Posted in General, Marriage, Relationship

Indian Wedding – Why I Love Inter-Racial Marriage

Been away for two weeks for my brother in law’s wedding.

I married an Indian so whenever there is an Indian ceremony or festival, I will be invited along and I love it because I get to see a different culture than mine. I get to meet a lot of new people and see their lives from their eyes. I was accepted into their family as one of their own and this has humbled me as inter-racial marriage, though not uncommon in my country, still presents some cultural and religious barriers.

I enjoyed everything about the wedding preparation and the wedding itself. Despite being married to an Indian, I have never been to a full-blown Indian wedding before so to witness everything from start to finish really amazed me. Everything about the wedding was beautiful, colorful and so rich in culture and tradition.

Witnessing an Indian wedding is definitely something everyone should at least try to do!

*I didn’t explain what the photos mean because to describe them it has to be explained in Tamil words and since I don’t speak Tamil, I can’t place any caption for them. I only share a little on what I know here and there*

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For the nallanggu, a ceremony where the women of the family blessed the groom and bride at their respective houses.
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The tall vessel holds rose water to be sprinkled on the groom and bride. The tumeric and the red powder, called kumkum, are dabbed on the couple’s forehead.
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Moulding an elephant’s face on a coconut. Both the coconut and elephant are considered holy by Hindus.
The yellow paste is turmeric powder mixed with rose water.
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A sitting elephant, modeled to signify Lord Vinayagar.
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The drawing of the kolam.
Kolam are decorative floor drawings, often done during festive seasons or during ceremonial rites.
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The groom and bride will sit during their nallanggu.
Nallanggu is performed simultaneously at the couple’s respective house.
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The peacock is revered by the Hindus.
Here is an oil lamp that will be lit during the nallanggu, its fire signifying hope and prosperity.
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The nallanggu spread consist of 5 trays of different items, each bearing its own significance and meaning when performed to the groom and bride.
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A bamboo pole smeared with turmeric and rose water will be erected in front of the couple’s respective house to mark the coming wedding.
Prayers or pooja will be performed by married women to bless the bamboo.
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Blessing of the groom during nallanggu.
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The oil lamp by the bamboo pole will be kept burning until dusk of the wedding day.
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The coconut bearing the personafication of Lord Vinayagar adorned in malai, or floral wreath.
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Wedding is the chance to meet relatives from far away that are otherwise lost in time.
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The colorful kolam, flanked by two oil lamps.
This is perhaps one of the most well-known symbols and images of Hinduism and the Indian culture.
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Indian weddings are all about colors and richness of culture.
Here Sophea is all dressed up in traditional young girls’ suit, called the pavade.
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The groom will perform prayers before the bride arrives.
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Music will be played throughout the ceremony.

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He sees her coming down the path.
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And the bride arrives, looking stunning and resplendent.
This is the traditional Indian bride get up. Chili-red saree with throngs of gold accessories and with flowers and jasmines adorning her hair.

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The priest tells the couple what to expect during the ritual.
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Fire plays a significant role in Hinduism.
The wedding rites are performed in front of the fire, that is kept burning throughout the ceremony.
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Mohen and Eros in traditional suit for men, called the jippa.

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The exchanging of malai.

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The groom washing the bride’s feet with rose water and turmeric.
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The fastening of the toe-ring, a symbol of marriage of Indian women.
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Grinding the turmeric with pastel and mortar to signify her role as a wife and soon mother.
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Long, black hair is often tied to health, fertility and beauty in women.
Almost always, this long hair is a wig but there are some Indian women who kept their hair to this length for their wedding.

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Author:

A feminist mother of 3 who thinks she can write.

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