Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bring on the bridegroom

According to Hindu astrology, now is an auspicious time to get married and as a result there are numerous weddings. Most people, of course, have their partners chosen for them by their parents although the happy couple do apparently get a chance to meet their intended and an opportunity, in theory, to say if they don't like the person chosen for them. As well as dictating the day you get married, astrology plays a big part in the selection of your wife or husband. Not only do you have a star sign based on the month you were born, you also have one based on the day you were born and both of yours have to match your future partner's for it be considered a good match. You also have to be from the same caste and your family has to be considered a "good" one - the family history is studied and discussed at length. Unfortunately I don't know anyone who is getting married so I haven't been invited to any weddings. However, India is a place where life is lived on the street so you don't actually have to be invited to enjoy the fun. I haven't seen a bride – I think they're kept under wraps at home - but the groom is paraded through the streets preceded by a live brass band (amplified by numerous speakers tied to a cycle-rickshaw) and a gang of his male friends and relatives carrying large electric lanterns. There are also numerous fireworks set off in amongst the procession and, from what I can work out, at the venue itself. If there are, say, three weddings going on the near vicinity as there are tonight, you really do feel as if you're in the middle of a party and as we're currently half way through a scheduled three-day power cut it provides ample entertainment to while away the dark evenings – the music does, however, go on until about 3am but, as I'm not going to work at the moment because there's no power, I can always sleep in tomorrow. Click here to see more photos.

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