I asked your advice, awhile back, about whether we should go to the Hindu wedding that was taking place in our family. Lots of you kindly responded with wise advice and encouragement and I really appreaciated your advice!
We decided that we would go to both the christian and hindu parts of the wedding, mostly because we've always resolved in our marriage not to continue on the conflicts of our respective families. On both sides there have been fallings out but we have always felt that we have a choice as a new family unit to do something different starting at our own wedding where we invited our families regardless of which side of the various feuds they were on.
It really was a great day - fascinating to sit in a small church in Windsor which dated back almost 1,000 yrs for the traditional christian wedding, to feel the depth of history and to see so many of the indian family enthusiastically joining in the Lords prayer - the brides family definately outnumbered the grooms which was another reason we were glad we were there.
The boys were pretty well behaved altho Dan was a bit upset that he couldn't walk down the aisle but that's where copious snacks come in to play ;). It was great for both Nathan and Daniel to meet some of their wider family and they both really bonded with Deb's uncle who Dan had never seen and Nathan had last met when he was 1 at another wedding!
It was really interesting experience to take part in the Hindu family - to see the greeting of the families, each member of the family embracing their opposite number and exchanging flower garlands.
We may exchange rings but there were far more beautiful symbolic acts in the Hindu ceremony:
- the bride and groom feeding each other yoghurt mixed with honey to reflect being sweet to each other in the midst of life;
- the couple being tied together to show that there lives were now bound up together;
- cooking a meal together; and
- making 7 vows to each other whilst walking around a fire.
The religious bit (which was translated into English as well) was also pretty neutral, the vows seemed to be in the presence of our Lord (so I thought Jesus) and the gathering and any fears of oppresive spiritual forces at work seemed to have been greatly exagerated.
So I am very glad i went and was part of the couple's very special day! The only downside was at the meal being told to go and queue up for some very nice roast lamb only to find that all the Indians were being directed elsewhere to a table with loads of gorgeous curries!!! Now that's just cruel!