Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/10/19
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish
Context/Background: The Informant is an Indian-American who has witnessed wedding customs tailored to suit an astrological calendar in order to promote success and prosperity of Indian Marriages.
“When you get married and you’re supposed to check like… the person’s astrological sign or something- or when they were born and then you like compare the two. And that timing will like… determine when it’s okay for the literal marriage ceremony to take place. So the wedding can go on for the entire day, but the time the wedding ceremony takes place happens at on specific dates and times. Obviously, some people just ignore it… but like… in the summertime, I was in India and my cousin fully like… he fully got married. Like had a wedding in the middle of the night. So that happened. If you look it up online, I’m sure you’ll find something. And there’s like a special calendar that you can buy from the temple that’ll like tell you! Like, Oh! This is your day, and this is their day, like it’s cool to get married on this day. And like, yeah my grandma has one in her kitchen and she like… refers back to it sometimes, and it’s like ‘When is it okay?'”
Introduction: The Informant was introduced to this custom through her family; more specifically, her grandmother.
Analysis/Interpretation: I find this ritual interesting because I’d never seen marriages that strayed from a daytime setting. The notion that the actual ceremony should occur at a specific time is actually really sentimental and I’d find much meaning in designating a particular time to get married. I feel as though many astrological encounters have been accentuated more recently in popular culture, but to find them more engrained seriously in cultures’ traditions opens up another insight on it. This leads me to wonder how other cultures may have additional differing wedding customs which I’d like to explore in more depth.