Tuesday, 4 December 2007


My blogfriends JoAnn and Aura asked some questions about Indian weddings and I want to answer them here.

A majority of Indians belong to the lower income group and they cannot afford the lavish weddings I described to you.Everybody spends according to their pocket but they try to overdo things using up their savings, borrowing money , sometimes the poor farmers sell off a part of their fields to marry off their daughters and get a dowry for them.NGOs arrange mass weddings too.

We have been to weddings of the rich and poor.
Some years back we were invited to a wedding of a poor farmer 's son in a village 2 hours from here.We knew the girl as her brother worked in the city.
It was a very hot April day...temp 35 *C or in the 90s F. Sonia and I boarded an overcrowded minibus in the morning.

The girl 's uncle secured a small space for us into which we squeezed.After a few stops a young man entered the bus and the driver and other passengers (all rural types) greeted him, and addressed him as Doctor-sahib.He did not look as if he had ever seen the inside of a medical school. I know that simple villagers consider an ordinary health care worker to be a doctor.

The bus driver and other passengers asked Sonia and me to move over and give 'the doctor ' a seat. I was already suffering in the heat and retorted, " No way". They said ;Please , he is a doctor. I said," No way even if he is the Prime Minister ". End of conversation. Our Dr Who found space elsewhere.In India women have to assert themselves, otherwise...

Anyway after a lot of jerks and jolts we reached a village town. The farmer 's house was situated way deep into the fields with a rugged dirt road about 4 km. long.Giving a city lady due respect the uncle arranged a relative to take me into the interior village on his scooter

These days everybody has/desires motorcycles. Scooters are for old people they say...media hype... movies...commercialization.
The Uncle gave Sonia a ride on his bicycle which rode to the village on the top of the bus.
We were given a very warm welcome at the girl 's house. It was a thatched mud hut. They gave us sugar water and glucose biscuits. The whole village came out to have a look at us.
People from the village are very hospitable and they will go the extra mile to make you comfortable.They arranged for us to stay in a brick house. The boys put up an electric fan and light for us.Of course the electric supply only came on in the late evening, so we had to sweat it out the whole day.We had taken lots of our own clean iced water, that saved us.

At sunset we went with the village women to have a bath in the river. that was real fun .

The wedding took place in the middle of the night. I stayed up for a part of the ceremonies and then went to sleep as I was too tired and exhausted in the heat.

The next morning we had a simple village repast and caught a tempo, (a rural taxi) home.While we were waiting for the taxi-tempo we met a Christian brother who used to work for an Agricultural NGO and he was very surprised to us there.

On the whole it was a very good experience. I just loved the village people.I wish I was camera savvy then, I would have taken my own photos.


About the significance of the size of the wedding cake.Its actually to cater to the number of guests you have and there is the usual pomp and show...keeping up appearances .My elder sister had 7 in her 's don 't remember the other two.I will post their pictures.

Not all brides have tattoos or henna on. Actually most do, but you can marry without it.Its just a part of the bridal make-up, one 's choice.

8 Fertilize my soul:

inspired said...

the river bath looks like great fun :]

Amrita said...

Yes inspired, that was fun.We splashed around like little kids.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Hai Amrita,
Thank you so much for answering the questions about different INDIAN weddings and the several habits, clothes, cakes everything whats usual. Thank you!

Your sister had "only 7' cakes? Wow! thats also a lot of cakes to me!

I showed today something really DUTCH, we celebrate it mostly for the children a "Sinterklaas" evening with presents and sweet candies, The Sinterklaas and his helpers are all dressed up for the children, come and see:)

Greetings see you:) JoAnn

Carol-Ann Allen said...

Another great post, Amrita!
You are a very good writer! You are also good at composing titles! I love to play with language and I've noticed you tend to do that from time to time with your titles! So you didn't give the good doctor a seat, eh? And you doubted his credentials?

Now this is my great observation and insight for the day: culturally speaking, on this side of the ocean your response would seem very harsh, somewhat rude, even. And, quite honestly, some ladies from India who have come to live on Canadian soil have made for themselves just that kind of reputation! But when you put it all through the sifter of women having to set their faces like flint in order not to be pushed around like a checker on a game board,it puts a whole different slant on it!

Roo said...

this was so interesting to read amrita. :) i love reading about different cultures and how they celebrate weddings.

Louise said...

Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us Amrita. Just think of how much we'll have to talk about in heaven and on the new earth!

Amrita said...

Thank you friends for your comments. Carol-Ann you made made an interesting observation I had it tickling the back of my mind when i was writing about it.read Mother India and tell me what you think.

Aura said...

Hi Amrita,

Thank you for your post and answering my doubts.It helped me understand more of the cuktural and traditional aspect in India.

I am with you when it comes to exercising your right as a women.

BTW, i have always appreciated the henna design painted in womens hands.I often see the arab women in Dubai with it,also at their feet.Can they were it in any ocassions?