Monday, February 2, 2009

May 28, 2008

We went to an Indian Islamic wedding on Sunday and had an OK time. Steven was misinformed about how people would be dressed. Steven was way overdressed compared to everyone else. The groom and Steven were the only ones in suits, although he did have a vest on too. Only one boy was wearing the traditional formal sherwani so we were glad we hadn't gotten one. Angela's outfit was more similar to the rest of the women so she only stood out for being white and being awkward with her shawl.

The ceremony was between the groom and the brother of the bride (in place of her late father). Each was seated on a dais facing each other with their family men (father, grandfather, brothers, uncles, etc) seated behind them, all in profile to us. The Muslim priest sat facing us and, Steven was told, gave a sermon on the importance of marriage and working together. He spoke in Malayalam and Arabic. Then he sang a prayer. The groom and bride's brother signed a registry and shook hands. Then the rest of the men shook hands and it was done.

After the men finished, they left and the bride was arranged on the dais. The mother and sisters of the groom presented the bride with a large garland of flowers to welcome her to the family. It looked heavy. Then the groom joined and received a matching garland from the bride's female relatives. They kept the garlands on and had their pictures taken alone and with their families.

After a short break, the bride and groom returned to the dais without their garlands. Any guests that wanted to go up did. It was somewhat like a receiving line except pictures were taken of the people in groups around the bride and groom. We were ushered up and given prominent places in our group's picture. We saw some people secretively hand little bags to the bride or groom. We realized later the bags probably held gifts of gold or money.

After congratulating the bride and groom, people moved to another room for a buffet lunch. It was not extravagant but the food was good. My only complaint was the lack of silverware. We ate a lamb and rice casserole dish with our fingers. There was chicken and rice too. People seemed to leave soon after eating so we did too.

Here's us at a Indian/Muslim wedding.

Here's the happy couple:

The next picture is of the groom's parents giving gold to the bride.

The last picture is 2 children who were following us around the entire time of the wedding. They are so cute!

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