Hindu Weddings: The Fire Ritual

“In Indian weddings, or Hindu weddings actually…because in Indian weddings there are a lot of different Indian people…We do this thing where there’s like a bonfire in the middle, and the couple is supposed to tie their scarves in a knot and walk around the fire seven times…and this symbolizes that the couple will be together for their next seven lifetimes. We believe in soul rebirth.”

Context/Analysis: The informant was not told of this custom from another individual, it is just a tradition that permeated the world around her when she grew up. The same way the western world “grow up” around white dresses for weddings, the informant grew up in India around this wedding custom. It is merely part of the context and culture that she grew up in. This custom is significant to her because she believes it is very romantic and unique. American weddings tend to be very commercialized, but Indian wedding ceremony is very simple and spiritual. There is no legal contract. The act of walking around the fire symbolizes the marriage itself.