Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Awh Nutts

Wedding day. My friends and I somehow managed to fit six people into an auto rickshaw as the driver yells to tell us he can only take five. We’re American and will pay twice the normal rate to get to the old city, so he lets us stuff ourselves inside-- oh the white man’s burden. We have so much weight in this itty vehicle that when he takes turns, it nearly tips. Anyway, I show up to the wedding in my new, expensive kurta and these ridiculously billowy cotton pants that are way too big but had borrow to match the kurta. My legs look about four feet wide and I make an obnoxious noise of rubbing starchy fabric when I walk. Subtle way to tell people the white chick is here. The wedding was incredibly different from what I expected. Yes all the women look gorgeous in these outrageously adorned outfits with jewels on every inch of fabric, but the actual wedding ceremony was, well odd. The men don’t even watch the ceremony. They are separated by a large wall of tapestries and do not interact with the women at all. The bride and groom sit on the ground in a special area under a tent of sorts in these incredibly beautiful outfits. Everyone else (meaning the women) sit on the outside of the tent chatting, eating food, talking on their phones, and really barely paying attention to the ceremony. Sometimes they watch and get involved, but the guests just felt very removed from the ceremony, which is complex and long. I definitely did not understand all of it, and sometimes my mom didn’t even know which part of the ceremony they were doing. I’m going to another one on Friday and then another on Saturday. I’m sure it varies. The food was great though. My other American friend and I sat with two Indian girls of the same age. One of them had that huge, stereotypical Indian nose ring with jewels and pearls hanging off of it. It looked really elegant until she had to hold it out of the way each time she took a bite of food. Every few seconds she put her fingers up her nose and held the “nutt” until she was done chewing. She said it wasn’t a hassle at all, but it was ripping at her cartilage because it was heavy and her nose was newly pierced. Hmm…

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