As a child I was always in awe at Hindu weddings. I must admit, I still get just as excited now, if not more. It’s the day every girl dreams of. The groom riding in on a white horse and the rich, brightly colored, intricately detailed outfits. The huge "mandaps" that the bride and groom get married under, the long ceremonies, the complex henna tattoos, and the extremely large extended families that come together for a few days of wedding festivities.

 

 

Each ceremony serves a purpose and has a meaning. These traditions are passed on from generation to generation, and no marriage is complete without them. For example, nearing the end of the procession, the bride and groom must take 7 steps around a fire. Each step represents a vow to your significant other. The priest will recite prayers and vows in Sanskrit, of which certain words the bride and groom will then repeat. Sanskrit is considered the language of holy ceremonies and for the most part, only professional Hindu ceremony priests know how to speak it anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t say enough about what I’ve experienced at these functions. From the amount of people you meet to the amount of fun you have with family and friends makes you completely forget about the amount of weight you gain.

 

Growing up in a Hindu household, I feel very blessed to have been exposed to, essentially, the best of both worlds. I was born and raised here in New Jersey, nurtured by both the American and Hindu culture. I’m very lucky that I have the opportunity to one day pass both cultures down to my children and I hope they will appreciate it just as much as I do.