sâmbătă, 26 februarie 2011

De prin lume... (Ghidul-1)

"The world is awesome" spun filmuletele promo a celor de la Discovery Channel, iar eu :D, ca un adevarat cautator de comori globale, asemeni celor de la Discovery, m-am gandit sa va pun la dispozitie franturi din minunatele culturi ale lumii, cu care am si eu tangenta desigur, sa ne bucuram de ele impreuna (pentru ca am invatat ca "sharing is caring")
De la aceasta idee va lua nastere urmatorul tag baban de pe blogul papillonesc...care nu va spun cum se cheama, il veti gasi la locul special marcat pentru taguri de pe blog.
Si ca sa n-o mai lungim prea mult, de aici am sa va las cu draga mea prietena indianca Zahraa si una dintre povestile ei "de vis " din Incredible India :)

An idiot’s guide to an Indian wedding

The following is a documentation of a typical Indian wedding for the purpose of educating my non-Indian friends. Hopefully, this will scare you enough to:

a. Never to get married, especially in India or

b. Never get married to an Indian

Unlike their western counterparts, Indian weddings aren’t a one day affair. Actual ceremonies last anywhere between 7-10 days, while the preparations begin months in advance.

Although, this is a documentation of an Indian Muslim weddings, most people irrespective of religion pretty much have the same ceremonies, albeit they might call it by different names.

So who the hell am I? I’m Zahraa (pronounced the same way as the store ‘Zara’), a twenty year old living in Bombay, India (google it- it’s a million times bigger than Timisoara). Last year, I visited Timisoara and positively fell in love with it. I loved that I could ride a bike without drivers wanting to kill me. Over those two months that I spent there, I became friends with Oana. Its strange, she wants to live in India, and I want to live in Romania!I come from a big family, we are four sisters and a brother. Four years ago, my eldest sister got married to an American, now its my brother’s turn.

A little background information about him. He wasted four years of his life to get a degree in Computer Science. Went along to work at EMI Virgin (which was excellent for me, as I got numerous free music CD’s). Finally, he got an MBA and now works at an advertising firm.

My to-be sister-in-law is equally strange. An Indian born in Kuwait (a tiny speck of a country in the Middle East). She went along to study in America, and stuck there for another couple of years, before she realized that Bombay is where she was meant to be. Now, she works as a stylist with one of India’s leading fashion designers. Sadly, this does not mean free clothes for me. However, it includes front row tickets at every fashion week in Bombay.

Numbered below are the ceremonies we will have during the wedding. They are 8 in all, spanning 13 days.

· Mangni (formal acceptance of the wedding)

· Bridal Shower

· Bride’s Mehendi (henna party)

· Groom’s Mehendi

· Sangeet (music/dance night)

· Haldi (literally meaning ‘turmeric’)

· Nikah (actual wedding)

· Reception (same evening as the nikah)

In India, most people either have an ‘arranged’ marriage or a ‘love’ one.

An ‘arranged’ marriage is a situation where your parents find you a boy, and boom you get married to him. Earlier, there were problems where the girl would have no say in the matter, but now this has changed to a great extent. Also, this sort of marriage is usually prevalent in rural India. What’s shocking about arranged marriages is that the divorce rate is so low 1.1% (the lowest in the world). In any case, hardly any Indians get divorced. I just know one divorced couple in my 20 years of living!

A love marriage, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. You find the boy yourself, and get married. No parental involvement in the selection process.

In the age of the internet, my parents still insist on personally delivering the wedding invitation. Indian weddings turn out to be a little circus, anywhere between 2000-3000 people being invited. This invitation business was exhausting. Since I was on vacation, my mum would drag me everywhere with her. Every house we visited, they would offer us tea and cookies. Bah, I ate so many cookies in 4 weeks. So much for my diet.

In the next few weeks, I will attempt to de-mystify an Indian wedding for you. I would like to say that it’s not stressful, but who I am kidding? Oh, and I don’t claim to be an authority on Indian culture. I cannot even speak Hindi coherently! These situations are written from personal experiences. Hope you like them.