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Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Weddings and How You Can Help!

7:30 PM came along on a Wednesday night and we hopped into a small van to ride about half an hour across town to a Hindu wedding being celebrated by two Bengali families. Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed and brought into the bride's family's house. I think we have become very accustomed to being treated like royalty no matter where we go as so many of the people are a very generous and friendly bunch that are also fascinated to see Americans. When out in Agartala I have yet to have seen one American so I guess I can understand the shock on their faces. We got to sit, have tea, and talk with the bride for some time as we waited till eleven o'clock for the groom to arrive. She was only seventeen preparing to marry a twenty eight year old man. The fact that she was so young along with the fact the marriage was arranged was something very new to me and seemed odd, but from what I have been told this is the norm. It was also interesting how the bride seemed to enjoy the fact that five strangers were at her wedding, because I could never picture a bride in America being pleased with five unfamiliar guests stealing the attention on her big day.

That evening we had a delicious dinner and then saw many new Hindu rituals as the wedding ceremony began. There was a lot of exotic music and dancing along with the spraying of shaving cream, which was definitely a surprise. We grew tired as 1:30 AM rolled along knowing we had school in the morning so we left the beautiful ceremony as it continued without us late into the night.

A week and a half later we were off to another wedding, but a different wedding in many ways. One main difference was that it was a Catholic wedding so the actually ceremony was basically the same as Catholic marriage in the U.S. except for the fact that the Church was a small room used as a school during the week and the Mass was said in Kokborok. This was not a marriage between two Bengali people, but between to Tribal people so instead of them speaking Bengali they spoke the indigenous language called Kokborok, which is completely than any other Indian language. It was great to see a fimilar ceremony that also had the rich tribal culture weaved into every minute.

I must be honest though, because the best part of this wedding was the reception. The reason being was the amazing food that was some of the spiciest I have had while in India. The pork curry was amazing along with many other dishes that I do not know the name of. Apparently at weddings they really like to spice up the food and I am definitely not complaining.

Above is a picture of Ingtis and I climbing a really big tree that looks like the Tree of Life from the Lion King movie. Ingtis is an exceptional guitar player and came along with us as he plays the music for most of the tribal weddings. He lives at Boys' Town, which is an orphanage outside of Agartala. Ingtis is one of the thirty five amazing boys that live their as they have no family of their own to support them. We have started a funding raising project to raise money for Boys' Town so those like Ingtis can have some basic necessities that they deserve like an actual bed that will support their backs or shudders for their open windows so the disease carrying mosquitoes can not come and go as they please. If you would like to learn more and donate to the cause please go to the following link


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