Indian wedding

The reason we returned to Calcutta so soon was because Arnab invited us to his wedding.

Arnab is a friend of ours that we met last time we were here. He gave me a gift of earrings (the same ones he gave his girlfriend, he told me) as well gave Jacob and I as a statue of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh for a wedding gift. He would hand me the phone sometimes to talk to his girlfriend, who lived in Mumbai.

Naturally we assumed Arnab was marrying the same girl.

So imagine our astonishment when we came to Calcutta to find out it was a different one!

Because his original girlfriend’s family forbade their union since she was a Brahmin and he only of the warrior caste, it turns out we were to attend an arranged marriage, not a love one.

Somewhat of a sad story, no?

It was an honor to attend, but we didn’t expect the amount of attention that we received. We were invited to all close family functions and were next to Arnab during some of the most important rituals. As always, we are overwhelmed at the hospitality of people from Calcutta.

The rituals included things like lifting the bride and carrying her around in a circle 3 times, having the groom try to spear something with the point of his hat, and incense and burning. While we didn’t know what was going on, neither, we were assured, did the bride and groom.

Sounds like my own wedding, actually.

The ceremony took place at 3 am. We were all so exhausted, but that was the auspicious time for that particular date.

I had no idea astrology was still so important in India until this trip.

The last wedding we attended in India was much more raw. This wedding, the people were more well-to-do, and rituals were performed because it was tradition. Last time, it felt they married that way because they knew no other way.

So I learned it was a huge faux pas to not wear a necklace with your sari. I made sure to wear one at the reception.

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The tradition after the wedding is over is for the bride’s friends to bargain aggressively with the groom for him to give them a sum of money for their troubles in helping the bride to prepare for the wedding. Jacob got closer to observe the foray.

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I haven’t mastered eating with my fingers yet…nor do I really have any desire to.

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They have similar feeding each other rituals to ours Smile

 

We were also invited to the groom’s family luncheon, the bride’s family luncheon, and gift opening. So honored Smile

The gifts Indians give each other are so cute. Like saris folded into cannons, and a ship with the list of who gets what inside

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This little boy made up a rap about us, that began, “Jacob and Kalli ran in a rally…” hilarious kid.

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These girls asked for workout advice. It’s really amazing to me the lack of physical education awareness for women. Like women just don’t have much opportunity to be active.

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And of course, trays and trays of sweets as gifts from the bride’s family to the groom’s.

It was a great experience and we were glad to get to be a part of it.

One of my regrets is that I didn’t attend more of my own friend’s weddings from back home, and that I didn’t make more of an effort to include my loved ones in my own wedding. So I’m going to try to attend as many weddings as I can from now on.

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 364 awesome articles for us.

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