Art & Culture
Learning about Sikh and Indian Weddings
By Elaine Ching
Volume 1 Issue 8
June 8, 2021
Image provided by Pinterest
As a member of the Culture Society, I have the opportunity to learn about many cultures. The way they celebrate specific events and how different it is from my own is a very interesting topic to me. One of my favorite meetings was when we learned about Sikh and Indian weddings from Navrosedip Kundlas.
For someone whose family holds rather simple weddings, it was a shock seeing how long (2-3 week minimum) and complex Sikh weddings can be. Of course, it was a good shock. The way Navrosedip described how much thought and effort is put into the engagement was amazing. Starting at the beginning, seeing how serious the engagement is taken was inspiring. The way religion is intertwined into the marriage is lovely since it is done in such a beautiful way.
After the marriage has gained family approval and the future spouses have met in a place of worship, they move onto the Engagement Ceremony. While there are many different rituals due to Indian culture being so diverse, in the ritual I saw this is the time when the bride has to decide whether she will go through with the marriage. This is not a private event, and many people will see it. After the Engagement Ceremony comes the Engagement After-Party. The After Party seems to be the one of the most fun parts of the wedding in my opinion! People wear festive and beautiful outfits while they celebrate with dancing and drumming (it should be noted there are beautiful and festive outfits in all parts of the wedding).
There are many celebrations and preparations to do other than those during the engagement phase. Firstly, the bride will receive beautiful Bengals, bracelets made of glass, which are light colored and thin. Also, the bride’s hands cannot be bare until the wedding ends. Traditional songs are played as well as applying henna to the brides and other guests.
Similar to American Weddings, there is a bridal shower, bachelorette parties for the groom and bride, and a reception. However, no white is allowed to be worn for Indian events since it is worn for deaths. As a result, the bride usually wears red with gold balls on her bracelets. There is also lots of extravagant jewelry like Tika, jewelry for the head. With the bride in red and decked out in jewelry, the groom will sometimes wear a turban but change into a suit later. Later at the reception, the groom has to listen to the bride while she is choosing her outfit. Even after all this, there are still more parties to take place!