A beautiful day. Music and dancing. Prayer and ceremony. Lots of food. Lots of colour. A Nepali wedding in a nutshell.
And it is a whole day affair. Starting early in the morning, people arriving bearing gifts, the caterers have been cooking their wee hearts out since first light, kids running around, women fussing over the bride, decorations up and about. Sounds "same same" as a European wedding yes? However, there are a few differences:
(i) the bride is sequestered in a room until the groom arrives
(ii) the bride can't speak to anyone or show any happiness or emotion
(iii) the groom can socialize to his little hearts content, so long as he performs the ceremonies properly
(iv) the bride makes an appearance after the groom has arrived (around lunchtime) is there to receive gifts, then buggers off back to her seclusion, only to reappear some hours later to actually "get married", then seclusion again.
(v) guests can rock up and eat the whole day (they don't even have to bring a gift or know the couple) cool huh?!
So we had a band heralding the arrival of the groom at about lunchtime. He looked quite dashing all decked out in his traditional Nepali garb, although I personally thought the excess of pink was a bit too much. The bride was equally eye catching in her red sari and veil. Bits of gold adorning her ears and nose, her eyes dark with kajal (khol), lips ruby red and exceedingly demure.
The wedding we went to was of a rich family. The food was great and abundant. The gifts never ending, and ranging from small bowls to a fridge (quite uncommon in the average Nepali house). The guests happy. The music infectious. The dancing continuous.
Sometime around sundown the groom left (I can only assume the bride went with him as I didn't see her leave but neither did I see her again). The band played on.
All in all it was a pretty cool afternoon. My host family had fun. The orphanage kids had a decent feed and got to run around and see how "the other half live". I got to experience a different part of Nepali culture. Ramro chha!