Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Indian Wedding Part 2 - The Wedding

Sunday morning we arrived at the same hall just as the groom was arriving. A band was playing and the groom was seated outside being blessed by the priest - surrounded by family and friends.

Everyone went inside, the the groom went onstage with a white sheet held up in front of him while the bride entered. They stood on either side of the white sheet until it was taken away and they faced each other sitting down after that.

Many rituals and blessings occurred. At one point rice was passed around to all the guests and everyone stood up at the same time and threw it towards them.

They sat holding hands, a coconut on top of their hands and coconut milk poured over their hands. Many family members were on stage with them. This went on for some time and unlike a western wedding the guests got up,walked around and talked while this was going on.

Eventually the grooms sister came to say hello to us and took Michael and I onstage to get a better view and take some photos of the ceremony. Then she said we should go upstairs and eat and come back down afterwards. Up we all went and the upper hall was full  of tables and chairs with banana leaves laid out. It was full of guests being served food. Very tasty Indian food and lots of different dishes.

Once we finished eating we went downstairs near the stage where different blessings were still going on. The four of us were brought up onstage to give our wishes and have a photo taken with the bride and groom.

Then more blessings and rituals. Finally they walked around the stage several times and then down the aisle and outside where the band played while they continued with more blessings.

The coconut is obviously a very important part of the ceremony. At the beginning when the groom was outside they smashed two coconuts, next the pouring of coconut milk over the hands as the couple held a coconut. As the couple walked around the stage they followed his sister who was carrying fruit on a plate, including (I think) coconut. And just like the night before, we each received a wedding favor of...a coconut.

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