Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Great Indian Weddings

Attending weddings are fun, or so it may seem to most people.
Have attended quite a few and I must say each region (of India) has a different way of celebrating the event.
Some of the most sober (and poker faced) ones are the ones that I have seen in my own community. The guests just come, eat and go. Some of them don’t even bother to wish the couple. And after reaching home they discuss about the amount of gold the bride was wearing (or should have worn)

Recently I attended a Bengali wedding in Calcutta. There are a lot of rituals and customs that are followed, but on the whole it was fun and colourful.

It was nice to see that all the guests took a keen interest in the proceedings. I tried to capture most of it on video but it was a tough fight wading through the multitude of the relatives who were milling around the couple.
I was lucky as far as the lighting goes, as the marriage hall was very spacious and well lit. I also found that every time I was strategically placed so that all the events were happening right in front of me.

Even though there was an official photographer, you could see that practically every one was trying to capture a slice of the action. 
I managed to get a lot of footage but the challenge was to edit and compress it so that the viewer would not get bored . Finally I managed to do it……. a three day event compressed to 33 minutes. Attaching here a part of it (about 10 minutes) 
Like I said before, it is colourful and lively.


Keats Markandu said...

A great time to celebrate a happy occasion. Well done on the video - enjoyed it.

T. Drecker said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun, and that it was a wonderful wedding.

rama said...

Lovely video, where are the other parts of the wedding?
Probably you have not attended Tambrahmin wedding, which is full of meaningful rituals, and also filled with fun.
I had once attended a wedding of a Hindu couple, which had no ceremonies, and i was told that people from Kerala had no rituals except the man putting the mangal sutra.
Some of the Tambrahms especially of people from abroad,have explanations of the various rituals so that people really are able to understand the significance of them. In fact if people are interested they can go to the internet and read about the significance of these ceremonies.
We also have the exchanging of the malas, which is full of fun, Kashi Yatra, Ounjal/ Jullla, and so many interesting rituals. But because we are not interested in knowing anything in depth, we try to rush of from the wedding as soon as possible. All the mantras chanted/ repeated by the boy are full of meaning.
Is that cute short lady the girl's mother?
She looks so cute and so beautiful and young.
Looks like you had lot of fun. Who is the man I saw him in the tram video and I also saw him in that wedding video?
Good job Joe.

Asha said...

Agree with Rama about the Tambrahm wedding down south.

Lyn said...

Love this -- the colours are magnificent and brilliant! It is wonderful to learn about different customs and traditions first hand. Thanks for sharing and yes indeed - the lighting is excellent!

Renu said...

Ijust love attending weddings, they are fun, but now guests are like that everywhere..earlier in north, in a girl' wedding nobody could or would eat before the boy's side(Baaraat), but today this tradition is completely gone, people come, deposit the shagun, eat and go without bothering about anything else..

Prathima Rao said...

I being a south indian know exactly what u mean..Guests come and sit discussing bout the saree, jewellery, money. Get a cue for lunch & people just rush off, forgetting the couple on stage..Its almost like a stampede!! And you need some influence to get your relatives to book the chairs for you for lunsh if you are one of those slow walkers!!

Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Daisy said...

I enjoyed your photos and your video, Joe. Everyone looked like they had a fun celebration.

Ms Sparrow said...

The wedding pictures are interesting but I like your family Christmas picture the best!

deeps said...

of course great..
it s such a festival...

padmaja said...

Nice compiling.. but as Rama said, Tamil Brahmin weddings are so much fun, the rituals are meaningful and also very enjoyable, I think even the weddings that take place at a registrar's office can not be sober because the couple are filled with joy and love for each other,they start their life together in their own unique way.

Christine said...

beautiful photos! Thanks for stopping by!

Harman said...

beautiful pictures ..indian weddings are fun lots of rituals and north india its fun with dancing ..all peppy songs..
I guess I m missing india :)

Kay said...

I do so love weddings and it was such fun to watch your beautifully made video. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful couple's special day with us.

Sowmya said...

That opening comment about South Indians was very offensive. Or you have attended the wrong weddings.
South Indian weddings are the simplest of them all. They are truly Vedic weddings where importance is given to following all the rituals prescribed with all the Sanskrit chanting and aren't meant to be an opportunity for 'fun' and other vulgarity such as dancing by film stars.
Its the 'North Indian' weddings that are mostly show business; true to their philosophy in life and true to the lives they lead.

Haddock said...

Have to agree with you on that Sowmya. I should have been more specific than just generalizing all of South India. What I meant was the christian wedding receptions that I have attended. Ok, now some may not like this remark too but that is my observation.

Shalini said...

What a lovely video.. All your pictures have come out well too - you must have chosen your position well! :)

Thank you Haddock, for leaving a comment on my blog..! I am flattered, and thanks for leading me to this interesting blog too!
Well, yes.. Though that sounded wierd, my hubby actually packed the sketchbook in my bag.. He knows the zen effect it has on me!

Gauri said...

Amazing photography! And well while some may consider your observations to be offensive, I somewhat agree with you. Especially the part where you mentioned that weddings seem to be fun occasions to us, whereas there are many individuals who attend weddings just to eat the food, and I guess who don't find the importance of wishing the newly wed couple. However, they probably have reasons for doing that too. I am not blaming anyone. But I found this post to be connecting to Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate Episode 3 on The Big Fat Indian Wedding. Very interesting to read. Keep writing :) And ofcourse, keep posting your photos :D

ExpressJodi said...

Fertility Rituals

Marriage is one of the biggest fertility rituals Known in Indian culture. When two people get married. they are said to enter grihasta ashram where they are expected to bear children. satify their sexual urge, earn money and follow religious practices. Hindu marriages profess the idea of coming together of the energies and paving way to a new creation.

Offering of Grains

Throughout India, one thing that remains common to all communities is offring of grains in wedding ceremony. Mostly rice, puffed rice or whole grains, these grains are fed to the sacred fire in different ceremonies.

Importance of Shiva's Bael leaves

Holy Bael leaves are proffered in several ceremonies before the wedding and after it. In many communities in india, before the wedding day arrives, Bael leaves are placed in earthen pots which are topped with different kinds of cereals. After the wedding, the sprouted seedlings are then released in a flowing river or a pool. This ritual is performed to invoke blessings of Lord Shiva upon the married couple and pray for their progeny.

Vishnu's pious Lotus

As per mythology, at the time of creation of the universe, while lord Vishnu was pondering over the creation of mankind, a pious lotus rose out of his navel. On that lotus was seated Lord Brahma who paved way to the creation and illumination of the universe. Thus, lotus remains symbolic of procreation, birth and fertility. It is Therefore, offered during wedding puja to the gods to confer potency upon the couple. Also, At the time of a Hindu wedding, the bride and the groom are given the stature of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu because they represent the eternal companionship and exemplify how a relationship between husband and wife should be.

Nose ring

Usually seen as a piece of accessory, almost all brides sport nose ring on their wedding day. In some communities, girls are told to get their nose pierced before they tie the knot.

Sacred coconut rituals

Across India, since time immemorial coconut has enjoyed its association with human fertility in a sacrosanct manner. In Gujarat, there is a ritual of bride presenting a coconut in a customary way to the groom at the time of the marriage. Here coconut is symbolic of the progency of the couple that the bridegifts the groom. Of all the fruits, coconut is most closely related to human skull because of the three marking on its base that resemble human facial features.

The mantras of virility

During saat pheras in a Hindu marriage, there are several mantras that are chanted for progency of the couple. While the first phera is for a long lasting companionship, in the second Phera, "Kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam", the bride promises the groom that she will fill his with love and will bear children of him.

The History

There was a time when potency was considered as the be all and all of all activities. The earliest ritual of fertility among Hindus can be dated back to the Harappan civilization where it has been discovered that people worshipped clay figurines of a mother goddess who represented fertility. Several phallic symbols representing gods in sitting position wearing bull's horns (Bull being a universal symbol of male potency) have also been found at the sites of indus Valley Civilization. As the world evolved and ancient civilizations paved way to the modern societies, marriage started being considered as a mandatory ceremony before women could conceive. Also, the idea of marriage was propelled by the thought of having the family legacy move ahead; so that families could get heirs.

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