Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sikh Wedding

The Sangeet, which happened on Tuesday, got us primed up for the main wedding event coming on Saturday. It was a wild outdoor evening party filled with song and dance. It stretched late into the night and there was PLENTY of food and drink. It was a fantastic, exotic occasion. Indians do know how to party.
The main wedding started on Saturday at 9:00. The first event was the Milni; a simple ceremony where both families and wedding parties exchange well wishes on meeting each other. This is followed by light snacks and tea before the religious ceremony begins. After the Milni, a breakfast was served. 
Along with Punjabi Dancers and singers we made a slow joyous procession to the Sikh temple where the wedding- the Ananad Karaj would be held. An elephant ridden by the groom, Gopi, led the procession. 
Meaning joyful union, the Ananad Karaj was held at11:00. Sikh weddings traditionally take place before 12:00. This Anand Karaj took place at the Sikh Temple called a Gurdwara. The Anand Karaj ceremony is a happy event in which families and friends from both sides are heavily involved.
We all made our way to the Temple and took our places seated on the floor to view the 
Laava, or four stanzas. The Lavvan are read and sung during the ceremony to formalize and sanctify the marriage. The bride follows her husband, while holding a piece of cloth, four times around the central alter. The guru whispers the four golden rules of married life in her ear as she follows her husband during each round. Anu, the bride was tearful as she saw her old life fade. It was a beautiful event.
Following the ceremony is a Langar or a formal lunch where the newly married couple sits for the first time as husband and wife to receive the families and all the wedding party. Traditionally, the Groom grows a beard until the marriage and the shaves it off after the wedding. Gopi was clean-shaven for the Langar.
Gopi and Anu - Bride and Groom
This was the end of the wedding for us so we headed back the Taj hotel to unwind and get ready for our trip back to California the next day. The trip back was quicker and went back to Delhi and stayed at the Trident hotel in Gurgaon near DEL. It is one of the nicest hotels in India and they upgraded us to a suite. At LHR we stayed at the 5-star Sofitel London Heathrow that was brand new, fresh, clean and very French . . . imagine a superb Brasserie Roux at the airport.
The trip to India to be part of our friend’s Sikh wedding was outstanding and it was something we’ll never forget.

1 comment:

  1. Patrina FontenetteDecember 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Congrats on your wedding. You had a great celebration to honor it. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. Dancing and smiling everyone Happy