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My First Hindu Wedding PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 July 2012
July 9, 2012
Supanaam

On our Sundays off work our little family has been exploring the Essequibo coast between the Essequibo and Pomeroon rivers.  The land here is all under sea level so most of the coast is protected by sea and dams. Our favorite beach has whitish sand and a little dark water river that flows out to the sea. This is where a group of fishermen go out to net tiny shrimp. They say there are plenty out there. When we spoke to them about our lives they said, “Oh you must go to meet the school head master Sir Maydha”. Since his house was nearby and it was a late Sunday afternoon we decided to drop in for a visit. The coast road where his house is located is lined with bright orange flowered Flamboyant trees. He and his wife were very friendly and showed us around their neighborhood. Just down the beach were the cremation grounds .Before we left he took us in his tiny highly decorated private temple and invited us to his daughter’s wedding where there would be 600 people.

When we arrived on the wedding day there were so many people the we debated about not pushing our way in. Soanya was dressed in a beautiful pink dress with gold trim and Darshen and I were wearing our matching black and white church clothes. We were ushered in and walked down the isle past the low stage where the bride and groom, musicians, parents and pundit sat cross legged. Everybody wore traditional dress. The groom wore a royal turban and the bride’s face was covered with beads. Just as we passed the stage some people got up and we sat down in their spots on the floor. We were exactly behind the stage, but discreetly situated to watch the ceremony from a front row seat. We were almost in the way of the musician who played the harmonium, which is a little hand pumping organ. All the musicians were sweating from their efforts and Darshen was mesmerized watching and listening to his favorite music, especially when the lady sang. The pundit began asking questions, which he said the bride and groom should answer “Yes” to. Then the bride and groom were tied together with a scarf and they began marching around a fire which they threw incense in. Then they were covered with a white sheet! The parents and other people joined in the ongoing ritual. The music got louder and louder, sweets were passed out and then it was announced that everybody could get up and go to the back of the house to eat.

We were curious and hungry so we paraded along with everybody else. The side yard and whole back yard had been covered over with sheet metal roofing to protect the guests from the hot sun and the inevitable rain. His back yard also served as a school room, so there were lots of tables and benches. As soon as we sat down servers began coming around. First we were given beautiful big green lily pad type leaves to eat on. Then each server came around with one item, rotis to eat with (there were no utensils), rice, dahl, vegetables, pumpkin, etc., etc. We were soon full and other people took our places as we got up. We had a chance to talk to Sir Maydha and his wife and a few other people and Darshen played balloons with the kids. We went back out to the wedding ceremony which was till going on. The bride and groom disappeared but soon returned in western wedding cloths. Everybody gave lots of speeches and when that ended modern Indian dance music came on that was so loud, it was an ear shattering experience to walk past the wall of speakers.

It was hot and crowed and we were ready for a swim, so we gratefully exited through the back door and went swimming in the little black river that flowed into the sea.

 
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