Wedding Part 2

What was most impressive about the wedding (besides the million poojas that no one besides the “priest” really knew anything about) was the way people treated me. At every point in time, I felt as if someone was looking out for me. Mostly I was taken care of by Nupur and his mom, but for much of the time Nupur’s cousin-sister’s (or as we might just call it, cousin) mother in law, who apparently carries a big role in the wedding, helped me out quite a bit. She let me wear, offered, her jewelry for my various outfits (which is a really big deal), she made sure she said “let’s go” when I was sitting near her. When I wasn’t with Nupur, I hung out with the older women. It was fun. I encountered two times that I became a celebrity, The first was when I wore my saree. Everyone said how nice I looked. I think it was just because I’m a foreigner wearing an Indian outfit. Someone asked for a picture of me, “just because you look so pretty in a saree.” The second time was when I finally spoke with some of the younger folks one of the girls asked for a picture as well.
I also discovered that I understand a lot more Hindi than Marathi. The language barrier was much bigger than it usually is because the language spoken at the wedding was Marathi.
After the last ceremony, the wife leaves her family, Swarda left Kolhapur, to join Atul and his family in Pune. It’s usually a big emotional time for the girl, her family, and friends. Everyone cries as they walk the girl to the car. It’s the first time she’s really leaving the house usually. Swarda’s family and friends were in tears, but I was impressed that Swarda held it together really well. I was ready with a speech which compared her with me, that I’m half way across the world from my family and friends, but I didn’t have to. It was great. In sum, I’m just really happy and feel privileged that I was able to take part in the wedding. The ride home was long and tiring. We didn’t really sleep on Saturday night. We played a song game, the game where you sing a song and the opposite team has to begin a song with the last sound of the last line of the song. After which Nupur and I played a capoeira game. What I didn’t know on Saturday night was that we were to get up at 6:00 the next morning. I had to take a nap after breakfast. The ride back was long though. Everyone slept at some point. Atul’s family arranged for dinner along the road for the guests. The food was amazing, but then prolonged the trip. When we got back to Atul’s place, there was another small ceremony to welcome Swarda into the house, into the family. There were flower petals outside that led into the foyer. From the balcony, they dropped petals on the newlyweds. The couple and Atul’s family recited a few lines and they went inside. Atul’s friends drove me home. I reached by 1:30. It was a great cultural and fun experience.

More to come tomorrow.

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