Already two months have
gone since I arrived in Mumbai; just enough time to profoundly fall in love
with this amazing city.
Mumbai is such a pulsing
place, with so much to offer! And the people are really open and nice here. It was
very easy to make new friends.
One of them just got
married and I cannot help to tell you more about this important event.
INDIAN WEDDINGS ARE FULL OF TRADITIONS
- A large majority of Indian marriages are still arranged
by the groom’s and bride’s parents
over 90% of the Indian weddings are still arranged marriage, Christian and
Hindu community confounded.
However, this number principally reflects the situation in rural
areas or smaller towns. In larger cities like Mumbai and Delhi, “love
marriage” are much more common but their frequency depends largely on the
ethnical, educational and financial backgrounds of the families.
- Religion, cast, horoscope and social status are
main criteria for matching couples
groom’s parents take a particular care in choosing the bride as she will
come and live in their house after the wedding. Therefore, they pay
attention that her education and character is suitable with their
lifestyle and habits. For that purpose, discrete inquiries are made among
friends or classified ads are placed in the Sunday edition of the Times of
India. Criteria like religion, cast, language (every Indian state has more
or less its own language), vegetarian habits, education and current professional
position play a key role in the selection process. An assessment of the
compatibility of the spouses’ horoscopes as well as the amount of the
bride’s gift are the last hurdles for identifying the perfect match.
- Colourful and noisy corteges precede and follow
the wedding ceremony
noisy and colourful cortege leads the groom to the wedding ceremony.
Typically, the groom sits on a white horse and a very loud brass band
leads the march. Crackers are thrown on the way and dozens of close
friends and relatives follow the band dancing frenetically on the beat of
The bride on the other side comes discretely by car to the ceremony’s
location and wait there for a future husband. Hers hands are beautifully
painted with henna and she wears a special ring in her nose with a fine
chain reaching the side of her head.
During the ceremony itself, water and silver coins are poured over the
clasped hands of the spouses. Finally, they walk seven steps around a
sacred fire, thus making their marriage irrevocable.
- The reception following the ceremony can easily
gather several hundreds guests
From there, a new cortege is built and bring the freshly married spouses
to the reception location (click here
for some pictures). There, easily several hundreds of relatives,
friends or business partners (from both, the spouses and their parents)
will join and come to congratulate them.
The reception’s location is typically a large court brightly decorated. In
the front, the spouses sit together on a small stage waiting for the
guests to come and greet them. In the middle of the court, the guests sit
on chairs arranged in several rows like in a cinema and watch the people
congratulating the spouses. Later in the evening, a huge Indian buffet
rich of various curries, rice and different flat breads like naan and roti
is served and music is played in the background.
Last updated: 3/2/2003 5:26 PM
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