Saturday, September 13

Vidai: The Farewell

The final phase of an Indian wedding, the Vidai. Vidai is the ceremony when the bride bids farewell to her parents after the wedding. This is a very emotional time during a traditional Indian wedding and there is not a dry eye among the participants. It is common to see family members and the couple bawling from the emotion that overwhelms the event.

In India, there are extended households; the son, especially the oldest or only son, cares for his parents and unmarried siblings. The bride then moves in with this family and her commitments are to the groom's family more than her own.

In Vidai, symbollically, the bride is leaving her parents' home and her family for good to become an integral part of her husband's family. This is the final moment that marks the end of her closest bond with her parents. From this moment onwards, she would have the closest bond with her husband and her in-laws.

During the ceremony, the eldest female member of the family comes forward and offers nabad to the couple three times. She kisses the couple on the forehead. The bride is then seated in a car and friends and relatives bid her good bye.

Click on the title of this post to see a Bollywood version of Vidai from the movie "Babul."

Our Vidai will take place the morning after our wedding ceremony on November 30th.

Friday, September 12

Music and Dance: The Sangeet

Sangeet means music, but in the case of a Hindu wedding, it refers to a song and dance filled event that takes place a few days before the wedding. Traditionally, women are the only ones to take part, though some men are allowed. During the event, ladies will sing traditional Indian songs, dance, and joke around with guests.

During my friend Mridula's wedding, the Sangeet was a talent show of sorts, showcasing the dance skills of friends, families, and the couple themselves!

Our Sangeet will take place on the rooftop of Sulekh's home on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th. My mom is sprucing up her moves and getting ready to show Muzaffarpur how California girls get down.... On second thought, I think we'll catch my mom up on some of the latest Bollywood moves, right mom!

Above is a clip of what Sue and my Sangeet will resemble and below is a fancier Sangeet performance from the movie "Monsoon Wedding."