Today I had the opportunity to take part in a traditional Indian wedding. I was able to see the different and vital roles that friends and family take, all while learning about some Indian traditions. The wedding ceremony started early in the morning, with ‘Barat’. At this time in an Indian wedding, the groom rides on a horse and is joined by all of the family and friends on his side. The group is traditionally supposed to notify the people of a village that the young man is being married. In our case, we were in rural Pennsylvania, and we performed this symbolic act from the edge of the road to where the wedding was taking place.
The wedding was very beautiful, with many different family members playing various roles in the ceremony. The family was Sikh, and we heard many readings and prayers from their holy book, including one moment at the end of the ceremony where the groom carried the holy book on his head out the doorway. Having limited network coverage for smartphones in the middle of the rolling hills of Appalachia in western Pennsylvania, I attempted to keep an updated account of the events as they transpired with photos on my Twitter account, but did not receive the ability to post any activity until arriving at our hotel in the town. We were given a few hours after the ceremony, and returned back to celebrate with a reception filled with Indian cuisine, drinks, and dancing.
This was a unique and beautiful time. It was my first Indian-style wedding, and above all I was very impressed by the overwhelming support of family members who flew from far and wide to be there for the bride and groom. I’m very grateful for being invited to share this evening with my good friend, and I will look forward to any future weddings of this nature that I may be able to attend.