Different countries, different cultures
Today, we live in a multicultural world where all the cultures travel and get mixed. Hundreds of countries, thousands of cities, millions of people and we still sometimes feel like the world is a small village. How beautiful is that?
We want to share what we know and learn from others, widen our borders and get immerged in different perspectives of life and the world. Well, what better way to get to know another culture than through their weddings. This sacred day is important in every country and household, and it’s where we really see the real traditions of each region.
Let’s visit Asia, this beautiful place where the countries share the continent but where their traditions are as different one from another than they are compared to ours.
India is a very large country in the south of Asia with over 1 billion people living in it. Of course, if there are so many people, there are many religions, cultures and traditions. That means that weddings are not always similar and that each region lives the occasion in their own way. However, there are some traditions that can be spotted in different parts of the country and that are a very important part of the wedding.
In India, family is very important, so a wedding is not just an alliance between two individuals, but an alliance between the families. Originally, it wasn’t even a matter of love but a family choice. Today, this still happens sometimes, but even in love stories, the man will have to ask for the family’s blessing. If they accept, the rituals and ceremonies can begin!
Here, a wedding is a big deal because it’s sacred and unbreakable. So it will be a multiday event, going from 2 to 7 days, and in some occasions, 12 days. And these weddings are always deeply rooted in tradition, even if sometimes they add some modern touches.
First, like in morocco, they do the Henna ceremony. The women get together and they celebrate the bride while she gets henna tattoos on her hands and feet. After she’s got all the drawings to grant her protection, they will put some Turmeric on her to purify her body and soul and scare the evil eye away. The groom also goes through the turmeric ceremony, even though he doesn’t get the pretty tattoos.
Then, the “Sangeet” can begin. It’s like a walk-in reception with a few family performances. Everyone dances, sings and celebrates the soon-to-be-married couple. A common dance in some regions is the “Garba”, where all the guests dance in a circle, making music with wooden sticks.
The next day, when everyone is still exhausted about all the dancing and the singing, they will all meet for a praying ceremony. Depending on how many days their festivities last, this could be the same day as the “Baraat”.
The “Baraat” is by far my favorite tradition. It reminds me a lot of one of the Lebanese traditions and it’s something fun and beautiful that can be easily reproduced in a French wedding. Here, the grooms’ side goes to meet the bride’s side in a very joyful and loud way. Typically led by guys with loud instruments and music, this ceremony is very colorful, energetic, musical and magical. Everyone meets and start dancing to the rhythm of the drums. Usually, the groom appears at the end of the “Baraat” either riding an Elephant (okay, this might be harder to do in the middle of Paris), a horse (getting easier) or a very nice car (well, more boring than the exotic animals but at least you’re sure you’ll find one). This celebration could take the whole day or be the opening of the actual wedding ceremony.