Trip Start Mar 09, 2006
19Trip End Mar 28, 2006
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After breakfast we all piled on to a bus and headed out. After a couple of minutes the bus stopped and everyone got off and got in front of the car that Amol was in and behind a band that was playing really loudly. We then proceeded to walk and dance the rest of the way to the wedding hall. I've been told that this is called Baraat and the point of it is to embarrass the groom before he gets married. The whole thing was pretty fun and I figure the equivalent to the bride walking down the aisle.
Once we got to the wedding hall, Nameeta's family and the priest met us outside to perform a set of rituals
Throughout the day there were a number of different rituals (I'm sure there is another word for the things that went on but I don't know it) and I don't know the meaning of all of them but I was told the general flow is that Amol and Nameeta meet each other, Nameeta's parents give her away to Amol, Amol pledges himself to her and then Amol's family welcomes Nameeta into the family. I took a bunch of pictures and where I can I've tried to explain what is going on at that part. The whole ceremony took about 7 hours but there was breakfast and lunch served during that time. We ate lunch once but then we were invited to sit with Amol and his family for a second lunch that was put together in honor of Amol's mother. Needless to say we were pretty full by the end.
After the wedding we went back to the hotel and crashed. We got up for dinner but then went to bed again soon after that. I think the jet lag was finally catching up with us.
The whole day was pretty amazing and probably a once in a lifetime experience. It was nice to get to see a different side to India. India like the United States can not be defined by one area or group of people. There are many different faces to the country and I think it has been a unique experience to get to see what typical tourists see and also experience a special day with an Indian family.