Sunday, February 11, 2007

Tuku gets married!

Weddings are festive affairs in India, and this was especially true for my brother's marriage to my new sister-in-law Uttara in New Delhi. This is one of those infrequent occasions when I get to meet my cousins - here's a group with all six of us brothers and five better halves (one couldn't be there) at the pre-wedding reception.

Cousins at Tuku's wedding

In Indian finery

The gathering was a sparkling affair, with flowers, music, guests in fancy clothes, and excellent food. But most important, it was a chance for friends and family to meet, mingle, catch up on old times, find common acquaintances, and generally establish how small a world it really is.

Meghan and her sister Caitlin were special guests at the wedding, since it was the first trip to India for both of them. Despite the culture shock, they dove right in, dressing up in gorgeous Indian salwar-kameezes and getting their hands decorated with traditional mehendi, intricate patterns in henna. (See the post below for more.)



Mehendi

The ceremony itself started late at night, with traditional Sanskrit chants as the priest conducted the rites in front of the sacred fire as a witness.

Tuku's wedding ceremony

Taking the seven steps
Offerings to the sacred fire
It was very late into the night and most of the guests had long gone to bed by the time the proceedings wound up and the newly-wed couple got a bite to eat. And after all that, my poor brother had to bribe his new sister-in-law and cousins to get his shoes back...

1 comment:

Derek said...

Hey M/S-
Just checked into your blog. Beautiful pictures, and I especially liked your description of some local customs, such as the coat hanger on the bridge. Did you enjoy the wedding? I hope so. I've been good here. Just unveiled a new set of labs for the kids to work on where they study sea urchins. Feels good to be making a lasting contribution here finally and to feel settled. Rose says hello. I wish I could come out there. The problem is getting 3 weeks and dough to do it right. Please let me know when you comee back to visit and I'll definitely come by Ithaca.
Love,
D

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