Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Attending a Desi Wedding in Cincinnati

Labor day weekend went by rather well! Whenever any sort of long weekend creeps up, my family begins by expressing a warm, embracing intention to vacation somewhere. This wishful thinking must be quite taxing because my parents seem to move directly onto appeased inaction, bypassing the entire stage where one normally would book a flight and a room. This brilliant tactic of omission allows a vacation "planned" a month in advance to disintegrate into ether, leaving my family panic stricken the week of our supposed excursion and ultimately resigned to satiate our wanderlust another time. Despite this, somehow, maybe when the stars align, we get our act together and manage to go somewhere. This labor day weekend owes itself to one such cosmic arrangement. And, oh, what a weekend it was!

The Groom as White Knight

The Bride and Groom

Weddings are always special occasions, but this desi wedding meant a three-day gala affair with the groom riding on a white stallion! In the picture to the right you can see the groom mounted on the steed. Truth be known, an equestrian trainer pulled it along, and it was for less than an hour, but still... a horse!

Since the groom is Tamilian and the bride is Gujarati, the wedding combined traditional North Indian style with traditional South Indian style. Hey, if it means more variety in sweets for the guests, I say combine away!

Unfortunately, owing to the paucity of Indian weddings I've attended, I'm not exactly sure which all aspects were Southern inspired and which all were Northern inspired. The ancillary use of the horse, by the way, is primarily a North Indian phenomenon, and may even be confined further to Gujarat. I know, I know, I'm a bad coconut with only a vague understanding of these things. I'm trying, right?

The photo to the left shows the general theme and the apparel worn. The guys in red on the rightside are mostly the groom's friends from Chicago. The girls in red saris are sisters of the bride. People are pumping their arms into the air as they dance to Hindi music in a procession behind which faint and gentle clacks of horseshoes emanate.

Arches and candles are among the more artistic items one can capture with a still; yet, some guy has the impeccable timing to get up and ruin my shot. Oh well.

I probably should cast a little of Cincinnati's limelight over on Kentucky since the latter is where most of the events actually took place. Barefaced about being a geography dunce, I never realized Cincinnati practically grows out from Ohio and into Kentucky! Makes me wonder, though, if Mr. Ed from the first photograph was ever in the Kentucky derby.

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