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Published: January 27th 2009
Just like Christmas! The whole house had also been repainted in bright colours.]Most of which have now washed off in the rain. High quality paint!]
Winter wedding blog.
Winter is the wedding season here is the Punjab—probably because of the cooler weather and we have been involved one way or another in a number of village weddings.
We have attended the Mhendi ceremony at one wedding and observed others from the roof of the High School .
The Mhendi ceremony was great fun and took place on 23rd December. We were collected from our room by a group of giggling girls from school looking very grown up and pretty in their sparkly outfits and taken down into the village. It was pitch black as the power was off but as we turned a corner to the wedding house the power came back and the house was covered with lights---just like many of the houses back home would be at that time of year! I was feeling rather homesick with it being so near Christmas and a Christmassy looking house made me feel even worse!
We went into the house crowded with people of all ages and the women looking beautiful in best clothes---and BOBBLE HATS because it was quite cold! We then all trouped out to another house to
A show for me!
collect the groom and accoutrements needed for the night!
It all seemed a muddle but I could hear a Bangra drum and people getting excited. Shabana gave me a tin foil plate with a candle on it and pushed me to the front of the crowd. I was bought a chair and made to sit down, the bangra drummers came and played for me while people waved 5 rupee notes around my head which were then grabbed away by some who ,I discovered later distributed the money to the poor of the village—but it was special money having been blessed by me!! Apparently we were important and it was an honour for the family that we had come to join in.
The special chair was lifted up and the bangra drums and dancers set off back through the dark, narrow lanes followed by everyone else many woman and young girls carrying the tin foil plates with lighted candles. How nobodies dupatta caught fire I don’t know!! The procession reached the wedding house and fireworks were let off in the middle of the crowd—health and safety hasn’t got here yet! Flower petals drifted down from the rooftops and we all crammed
Little Bhangra boy
So cute! And he danced all night!
into the courtyard.
The groom was seated on the special chair---an ordinary little chair covered in tinsel and shiny paper and guess who else got special seats? Yes, the guests of honour Geoff and me---either side of the groom! Geoff managed to move saying he wanted to take photos but I was there
all the time---and a long time it was as each relative came to put a dab of mhendi in the grooms hair, stuff a sweet into his mouth and wave some rupee notes around his head, then pose for the official photograph!! I think I might be in most of them!!!
After a couple of hours the close relatives had all made their respects I decided to follow suit much to everyone’s astonishment. I got a round of applause for doing it right!!
After another power cut or two some older women began to chant and dance. The younger girls declined to join in but, well, I had been sitting for a long time and it seemed a good way to warm up so I joined in too! Again everyone was very surprised!!
Then the MUSIC starts! A
Note health and safety precautions!!
huge megaphone is hoisted onto the roof and rather tinny Pakistani modern music is blasted out for hours! I never saw anyone dance to it or anything -it is just a signal I think to the rest of the world that a wedding is happening!
We came home!
The music from many other weddings disturbed our work at school for a number of days—you really cannot hear yourself speak it is so loud! Sometimes the music stops and the DJ shouts out a list of all the guests at the house.
One day we spied a wedding car and watched a groom being taken to fetch his wife back. He was preceded by an amazing band of pipes and drums and once again money was twirled around his head for luck.
I think the photos show it better than words.
We have not been to any full 3 day weddings!!! I don’t know that I would have the stamina!
Hope you enjoy the photos. I have been meaning to do this wedding blog since Christmas!
We have been going into school a lot recently and I will soon be sending more pictures and explaining what we have done and how
Seen these in Covenrty!
you might help!!! Don’t go away! Keep the comments coming - We really do like to know that you read the blog and haven’t forgotten us!!
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