Sister Tanner is busy with English lessons, so I'm taking a few minutes for a couple of posts that will hopefully be interesting. Note we're into video clips now and the sound adds a lot so I don't have to try and describe some things, you can hear for yourself.
Wednesday Evening, April 15, 2009
Anil, Sonu, and Gauri took us to another wedding and this time we followed most of the traditional events associated with it, but did not attend the actual wedding ceremony itself. There was a lot of money involved. Both were very wealthy families with large land holdings. The bride's family gave 3 brand new cars to the groom's family and 50 kgs of gold. I did the math and the current gold value is $1.5 million. Some dowry.
Speaking of cars, it reminded me of a contrast to the first wedding we attended when we asked Atul if his son rode a white mare and he replied, "Yes, a white Mustang."
Here is a picture of Sister Tanner in her new saree. Isn't she beautiful? The ladies really dress up for weddings, and this lady is right there with the best.
The ladies in front of the groom's house.
The groom is prepared and the first step is the riding of a white horse to the temple for a short ceremony. After that, the groom's party goes in a procession to the actual wedding location. In this case, it included a large bus to transport people to the wedding location at a "farm" owned by the groom's family located on the outskirts of Delhi. The farms in this case are actually very large gardens set up to handle wedding events. Wednesday was an especially auspicious day for weddings as we passed numerous gardens that had weddings going on. Play the clip to get a feel for the band, the noise, the celebration that is going on. Later you will see the wear and tear on the groom and bride from all the stress and activity associated with an Indian wedding.
After the groom rode off to the temple, we got in Anil's car and drove to the wedding location. The garden or farm, covered 5-10 acres, it was a huge area. The pavilion in the background was just one of several food areas that were all over.
When the groom arrives, fireworks go off and it gets pretty crazy. The bride was actually there already, but kept out of sight in a room with female family and friends with her. What I've shot here is actually at another wedding next door, but you get the idea.
This band played off and on all during the evening until it got crazy with the arrival of the groom. These guys could give the Oquirrh Academy Band a run for their money.
I stayed inside while the rest went out front to witness the groom's arrival. There were a lot of futon like couches set up in rows in front of the stage where some of the traditional events would take place. I shot this sequence of some young men goofing off. Kids don't vary much wherever you go. I had some fun talking with them while we waited.
Some of the craziness that went on as the groom and his entourage came in from the front and made its way to the stage. Then commenced photos, etc., etc. until after 30-40 minutes, he was finally left alone. See below.
Once the bride comes in, there is a ceremony of exchanging huge flower wreaths. The bride is holding the one for the groom in her hands. I watched the bride come up on the stage and the poor girl was so close to collapse it wasn't funny. The people on either side of her were actually holding her up at times and her hands were shaking. At one point, her chest was heaving so noticeably, I thought she was hyperventilating. We left right after they hung the flower wreaths over each others heads. When the groom reached out to put his wreath over the bride's head, she recoiled and almost fell down, but it all got worked out. I don't know if either had seen each other prior to the stage, but there were no smiles or anything, just a very serious, shell shocked bride and groom. The actual wedding ceremony was performed off the stage somewhere, but we didn't stay around for that. Things most likely did not get wrapped up until the wee hours of the morning. As it was, we didn't get home until 1 AM, but we did get to experience more elements of a traditional Indian wedding in detail.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
We had Dr Ryder and Menesha, his art assistant, over for an Italian Dinner night of food and conversation. Cindy outdid herself with lasagna, chicken parmigiana, cauliflower and broccoli over linguine with Alfredo sauce, garlic bread, and pecan pie and ice cream for desert. Not members yet, but we are hopeful that will happen some where down the road. We talked for hours, another late night, but well worth it.
Friday, April 17, 2009
We had Zone conference today in Delhi. When we got home around 5 PM, we noticed that the house 3 doors down had a tent set up in front. Remodeling on the upper floors of the house had been going on since before we arrived. We thought maybe it might be some type of house warming or something. While we were doing the dishes from the night before, we heard a band playing outside in the street and wondered if it was a political gathering, house warming, or ? By the time we were almost through, things had gotten quiet, so my curiosity died. Then the snare drums started and I knew the beat and rhythm was associated with a wedding event. I went out to check it out and took the camera. After taking a couple of shots and the videos below, a uncle of the groom came up to me and we started talking. Very nice gentleman who invited me in to eat, but I politely declined and said I would just hang around outside for awhile, but he took me over to the gate anyway and introduced me to the groom's older brother and some others.
Then I saw the band lounging around and went over and got them to get up and play again. Don't know if it was coincidence or not, but shortly after, the groom appeared in the side yard and the noise, etc. really got going. I saw Cindy up the street who had come out wondering what was going on or what had happened to me. I waved her down. The next thing the uncle had a server bring us drinks. Next, the white mare was brought around and the groom got up on the horse and then it started to get a little crazy as the ladies began dancing in front of the horse, and some guys. I tried to get a video, but the batteries were shot, so there is just a little blurt.
The uncle came back and wanted Cindy and I to dance also. Cindy went out with the gals and I actually danced with an older gentleman, hands up, kind of a high five thing. But Cindy, wow, she really got into it. It is killing me that I didn't get a shot of her and the hip shimmy, wow. Oops, this is a missionary post. But it certainly was fun. Then they led the groom off down the road and around the corner to the temple located in the next block and we went back home.