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.
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.