Saturday, March 12, 2011

This is the post that never ends

There are stories to tell and I am trying to figure out which ones I already told. I wanted to share more about the wedding. I feel like my posts get too long. I hope they aren't tedious to read, I just want to share so much!

I had talked about a few things while away like our outings to a chinese-indian restaurant, to the Gateway of India, and about the Mehndi on our hands.

We also went to a few different malls while in India. I mentioned my quest to find an outfit for the wedding. I don't know if I said that I couldn't find one that was already made that fit me well. So we had it custom made for me, with fabric my sis-in-law bought. It fit very well since it was to my measurements! And the cost was actually less than the mall's outfit prices.

And now - the beautiful wedding:
My sis in law looked like a royal princess during the actual wedding part. One of our aunts did her hair and makeup. Gorgeous!!

The wedding had various sections. Of course an Indian wedding is much different than an American wedding. While me and my husband are Christians, the majority of his family is Hindu. So they follow the Hindu practices for things like wedding rituals. The wedding day activities lasted from morning til night! At about 9am that day, a pundit/pandit came to their place to start the wedding day rituals with the bride-to-be and her parents. I hid in the bedroom for most of it. I am not against partaking in the culture but I try to avoid participation in the religious things. I have strong feelings about my own faith so I don't want to do rituals of another religion. It can be hard and I have been put into awkward situations a couple of times because of being asked to do something. And sometimes did it instead of saying no, to avoid conflict. That doesn't make me happy though.

The ceremonial things went on at their place for over 3 hours. One little ritual followed by another, and another, and another. Finally I was asked to do a couple things and I did them. They were more tradition than religious for me, as a sister in law, to do to a bride-to-be. They involved rice and turmeric water, and putting them on the bride. The turmeric water was supposed to make her skin glow for her wedding(however it seemed only ceremonial since my sis in law took a shower before the wedding and it all washed off). Relatives came over to the house to participate and eat lunch there before everyone headed to the hotel in the afternoon, where the wedding was going to take place.

It was a confusing but interesting day! At around 5pm was when the bride-to-be was all ready in her makeup and clothes, and that is when I still had my jeans on. We then escorted her to the banquet hall where she could see the groom for the first time that day. It was her first entrance for everyone else to see! The bride and groom exchanged flower garlands around their necks and then sat down in the fancy chairs. Some people blessed them and then it was picture time.

These are pics of parts of the wedding. I was unprepared for pictures when the bottom left picture was taken. I was not yet in my fancy Indian clothes, and was the only one in jeans at that point. I was told not to worry about getting ready yet, then suddenly it was picture time! After the picture, me and my niece went to go get ready in our pretty clothes.

A little while later, it was time for my sis in law to leave the room again and go back to the hotel room for an hour or so. I am not sure why, but that is how it's done.

Some brides change clothes between sections, but she kept her same outfit on, which was gorgeous anyway. Finally we were all ready in our clothes and make up and it was time for the actual wedding rituals to start. Those lasted about an hour and a half, and by then other guests were arriving for the reception part.

Only family really attends the ceremony. There was about 35 or so family members there during that. Then about another 40 people arrived later on for the reception part. This wedding was small in comparison to many Indian weddings, which easily have hundreds of people in attendance. But this wedding was planned with less notice. (It could have been planned far ahead of time if there hadn't been family issues about accepting the marriage. The fact that there was even a wedding is kind of a big deal.)

(ughh trying to be brave by posting the above pic)

Me and my niece again, with our mehndi and pretty clothes. End of the wedding day.
The earrings and necklace I wore were gifts from my in laws on the first trip that I met them all. They went perfectly with my silver accented outfit.
We ate yummy Indian food and then it was already 9:30pm. Kavi was really tired, and so was I! We left and went to our hotel room while other people were still eating. Kavi needed to sleep. Me, hubby, and Kavi stayed at the hotel all night while everyone else went home. It was a nice little break from the hustle and bustle, just us three in the morning.

Even though my husband is with me on our trips, I miss him more than usual whenever we are in India. He had so much to do to help his father who is getting older, and with wedding planning. Some days we would plan an outing and then we would be together all day. But other days, he would have to leave for many hours at a time. I would miss him since I was in his country, not even in my own to do as I please.

Even though it seems India has stronger, tighter families than the US, they sometimes seem to think a father doesn't need to spend a lot of time with his kids. If a father is gone all the time working or traveling, it's considered normal. I don't like that. But I know some people can't help it. Jobs can be a lot more demanding in India than here, with long, 6 day work weeks instead of our 5 day work week. So my inlaws don't think it's weird to have my husband doing a million things while me and Kavi are there sitting around all day.

But this year, my husband did try harder than ever to make sure I had a good time. I had a much better time than last year, which you might remember was very hard! So I am glad the trip was good overall. :) I got to experience a lot of things. I still have henna on my hands, my own little souvenir, but it's fading now. :( I will miss it! I have had it for a whole week now. I will always have the pictures to remind me of it. Until the next time I get it for another relative's wedding. It may be quite a few years.
(from when the henna was drying on my hands, last Saturday. Edited with effect "cross process" and rounded frame.)


jordiegirl said...

The bride looks fabulous in that beautiful clothing. What a lovely post telling us about how the wedding ceremony goes over there in India. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Chana said...

Beautiful Lady you are!! My goodness! I loved this post! What a lovely bride:)

Fallon said...

Wow, that must be kind of hard on you. Good for you for standing by your faith, God not only commands our total devotion he deserves it :)

Beka said...

wow. so amazing!!

thestoryofkat said...

loved hearing more about your trip...long posts are ok! :)

the company i worked for in DC had an office in india that i worked with a lot and many indian people working in DC. i loved the diversity and became close friends with a girl who'd grown up there but also had a hard time confronting the attitudes of some of the men with more seniority than me (some just had a hard time working in an environment where women were equals although there were many i had a lot of respect and friendship with as well). i guess each culture has it's drawbacks and oddities...i'm so glad you were able to experience many good things on this trip as well though!