they couldn’t see anything! The bride and groom were completely surrounded on the stage, so the audience only had the singer’s voice to tell them when to throw their rice forward, a gesture towards the happy couple. In such a space, the rice had no chance of making it to the stage, so it all just ended up in the hair of the next person in front.
This is the second of three ceremonies. The bride is giving the groom a bracelet of strings and he does the same for her. Both must remain on for the next three days. Another tradition says that the bride can not say the husband's name until they are officially married. After the ceremony, the grooms friends started teasing Snehe, the bride, and calling for her to say his name. she finally did, in a memorized poem, and they all cheered!

4 comments:

Rachel Teagle said...

Awesome! I've always wanted to see an Indian wedding. My friend from Harvard did an internship in India last summer and after crashing weddings with his co-workers has determined that whatever the ethnicity of his bride, they will have an Indian wedding.

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My website is http://teagblog.blogspot.com
Just click add link after you've entered the information for one of them and enter the next one. Pretty easy. Hooray! Way to not be dead! Max and I were getting nervous when we saw the picture of the roads.

Reid said...

That sounds really cool. Have you learned any Hindi yet?

Madhura said...

Please correct my name. It is Madhura not Madira.

Thanks.

wordy_explorer said...

Madhura- Thank you so much for calling this to my attention! I can't spell worth anything and my computer spell checker just doesn't help with names. I hope you are doing well.