Me and my brothers reached the wedding party a little bit late. At the bhatwaan on the day before the wedding, I was also late and had missed the hawan part, where the pandit cites some mantras and fire offerings take place. When we reached the wedding party, the nachaniya (dancer dressed as a woman) was leaving. The nachaniya comes along with the groom’s family, friends and acquaintances together with the groom. My sister told me that he hadn’t danced that much. She had captured a picture, so I can share that one with you guys.
The bride was just about to enter the maroh when we reached. All eyes were on the bride, and lots of people were taking pictures. She was looking very beautiful in her red wedding gharara. In Christian weddings, the traditional wedding gown color is white; in Hindu weddings it’s red. But just like not every Christian prefers getting married in white, not every Hindu bride gets married in red as well. In the past the bride would wear a saree, but now wedding gharara’s are also preferable. What the groom traditionally wears in Suriname, is a yellow jora jama over his shirt and pants. When the fire ceremony has taken place, the groom takes off his jora jama and wears his coat. The pandit (priest) wears a white dhoti and a white kurta. The bride and groom walked 7 rounds around the fire and took the wedding vows.
The fire ceremony taking place, where the baked grains are offered to the fire.
There was a happy atmosphere; people meeting each other after a very long time and having each other lots to tell about. The kids finding lots of other kids to play and run around with. One of my little nephews pulled on my salwaar and I looked down. He was like, ‘Take a picture of my shoes, take a picture of my shoes!’ His shoes were looking pretty dirty with sand, cause he had been running around with the other kids. The battery of my dad’s camera was low, and I wanted to take some more pictures of the bride, so I told him so. Some time later while I was sitting, he walked in my direction with a big smile and naughty twinkling eyes. He looked so cute that I wanted to take him in my lap, but was afraid that he would spoil my cloths, so I took him in my arms. ‘Do you want to see me turning you into a ghost’, he said to me. There was a grin on my face and he started messing up my hair. I was like, ‘No, no, no, all the people here will run away from this party.’
This is how the people at Indian wedding parties eat their rice, roti, daal, karhi, vegetables and chutney in Suriname. They sit on long bench rows, and people come with the food to ask them if they want it.
Aubergine with potatoes anyone?
The rings were put on each others fingers and the marriage papers were signed. Me and my sister had hidden the shoes of the groom, and we got money for returning the shoes and letting the groom inside the house. That’s also part of the wedding tradition.
In one of the rooms inside the house, which is called the ‘kohbar’, the groom had to lick rice-pudding from the bride’s finger. Then it was time for the ‘who gets to catch the cuff bracelet’ game. The bride’s sister-in-law held a cuff in her hand and she would let it fall, while the bride and groom has to catch it. Sometimes they play a game of ‘who gets to find the ring’. A ring is placed in a bowl with milk, and the bride and groom has to search for it. If the bride finds the ring or catches the bracelet, the women around teases the groom that his bride will rule over him.
After this game, the couple came out of the house and sat on the special bride and groom sofa. There was a long line of people wanting to congratulate the newly wedded couple.
The bride’s bouquet.
Then it was time to cut the cake.
This is how the wedding cake looked like.
Beautiful bride and groom cake toppers.
The cake was decorated with 2 stairs meeting each other, on which yellow roses and bride and groom figurines were placed.
The tea lights were lighted around the cake.
There was another band (Face 2 Face), and they were playing romantic music while the cake was being cut. The cake was a bit too sweet, but the topping was yum. Then it was time to open the Champaign. Everyone got to taste it as well. The cake cutting and Champaign are actually Western influence. I don’t drink Champaign, so not for me.
The bride and groom then were the 1st ones to dance and the band played a romantic Indian song. After this song everyone joined in. My cousins and nephew also took me to the dance floor, so I also danced along. I mostly don’t like dancing in public, but when there’s a family party, I do join in. The band rocked the floor.
It was almost 3’oclock when my parents wear leaving the party. I also wanted to get some sleep, so I left with my parents. My parents had to be back for the farewell at 4:30. I had slept for an hour and then left to the farewell at 5 o’clock. My younger sister was feeling very sleepy, cause she got home very late and took a nap for only a few minutes. I think my brother hadn’t slept at all. When we reached at my cousin’s, the groom & his relatives were about to have their meal in the maroh. And then it was time for the bride’s relatives to wish the bride and groom and say their farewells. Indians are kind of sensitive, so there was also a little bit of tears and crying. And no, I didn’t cry.:)
Packed sweets were ready to take along to the groom’s home.
The bride and groom left to the bride’s house in a decorated car surrounded by the smoke of fire crackers that were let off.
That’s the end of the wedding story, and I’m wishing my cousin and her husband lots of happiness for a lot of years to come!