Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Shaadi Dot Com - A North Indian Wedding

On Friday Nov 27th I went to a wedding with
Sonia and family.
He was the son of a wealthy businessman and government officer.
We first visited the groom 's home where
a very large number of relatives and friends had gathered.
From there they took us to a reception guest house
where the bride 's family served us coffee, sweets and snacks.
Traditional weddings take place in the middle of the night so time
does not matter.
At about 10 pm everybody was ready to start the baraat or wedding procession'
This is the wedding horse on which the groom sits.
The musicians with drums and pipes

The light walas.
This is a must in baraats.
The lights are powered by a portable generator

The groom seated on the horse with a
young boy for company,
usually a cousin
Weddings are a business in India.
Many people find employment in this area.
On the right is the groom 's sister with a cousin
Girls dancing in the baraat.
There was a time when women were not
included in the baraat,
let alone
dancing on the street.
They either stayed at home or went to the wedding venue
by private transport.
But times have changed now.
As they say.
"You 've come a long way baby".
This was the first time I took
part in a baraat.
Of course Christians don 't have baraats.
This was a Hindu wedding.
I was mainly there to take
photos and videos.
(for my blog)

This is a decorated music van
which accompanies the baraat.
The music is extremely loud.
Mainly pop and dance music.

A shehnai player.
He could hardly be heard in the cacophony
Here comes the groom

Men dancing behind the van.
They have money in their hands
which they wave over the heads of the dancers
to ward off the evil eye.
This money is up for grabs.
The music band, children,
young people anyone can have it.
Abner got Rs 15 and was very pleased.

This is the wedding reception hall.
There are scores of such venues all over the city.
Many in posh hotels near my home.
So you can imagine the disturbance.
On an auspicious night there can be a dozen wedding parties going
like right now,.
We live in a party zone.
The stage where the bridal party sits.
To the left is a small dance floor.
Guests in the reception area

The bride and groom

This is the lawn where food was
served buffet style.
It was all vegetarian.
Very delicious dishes
even Chines and South Indian cuisine.
Salads, ice creams, flavored milk and Indian sweets for dessert.
One just could not eat everything.
There traqdition wedding must have taken place
somewhere else in the wee hours
of the morning , the auspicious hour
determined by the preists.

Another shot of the buffet lawn

Kids on the dance floor

Abner also joined the fun
Congratulating the couple .
Sonia and Abner ( 3rd from the left)

I took a number of short videos.
You can get a taste of the baraat.
All my videos did not upload.
I will post some more tomorrow

23 Fertilize my soul:

Donetta said...

Oh man that "music " is just terrible! not even a beat to dance too. I thought we Americans were wild. this shows it all of humanity sis:)
The beauty of the costume was really amazing. fascinating stuff.
I am so glad that you were able to capture this.
Forgive me I mean no disrespect.

Hope that you have a wonderful time that your hearing has recovered:)

John Cowart said...

Hi Amrita,

Such a festival!

I take it that your new colorful blog background is from the reception hall ceiling.

Your Christian presence as photographer at the wedding must honor the Lord.

Our youngest daughter plans to marry on January 1st. We plan a small affair beneath the branches of an ancient oak... I won't show her your photos because she'd want an elaborate celebration too!


Kimmie said...

Oh, I love that ceiling of lights. What a beautiful, colorful celebration.

Thank you for sharing it. As a vegetarian...I would love to be invited. Here at a wedding I always wonder what it is that I will eat...;-) I am sure this wedding was yummy!

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

*expecting again ...from Ethiopia!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Oh Amrita, let me fly to India and we will attend many Hindu weddings together as free photographers, asking only to be let loose on the buffet area!!!

I love the lights, the noise, all of it!!! And the idea of the INDIAN SWEETS has my heart (and stomach) aflutter!!!

Ladyfromthewoods said...

I'll come with the Olde Dame and we'll dress in fine clothes and we'll crash weddings as a team. LOL! But seriously, it looks like a grand time and I thank you for sharing the videos. I'm not sure if I could party all night and would probably end up looking sullen like one of those older fellows at the beginning who appear to be thinking "I would prefer to be home and sleeping."

What does a Christian wedding look like in India? Have the Christian weddings modeled after Western weddings or are they a mix of Hindi and Christian tradtions?

Love to you my sister in Christ,
--teresa in KY

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

What a beautiful traditional Indian wedding ceremony. It is very colorful and grand, like everything is on a grand scale. I have seen a traditional Indian wedding on the Discovery channel and it is really very colorful and full of rites and ceremonies. I learned that most Indian weddings are arranged by their parents. It is nice that you were able to get videos of that wedding. Thanks for the post. God bless you all always.

madison said...

Wow, great pics. Love the ceiling of lights!

Shelley said...

Very interesting...looks like the children were having lots of fun...thanks for sharing...blessings

Buttercup said...

I'd like to join the photography group, too. Thank you so much Amrita for the wonderful pictures.

Danielle&Hannah said...

Hi Amrita,

Oh wow that wedding is just massive! My wedding (not all that long ago) was definitly different, western style and christian in our tradition. That would cost so much! Is the expense a wedding present or the parent obligation?

thank you for sharing :)

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
This must be some costly wedding.
All the guests, the food, the expensive clothes and the musicians.
Impressive and colorful at the same time. I do hope you had a good time.
From Felisol

David said...

I praise God that at my own wedding there were only a few guests and simple fare. The mountains were our cathedral and Jesus was our Guest of honor.
You did a great job of capturing the sights and sounds

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Amrita:)

Very interesting narration of the wedding supplemented by lovely photos. The atmosphere must have been spell binding with all the music, dancing, colorful lights, dazzling decorations etc. I am sure you had a wonderful time.

Have a nice day Amrita:)

Becka said...

How beautiful,is that wedding...
Yall go way out ,over in India,,

David C Brown said...

India, flamboyant as always! I'm hoping that an invitation to a (Christian) wedding in India one day will persuade my wife to come with me!

Julie said...

I just love the colors and photos, so bright and beautiful. The video's were great, oh to have so much energy. Thank you so much for sharing. I agree, it must have been a very expensive wedding.

Gerry said...

Wow, you certainly do have elaborate weddings in India, quite the experience to see all you do. I would never have imagined it. The boy in the red shirt was certainly enjoying himself and the sari-dresses were very pretty. I liked the outfits of the groom and bride, too. I liked the idea of the groom riding a horse! I really enjoyed all the effort you put into showing us this North Indian wedding!

Saija said...

i've learned so many things about India and the different cultural aspects through your blog ... thank you for sharing!!!

Amrita said...

Dear friends thank you for your responses.I want to show you the real India from the highways and byways - the light and the dark - the joyful and the pathetic - just all the shades. Our country is very rich in its culture, traditions and practices - but sadly many are rooted in superstition and lack of knowledge too. Therefore we are working to dispel the darkness and shine the light of Christ in the lives of people.
I have done another wedding post today.

Hi John I think we were the only Christians at the event and we were very warmly welcomed .

Oh Penni you are most welcome. And with you I would be bold enough to actually gate crash into a party - no one would mind. You 'd love the sweets.

Kimmie the vegetarian food was really nice and such variety.
Yes Daniella parents pay for the wedding usually and if the couple have good jobs and have saved they can chip in & buy their own clothes and stuff.

That 's right Felisol. It was a costly affair. These were wealthy businessmen.The girl must have fetched a handsome dowry too. We have a huge gap between the rich and poor.

The mountains were our cathedral and Jesus was our Guest of honor.
That 's awesome David Schmidt - nothing could be better than that.

Josephji I have attended South Indian Christian weddings - they have their own flavor and custom. And the Tamil Brahmin wedding was really unique.

Dear Bro David C Brown, I hope you get an invitation soon so you can fly over.You 'd be the guests of honor I am sure.

Thank you for your comment Gerry. I really jumped up at the idea of attending a Hindu wedding. I posted Christian and Muslim weddings before.But this one was different.

Hi Saija thank you for visiting and commenting.

Terry said...

oh the dancing and the colours and the sheer happiness dear amrita!
love terry

Dick said...

It's great to see all those colors and happy people, wonderful pics.

Crown of Beauty said...

Oh Amrita,
This post is an amazing one, showing us the many colors (and sounds) of a traditional Hindu wedding.

Thank you for taking time to share your words and photos.


Philip said...

Hostels allowing their guests to go outside for party at night but just limit yourself for your safety.

Palermo Hostel