At this point, a huge thanks to Nisha for inviting us (Jule and me) to India. Without having to mention a lot I can say that, this was one of my best experiences so far. Being able to and having the chance to be part of an Indian wedding is something special. Not just the wedding itself but also the family traditional functions, gold purchase, wedding dress shopping as well as the henna and bachelors night.
Family traditional functions
On our first day we went to the brides house for one of the traditional functions. It’s called Valayidal and this is the engagement function. Where the Groom’s family goes to the bride’s with Gold and giving it to her as a gift. In the west its a ring for engagement but in the east its a bangle given to the bride by the Groom’s mother. It was my first time eating with my fingers instead of knife and fork. I have to say I really do like it. It’s different, but very soon it became totally normal. It was a nice first day to get used to the Indian culture and also interesting to see how such functions goes.
Gold and outfit shopping
It took us 2 days to buy all the stuff (sarees, bride and groom’s outfit, family wedding costumes, gold etc). I never thought that people from India could be that passionate and fighting for their own opinion so crazy rather than focusing on finding a solution to the problem. Sometimes it was a real fight, but at the end everyone was smiling and satisfied.
Exploring the south of India
Shaji a family friend and the family’s driver brought us to different places in the south such as Kuttralam waterfall, Palaruvi waterfalls, Thenmala and Ponmudi Hills. We also crossed border to the neighbour state Tamil Nadu to go to different waterfalls and to see part of a train track.
Another day Nisha’s dad showed us around his rubber plantation. That was really impressive especially when he showed me how they produce rubber from the rubber tree. At night there was a traditional bbq, killing chickens (but in the least harmful way), cooking and preparing them after in a very old style. Of course there were a lot of little side dishes such as curries and paratas as well.
Henna & Bachelor night
Day before the actual wedding is the Henna and bachelor night. First of all groom’s family goes to the brides house (without the groom) with a bowl full of henna mix. Starting with Groom’s sister everyone from the Groom’s family applies henna for the Bride its a traditional ritual. Once that’s finished, the groom’s family return home with the remaining henna (otherwise it will bring bad luck) to have the same tradition for the Groom. After that there was a traditional Muslim dance (duffmuttu) happening. End of the day there was a big dinner for all guests.
Wedding day – Najeem & Ramzeena
To start off with, it was a Muslim arranged marriage in the 12th of August 2018. First part of the wedding took place in a big wedding hall with 2000+ people – an Indian wedding big as expected! After the official part and a huge lunch buffet we drove back to the families house to change our outfits for the second part of the day – the celebration part. The second part took place in a smaller hall nearby the families house. As a surprise for Najeem, Nisha and her older brother arranged Oppana a typical traditional wedding dance for Muslims. Of course there was a big Indian buffet as well.
Unfortunately, I had to go when the funny (Indian dancing) part started to catch my flight at 1am back to KL.
I think it was a totally different experience for me, because I stayed with an Indian family. I loved it so much. The family, every one of them, and the food was so diverse and amazing. Nisha’s mom (she is a feeder) is the best cook ever and her dad is smiling the entire day and spreads love and good vibes all day long! Her brothers are special too. Her older brother is caring so much for the family and the younger brother was the “famous person” for the whole week. He is the little chick of the family but already a crook. And the last one – Nisha – is totally different, because she is now living in London for almost 13 years (yes, I do remember not like you), she still has some Indian culture in her blood which will always connect her to her family.
Thanks to everyone, to all friends of the family and friends of friends and even to the local strangers who always smiled. Every second I felt very welcomed in this country and especially in this special family. I feel like I have a third family – an Indian family! I hope I’ll see you all again in the near future … .