Looking Indian

This past weekend was the wedding and celebrations of Ashwin’s sister’s wedding. While the days were slow to start (think breakfast at noon) the nights were long and filled with saris, sparkly jewelry, and laughter.

This was my first Hindu/Christian wedding experience, so it was very interesting to see how the bride and groom would combine all of their traditions while meeting both sides of the familys’ expectations. There was a Mendhi party, where the bride gets henna done on her arms, hands, and feet. All of the other women are also invited to get henna done on their hands. I only ventured to getting henna on my left, non-dominant hand. I didn’t trust myself to remember not to do anything with my right hand while the henna paste dried. Traditionally, the women chat while their henna dries, and their husbands bring them food and drink. Oh waiter! *snap snap*

It was at this same Mendhi party that I finally got to wear the beautiful sari that Ashwin’s mother had bought for me in India. There are three pieces– a half shirt, a silky floor length skirt, and then a more decorative wrap that goes on top of everything. Luckily Ashwin’s grandmother did the “wrapping” for me, as it was fairly complicated! At this party, I met much of Ashwin’s extended family and close friends. Many of them commented how Indian I looked, how well I wore the sari, that I looked like an Indian bride myself (thanks youtube video of “gold Indian bridal makeup”!) As a very pale blonde girl, I thought this was quite the compliment. The 3 inch gold and silver heels might have had something to do with pulling off that sari though.

This was only my second friend-wedding, but as I told Ashwin, this time in our lives is like Bat Mitzvah season all over again. I was honored to be involved with this wedding this past weekend, and really excited about all of the new people who I’ve met and will keep up with!

Location: North Carolina

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