I’m going to start this post with a quick lesson in Southern Indian geography for any one listening in at home. India, much like the US, is divided into various states; the two southern most states being Kerala (on the west coast) and Tamil Nadu (on the east coast). Unlike the US, each state has its own language and cultural nuances. In Kerala the language spoken is Malayalam with a Malayali cultural divergence; in Tamil Nadu the language is Tamil with a Tamil cultural divergence. The wedding I attended this past weekend happened right on the southernmost border of the two states; thus a Malayali wedding in the state of Tamil Nadu.
As a result of this border-riding wedding, there were aspects of both cultures throughout the wedding. I will give a brief order of events throughout the day as well as a few anecdotal comments, but most of this post will be photos.
My party and I arrived early at the church venue the morning of the wedding. Not knowing exactly what was going on, I wandered around taking photos and entertaining guests with my white skin and blonde hair. Soon enough Sobah, the bride, arrived with her entourage of people who quickly escorted her off to the side of the church; however, not before allowing her to greet the token white girl (for which I felt very honored). Sunil, the groom, arrived within ten minutes with his entourage of people.
|Apparently not everyone was thrilled about attending a wedding on this Monday morning! ;)|
|Sunil arriving, flanked by his two sisters and their children.|
|The groom looking rather dapper as he awaits the presentation of his bride.|
|My new friend, Jacob, Sunil's nephew.|
|The new couple with the officiants.|
|I promised I would post the picture with my full saree... so here it is. (Hair "open" and all)|
|With Sunil's mother and sister with her children|
|Sunil's eldest sister with her daughter, Jessica.|
|The beautiful bride|
|Sunil looking sharp (and serious)|
|Off to the first reception!|
The second of the two receptions was hosted nearby our hotel (and Sunil’s home) at around 6pm. This reception was put on by Sunil’s family to offer their friends and family the opportunity to receive Sobah into their lives. The format was similar. The new couple sat on the fanciful couch, shook hands, and posed for countless photos with all the guests who then later filed into the adjacent hall for another banquet meal. So much amazing food! I only wish I had a little more appetite when presented with the food from each wedding feast.
|At the beginning of the first reception, the bride and groom were served a small token meal.|
|The CMC people representing! (L to R: Samson, never did catch this guy's name, Noble, Sunil, Sobah, Ashwin, Sneha)|
|Sunil and his bride with a good friend of Sunil's who traveled from Chennai for the wedding.|
|The first feast! (Sorry for the poor photo quality, lighting wasn't my friend in that room).|
|At the second reception. (Note the change of attire. Sobah's saree was incredible!)|
|If Sunil doesn't watch out, this little charmer is going to steal is bride away!|
|The CMC gang at the second reception.|
|Sunil's sister with her son, Jonah. (I think that's his name... my memory is slipping)|
|I have no idea who these cuties are, but we entertained each other at the second reception.|
|Sunil's beautiful family and then there is me.|