Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jaya's Engagement!

My good friend Jaya (Mayank's sister that lives in M-town) - just got engaged!  On Sunday, I took the trip to M-town to go to her Engagement Ceremony (or Ring Ceremony).  It was a lot of fun :)!  
First Stop - Beauty Parlor!  We walked a little ways down the street to a lady's house.  The beauty parlor was in one of the rooms in her house.  Jaya had already been to her house that morning to get her hair done, but now it was time for the makeup.  This beauty parlor was interesting because it only had 2 light bulbs in the whole room (and they were the energy saver kind that were dimmer than the regular ones), so it wasn't that bright inside the room.   Here's a pic of Jaya in the chair getting her makeup done.   Notice that her hair is crimped.  They use the crimper on people's hair when it's a special occasion - awesome!!!
They put a bindi on her head and then the lady painted more and made it super fancy.
Here's the finished product (after 1.5 hours)!  She looks awesome :)
Me and 3 of her other friends were with her at the beauty parlor.  When she finished it was about 12:45 (and the party was supposed to start at 12:00).  I am used to things starting late here in South Asia, but I'm usually just sitting around and waiting.  It was nice this time to be a part of the reason it was late :)   When we got to the party place (TimBuk Too), we stood outside for a few minutes (so that they could tell the people inside that she was there).  It was fun, it was like walking down the aisle and we were the bridesmaids.  We all walked inside slowly and everyone was taking pictures.  It was fun :)   

When we got in the room, there were two rows of chairs on the right side of the room for the future groom and his family and some Friends, there were two rows of chairs on the left side of the room for the future bride and her family and some friends and there were mats in the middle of the room.   The engagement/ring ceremony is a smaller event than a wedding.  It's pretty much only for close family and a couple of friends of the future bride and groom.  I felt really honored to have been invited.
So, as soon as Jaya got there, Deepansh (the future groom) and his family & friends (mostly men) sat on the mats while Jaya and the future bride's side of the family sat in the chairs.  After this, they began the ceremony.  I'm not sure of everything that was going on in the ceremony, but Jaya's dad & brother (Mayank) were giving Deepansh (future groom) many different things and gifts and taking a lot of pictures!  This part of the ceremony was pretty short.
Then it was Jaya's turn.  First they put out & displayed all the gifts from Deepansh's family.  There was gold jewelry, makeup, saris, bangles, dolls, stuffed animals, sweets, and much more!  
Then Jaya sat down (and the other ladies there sat down) and her part of the ceremony began.
The men's part of the ceremony was very quiet and pretty quick, but this one was different.  One woman played the drum and everyone was singing songs.  It was really fun.  While they were singing, Deepansh's family was giving her all of the gifts.
They gave her this fancy sari (in the pic below).  They gave her all the gifts that were shown in the picture a little further up on the page, but with most gifts, they  didn't just give them to her, but put them on her.  The put the sari over her head, they put a little of the jewelry on her, they put some of the makeup on her, they gave her some of the sweets, etc. 
Here's the happy couple :)  Like most Indian marriages, it was an arranged marriage.  I think I'll do a blog post on arranged marriages soon.  They are a lot different than we in America think.  Jaya's match was really great and they're really excited about getting married.
Next, they exchanged rings.  These rings are fancy!
Here's Jaya's ring.
Here's Deepansh's ring.
Next, their family fed them sweets.   They had to take at least a bite off of every sweet that was given to them.  They had to take a lot of bites :)
After that, they took picture with the guests.  This picture is bad, but it is the only picture I have from the whole day, so I'm posting it :)
Here's Jaya and her family with Deepansh!
Then it was time to eat!!!!  I was starving - it was about 2:45.  Me and my friend Luxmi were very hungry, so we got in line, got our food, and ate.  As we were eating, I realized that only the grooms family was eating... I pointed this out to Luxmi and she said - Oops! We're supposed to wait for the grooms family to get served before the bride's side eats!  So we went in the corner to finish our food :)   
Jaya & Deepansh got to eat and share a plate :) 
Here are some cute kids that were at the party.  They kept wanting their pictures taken :)
At this event, the bride gets her gold necklace.  They only wear these on special occasions.  They are gold and super fancy!  It's a way to show that you're married.  I think it looks cool!
At the end, after a majority of people had left, Deepansh left in his car and then most of his family left.  Everyone came outside to say goodbye.  Jaya's family posed for a picture.
We are going to be a part of the entire wedding, so I'll be posting a lot about how weddings work here.  The actual wedding is going to be in the Fall, and it will be about a week long - so I'll have a LOT of pictures!!!

11 COmMeNTs FrOm PeOpLe wHo ROCK!:

Carie said...

WOW!!! That is so cool!! What a fun experience!! I love how different cultures do their weddings and engagements. So full of meaning and culture.COOL!!

Char said...

I'm looking forward to all those wedding posts! That'll be interesting! What a fun day!

Erin G said...

how cool that you got to be a part of the special day. she looks so beautiful!

Misty Burns said...

abigail was looking at this post with me...she said "wow, things over there are so pretty"

gloria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gloria said...

I'm just so happy to see that this special day (the engagement ) is so special!!!!They look very happy and very committed to each other. They are so beautifulllll and I know they have been very good friends to you and adam and aashini, I'm excited for them and for their wedding and am looking forward to more piz!!!I think there maybe something good to say about arranged weddings.

Life in Green-Land said...

I'm looking forward to those wedding & arranged marriage posts. Gracie asked me the other day if my husband & I had met before our wedding day...

Brandon and April said...

wow! this was really interesting to me!! and I LOVE the picture of the 4 boys! It looks like it should be in a national geo magazine! the color balance on it is incredible! soooo cool! :)

Roberts said...

I was gonna say the same thing as the last commenter, the pic you took of the boys looks like it belongs in a magazine. You're such a good photographer!
Jaya looked so beautiful! Is your sari new? For some reason I don't remember seeing you in that one before. Did she tell you how much any of it cost? My friend Nidhi showed me one of her engagement gift saris and said it cost 40000Rs...that's more than my wedding gown cost!!
I'm looking forward to the weddings pics. That's so cool you were invited to be part of the engagement ceremony!!

allhisblessings said...

It's fascinating to me how they put so much emphasis on the jewelry and decoration of their bodies. I think I wore only thin pearl necklace at my wedding! Anything more would have made me feel overdone!

lea said...

so cool and i can't wait to read all about the arranged marriages since i think i should be able to arrange the marriages of my three children (they DO NOT think that, but i am willing to give them time to get used to the idea....)