Wednesday, August 22, 2007

change the lightbulb, wiggle the hips

A dear friend of mine married this lovely fella on the weekend and they had a traditional Hindu ceremony. Well, 1/3 traditional - they chopped what is normally a three-hour ceremony to a one-hour ceremony.

A few surprises for me:
  • Drinks and snacks were provided, and you munch and chat and watch what's going on through just about the whole ceremony! People get up and walk around every now and then, even just go stand by the dais that the priest is sitting on. It's lively.
  • Even though beautiful to begin with, the bride changes clothes part way through (in private) into a red sari given to her from the groom's family. When she returns to the ceremony, draped in silk and gold, she is the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen.
  • I have had most colours redefined for me through the glory of saris.

One of my favourite little moments from the wedding was when I noticed the couple, about forty-five minutes into the extravaganza, find each others' fingers. That's their Hindu priest in the front, saying a prayer in Sanskrit.

That night, the bride's lean and pretty thirteen year old cousin all the way from Sri Lanka taught us a range of amazing Bollywood dance moves. I'm still practicing.

It was on a Sunday afternoon because according to tradition you have to pick a date and time that works astrologically. I was on the dance floor until midnight, then back to bed, slept until 4 AM and then got up to do the five-hour drive back to my hometown to be at work Monday morning. That hurt almost as much as the delicious, spicy pakoras ripping through my unaccustomed intestinal tract* the whole way back.

Thank Vishnu for clean restrooms at regular intervals all along the dreaded 401**.

*lubricated with predictably gut-rotting Tim Horton's coffee, a sentimental Canadian favourite
**and in one spot, 16-freaking-lanes wide


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