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June 11, 2011

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to a Hindu wedding.  And when I say I went to the wedding, I mean that I saw about two hours of the wedding and then ate lunch.  I have been told that weddings and the ceremonies that accompany them can take days and even weeks.  There are so many different ceremonial activities and all have symbolic significance.  The particular part of the wedding that I went to had started around 6:30 in the morning.  I arrived a little before 11.

The wedding party: bride, groom, some of the family, priest/master of ceremonies, are all situated on a stage, whereas the congregation is below in chairs(I was lucky in this aspect, I was told that in most weddings you sit on the floor).  There were probably a hundred and fifty people in the congregation and all were talking amongst themselves, and most did not seem to take notice of what was happening onstage, it was more of a social gathering, which I guess all weddings are.  I got to see the Bride and Groom, both dressed in typical Hindu attire, go through Saptapadi, the most important of the wedding rituals.  The wedding party tends a fire in the middle of the stage, and the Bride and Groom make seven circuits around the fire, cleansing themselves, and making their vows in front of the god of the fire.  After this they did various other rituals of cleansing themselves with water and other things…I really couldn’t tell everything they were doing, and then around 12:15 everyone went upstairs to eat.

What a feast!  Every person had a placemat of banana leaf and servers went around scooping rice and veggies and chopati on the banana leaf.  Then the servers came back and added gravy/curry after gravy, then more rice, then different gravies.  It was a buffet served to you.  I think I’ve finally got the hang of eating with my hands…i think I’ll start doing that at Wofford…I’m sure it’ll be a hit.

Anyways, so sorry I didn’t take pictures, if I go to another(there aren’t that many during the rainy season) I will.

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