Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shaadi Part 3 - Wedding Part 3c

OK, this will be the last of the wedding posts :)
After the bride & groom are finished eating, then they split off into separate rooms (they aren't married yet!). This wedding hall had some great rooms that had mats all over the floor and even had AC in the rooms! It was great!!! So the groom and his friends & family went into one room and the bride and her friends & family go into another room. The next ceremony is the last ceremony - the Saat Phere. They can't do this part of the ceremony until the time that the Pundit (Hindu Priest) has previously told them. This one couldn't start until 2:30 am. So... we hung out and waited :) Many of the women slept on the mats on the floors during this time.
Here's a pic of Jaya's feet :) She had on 4 toe rings on each foot :) That many toe rings are pretty uncomfortable in the kind of shoes she had on though! She was ready to take these shoes off!
So this next part is really fun but can also feel really long because it's really late ;) There is a REALLY fun tradition that happens during this time ;) The bride's friends go to the groom's room and hang out over there. Their goal is to try to steal Deepansh's shoes (or at least one of them). There are rules though. You can't force it off his foot or take it off yourself. You have to trick him into giving you the shoe :) It's a really fun tradition :) The bride's friends are trying to get the shoe and the groom's friends are trying to keep the bride's friends from getting it. This part is supposed to be for just the single friends, but it's OK if you participate and are married :) haha! Adam was actually the one who tricked Deepansh into giving him his shoe (foreigners can get away with a lot :) haha!). He told him he loved that kind of shoe (in a long story) and wanted to know if he could try it on. He got the shoe and sat it down and the girls took the shoe and ran.

So, during most of this time, I stayed in Jaya's room with her. She would have been all alone (except for the sleeping ladies) and I didn't have tons of energy, so we had fun together (trying to both stay awake).
So the bride's friends hide the shoe and try to keep it hidden until the end of the wedding (the groom doesn't need his shoes until then anyway, so it's OK) :) The groom's friends try to find it. It's a fun game :)

So Jaya and I tried to take a serious South Asian Photograph. I think I look mad when I take a picture like this :) haha! It cracks me up :)
Actually it cracked both of us up! haha!
I tried to get a pic of us making funny faces :) I finally got her to do this (and I look like I'm about to fall asleep) :) haha! It makes me laugh :)
So, after a few hours of waiting, it's time for the last ceremony.
The Saat Phere (or Seven Vows)
It's usually a longer ceremony (about 2.5 hours). There is a Pundit (Hindu Priest) or two that lead it. Here is one of the Pundits.
Here are Jaya & Deepansh together during part of the ceremony.
So the Saat Phere is when the bride and groom walk around the fire together 7 times making vows to each other. Here are the 7 vows:
1. The couple prays for plenty of nourishing and pure food and that their god will let them walk together so that they will get food.
2. The couple prays for a healthy and prosperous life. They ask for the physical, spiritual and mental health from their god.
3. The couple prays for wealth. They ask for the strength for both of them so that they can share the happiness and pain together and that they can walk together to get wealth.
4. They pray for the increase in love and respect for each other and their respective families.
5. They pray for the beautiful, heroic and noble children from god.
6. They ask for a peaceful long life with each other.
7. They pray for companionship, togetherness, loyalty and understanding between themselves. They ask their god to make them friends and give the maturity to carry out the friendship for lifetime. (after this round they are officially married).

After the last round, the husband then says to his new wife that now they have become friends and they will not break their friendship in life.
So... that's it!
Well, sorta.... That's the entire wedding. They are now officially married.
There were still some ceremonies and a lot of traditions that took place the next few days (and are still going on). Jaya is now officially married and is now living with Deepansh and his family. It's very different than what we're used to in the US. I think that it's really neat to learn about different marriage customs. It really gives insight into the culture ;) Want to know any more? Let me know :)

Oh yeah! the Shoe!!! So, for the groom to get the shoe back at the end before they leave the wedding hall that next morning, he has to BUY his shoe back from the bride's friends :) This shoe went for 1100 rps :) Very fun :)

7 COmMeNTs FrOm PeOpLe wHo ROCK!:

sandra said...

I have LOVED all of these wedding post. Thank you for sharing so many details. I hope you are feeling good and enjoying this second pregnancy. You look just beautiful.

gloria said...

This was a really great series of the wedding. I love hearing about the culture. You make learning fun and interesting. The pix were great and you both look wonderful!!!!lovegg

Emily said...

I also loved reading all of the wedding posts. thank you so much for sharing them. I am curious how you and the bride became friends :) You know me, I always want more of the story. Also, is it just her closest friends that sit with her, steal the shoe, etc. And, this is random, but got me thinking... after all of the wedding ceremonial things they go through - are they allowed to get divorced in their hindi tradition?

Emily said...

I was confused for a second, thinking I had already commented. haha!
I am sad the wedding series is over. :( That was so interesting. I feel like I know Jaya after all these years! The shoe thing is cool - yet another thing I failed to learn over there!

Bri said...

So sad!!! No more pictures, its been amazing!!! I have LOVED them!!

SouthAsiaRocks said...

Hey Emily! Thanks!
I met the bride (Jaya) b/c Adam was going to her next door neighbor's house every day so they could help him with language. He was friends with Mayank (Jaya's brother) too and he said that his sis didn't have anything to do and would love to help me out... so I started going to her house every day for about a year and we became great friends! :)
Yeah it's her closest friends (and a few relatives that are young and friends - not grandparents or anything) that sit with her and stay all night, etc. It's almost the same as the bridesmaid.

With Hindu law, divorce is allowed, but there are laws that say what is grounds for divorce (Hindu Marriage Act 1955). They can't get divorced in their first year of marriage and there is a huge stigma attached to divorce here, so it's pretty uncommon. It happens more often in the bigger cities though.

alwaysjoyfuldejs said...

Thanks for the cultural education and incredible pics.