Re: Now, even Hindu brides walk down the aisle

ModerateMallu wrote:

On 12/13/2009 8:23 PM, P. Rajah wrote:

Now, even Hindu brides walk down the aisle

Mansi Choksi, TNN 14 December 2009, 04:05am IST

If the idea of a wedding reception invokes the image of an overdressed
couple sweating on gaudy medieval thrones with fake smiles firmly in
place, we hope it’s sepia-toned. The upper-crust urban reception, which
had long moved off the wobbly stage, has now evolved further—chhas has
been nudged out by champagne, shehnai is getting remixed with Shakira,
and saptapadi is preceded by a walk down the aisle.

Welcome to the new age fusion wedding, where Indian rituals are blended
with western and Bollywood’s been partially nudged out by Hollywood.

“The big fat Hindu wedding should now be christened the big fat fusion
wedding,’’ says Meghna Chitalia, owner of Party Planet, a wedding
planning agency. In one such wedding that Chitalia helped organise for
an “affluent and typical Gujarati family’’, an “English dinner’’ was
hosted after the dandiya function.

The desi best man and maid of honour, both dressed in coordinated
traditional Indian wear, made speeches and raised a toast to the couple
as aunties and uncles grinned behind clusters of flowers on assigned
tables. “The last few phera mantras were translated into English on the
microphone by the pandit and the couple even exchanged ‘I do’s’,” says
the wedding planner.

At another wedding, the bride made a grand entry into the mandap with a
Yash Chopra song playing for ambience as close family members in
coordinated sarees and shervanis walked her down the ‘aisle’ (the aisle
walk, often, is even done to a Hollywood romantic number).

Another recent shaadi organised by wedding planners Sneha Tejwani and
Dipa Sheth saw a Bolly-Holly khichdi: during a cocktail function, the
couple made a bhangra entry (believe it) surrounded by traditional
dancers while the sangeet had a rap sequence and wedding rings were
brought in dolis to be exchanged by the couple after the pheras.

“Even concepts like pre-invitation save-the-date cards, gift registries
where couples can make a wishlist and wedding websites to keep guests up
to date with the wedding programme are getting more popular,’’ says
wedding planner Nikhil Bhide.

Pre-wedding celebrations too have been going distinctly un-desi in the
past few years. Masquerade parties, where guests are only admitted in
ball gowns and tuxes, are catching on while the mehendi ceremony is now
officially the ‘cocktail mehendi’ and often features a romantic ball
dance by the groom and bride. “Some don’t even mind kissing at the end
of the dance. This would have never been part of a wedding function a
few years ago,’’ says a Mumbai wedding planner.

Where’s the fusion wedding trend coming from? “Well, it’s largely a
result of the ‘hat ke syndrome,’’ says wedding planner Ratna Malhotra.
“Everybody wants to be different and get noticed.

But though dissidents may raise disapproving eyebrows, the fusion folk
couldn’t care less. The father of a bride and Nepeansea Road resident
argues, “The idea is to make the wedding day memorable. Now, if cutting
out a few rituals and allowing the first family to enjoy themselves
achieves that, what’s wrong with it? After all, no one wants theirs
guests to yawn through the wedding.’’

Heh, I read this article too. Talk about life imitating art. The need to be "hat ke" requires lots of money and only very rich Gujjus, Sindhis, and Punjus have that, and just the right "class" to be loud, gaudy, and crass. Does not mean the mainstream (even the moneyed kind) follows this.

It could be the beginning of a trend that "trickles down". I've been to Hindu weddings here in the US where the bride has worn kind of a fusion garment similar to this:

Also becoming popular are weddings like this:

The "bhangra entry" was probably inspired by this:

This seems to have really taken off in the past few years.

Interestingly, I don't know if bevdya will have words of admonishment (if not a fartwa) for Hindu Gujaratis making their wedding ceremonies a little too "kirastani." [sic] "Walking down the aisle?" "Exchanging vows?" Saying "I do?" "Kissing?" and, and, "Chempen instead of chhaas?" [this last thing is the worst]. Chi, chi, chi. Where is Mutalik when you really need him?

I have a Sindhi friend who keeps bragging about how Sindhis are the most "advanced", meaning that they adapt more easily than other Indians to western culture.


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