Day: <span>March 7, 2012</span>

Indian wedding: the feet washing

The very last tradition in the Indian wedding I witnessed, just before the husband and wife are allowed together for the first time it was the ceremony where she had to was his feet. In their culture feet are considered unclean, and doing this is the sign of great humility. A good part of the groom’s family assisted.

And with this the wedding ceremonies ended, it was the time for the photographer to go away 🙂

indian wedding

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Indian wedding: the big night

Finally, two days after ceremony (one of which they were not allowed to even see each other) and after the last reception, the bride and the groom had their first night together. In a special room, with a richly decorated bed. But before that, she was received by her father-in-law.

indian wedding

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Indian wedding: the session

If in the western world the “official” photo session with the bride and the groom is a must and the bride may kill the photographer if she doesn’t get her pictures with the bridal dress, I discovered that some Indian brides are not the same, in this case she didn’t want photos… and made it in the most Indian way, not saying “no” but “yes” and then avoiding it in various ways.

In fact this is the thing that annoyed me the most in my Indian experience, people there won’t say you a firm “no”, they consider it disrespectful, they will say “yes”, “maybe”, “later” or “we’ll see” and then try to do everything to avoid it. They don’t know this is even more disrespectful for us, Westerners, who prefer a straight “yes” or “no” and then keeping your word. This may be the cause for some of our cultural conflicts.

So, back to the topic: we had the “official” photo session planned for a full morning in a park, then it was moved for something short in the evening at the temple, then for something even shorter at house on the roof, then it didn’t happen, all we did was a few shoots at the reception place.

indian wedding

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Indian wedding: the reception

The groom’s reception was like the bride’s reception: people come, eat and go, leaving the place open for the next round of guests to come, eat and go… This allowed for a high turnover of guests… if I recall correctly they were expecting around 800 people.

indian wedding

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Indian wedding: the shine

Is a long process for the bride to make herself beautiful but the result is showing, after all the preparations (make-up, hair style, clothes, jewelry) she was really shining.

indian bride

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Indian wedding: beautification

The ceremony happened to the bride’s home so it and the reception after was organised by her family. Two days later it was followed by another reception, this time at the groom’s place, organized by his family. Here’s the bride making herself beautiful for the reception:

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Indian wedding: the bargain

The groom returned home with the bride, here he encountered another expected “surprise”: the door bas blocked by the women inside, who demanded a price to allow him inside with the wife. And we had a funny part: they asked for “10” so he paid 10 rupies, which is practically nothing, compared with 10 thousands, as they intended. Careful with the words, girls!

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Indian wedding: the arrival

After the wedding, arriving at the groom’s house, another thing happened: a white cloth was put on the stairs at the entrance with a plate holding red paint. The bride stepped on the paint and then walked inside, leaving some red tracks of her feet. The groom followed on her tracks.

indian wedding

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Indian wedding: the cry

I was warned this is going to happen and be ready with my camera to capture it, but I swear it was genuine: leaving the parent’s house the bride started to cry, it was an authentic cry and it made me feel a bit bad, like a vulture for capturing it… but I remembered I am a photographer and kept shooting.

indian wedding

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Indian wedding: the departure

I said there are a lot of blessings in an Indian wedding, the morning after the ceremony held another round (in fact two rounds!) of them at the bride’s house, before she left, going for the groom’s place. Some tears started to show…

indian wedding

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Indian wedding: the sleepover

There is also an unexpected tradition in an Indian (Bengali) wedding: after the ceremony is over, the couple is not left together and alone (in fact, they are not let alone for a couple more days). Until the morning they will stay awake at the ceremony place together with their close friends. We added a bit of modernity into it and spent the time playing charades and Mafia.

indian wedding

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