Indian Wedding Ritual

“Alright, Indian weddings…Indian weddings are known for being the longest things on Earth. And, and, they usually go on for like a week. Well, they used to go on for a week, but now they’ve gotten more modern about it and they want to get it over with. Um, so it’s become short, which is like three days. And that’s not including the vari—uh—various, I don’t know, customs and traditions that like, come before it. Oh, I guess the one thing we have in common is an engagement. Basically the guy proposes to the girl, blah blah blah, and there’s a formal engagement ceremony where he puts a ring – they both put rings on each other’s fingers, and then there’s a party. That’s usually like the year before, because that one year goes into, like, preparing for that one week of marriage festivities, because it’s a huge deal in India. And like, relatives call, like, the most distant relatives you can ever imagine, as like, invitations for their wedding and stuff. And then, and then, yeah, basically, there’s like little things, like small games that the girl plays with the boy – just bonding games I guess. Oh, also, in India, there’s like a huge, I mean it’s decreasing, but it’s still a system, of like arranged marriages – like the parents decide who the kids marry. I don’t agree with it at all, but, I don’t know, a large majority of parents still follow that. So, um, yeah, and then the first one is like, the wedding, er, the day of the wedding. People wear like traditional Indian clothes and there’s lots of food caterers around and there’s like a huge deal that people splash a lot of money. And um, yeah, so the most significant part of the wedding is like these seven rounds that the couple takes around the fire – yeah, there’s a fire, like a controlled fire – they have this like, two by two foot box or square, and they light it on fire. And basically the guy and the girl, they like walk around it seven times – I don’t know why seven. The number seven has some significance, like seven lives or something. And yeah, so people throw rice at them – it’s a form of good luck – and yeah, there’s a priest who chants while the couple walks around and stuff. And once they get married, the wife puts a huge garland of flowers on the guy’s neck, of course but yeah, that’s also a very significant part. And then there’s little things, like putting tikkas – a powder that you put on the forehead and stuff – and yeah, that’s pretty much the wedding day. And then the next day is generally called a reception – like I said, it’s a long affair. The next day, people change their clothes, and wear like, westernized clothes, I guess – like suits and stuff. And this is just for like the couple to greet everybody – like everybody who came. So they literally stand on a podium or a stage, then they greet, hug, or shake hands with every single person who attended their wedding. So it’s a pretty tiring affair, then they shake hands with every person who comes. And then they have this huge feast – actually they have huge feasts all the time for wedding, but yeah. So that’s pretty much it – oh yeah! The next most significant part is saying bye to the bride. Basically, the girl goes and lives with the guy in a new house, or in the guy’s old house. But she basically leaves her own family, so it’s a sad affair, and the girls usually start crying and it’s very sappy – I’ve seen it happening a couple times. Oh! There’s also this thing called a Baraat, which is like this huge procession that happens before the wedding, where basically, before the wedding, the groom sits on a horse, uh, and like people dance around them and give them more. Like they literally make garlands for them out of money and give them to the groom and stuff. Then they like march towards the wedding, then they get married, and then after the wedding, the bride and the groom both sit on the horse, and then go to someplace. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.”


As my informant is 18 years old, he’s a ways off from actually being an active bearer in the sense of being the groom in the wedding, but as he has participated in the activities that the guests partake in he is very much an active bearer in that sense. He was very enthusiastic in sharing this information with me as this particular section of information that he included the most details in. I find the length of the marriage celebration to be very fascinating. Three days for a wedding, and in previous years an entire week seems like a very tiring period of exuding nothing but excitement and joy. I actually wish to experience the festivities of an Indian wedding some day.