Saturday, September 4, 2010

So Many Weddings!

So Avani Masam, began August 17 and ends September 16th seems to be the season of weddings! When you drive down the street you'll see kalyana mandapam (or wedding halls) decorated with lights and signs stating who's wedding it is.

And of course it is filled with so many people and  food! The weddings I went to were Tamil Brahman weddings and last for 3 days, although where I went they 'shorted' it to 2 & 1/2 days.
There are a lot of rituals and ceremonies and I will try to explain a few.
But first, the food....Yum!

On the first day, is a very religious day where they get the blessings from the ancestors. This is called Viradham, and they receive blessings from the priest as well after giving them banana, rice etc. The religious prayers are done separately for both families.
The second event is the Nitchayadhartham (a similar event happens during the engagment and happens again during the wedding). Where the groom and bride side exchange saree and gifts. 
The next day is the actual wedding! They exchange garlands, and it becomes sort of a game when the bride and grooms uncles carry them to see if they can throw the garland onto the other person's neck. After the exchange, they sit on the swing together and the married women will sprinkle milk on their feet and give them milk and fruit. 

After this, the bride sits on her father's lap and is 'given' to the groom who accepts her. This is a sad part of the ceremony for the bride since it symbolizes that she is no longer part of her old family and belongs to the groom. 
Mangalasutra: sacred wedding rope tied on the bride

The big event when the mangalasutra is tied onto the bride. It is tied once by the groom and twice by the groom's sister. 
 Usually in the evenings they have a Nalangu where the bride and groom get to know each other (though that's starting to go out of vogue) and a reception to congratulate the newly weds. 

Click here to see more of my pictures of everything at the wedding and of an Indian engagement party

For more information about this type of wedding, I found a great site that gives more explanation an pictures of everything that I didn't have a chance to take, Click here.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Welcome to Chennai!

Hey sorry things have been really hectic since my last post. Trying to figure out my schedule and such!

However, welcome to Chennai or Madras as it is also known as. The capital city of Tamil Nadu and the fourth largest metropolitan city in India.
Some of the stalls that you can see around Chennai. Flower garlands are made by many and are worn by women in their hair.

Well, there is the little glimpse into Chennai! I'll promise to keep this blog more updated.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Greeting From India!

So I'm finally here in India and finally am connected to the internet! It's amazing how lost we are without it. Another note, Google maps does not work here!

Some of the girls at my table
My flight landed in Delhi and I spend two days there for the Fulbright Orientation. It was great to catch up with everyone and have people adjusting to the climate and cultural change the same way you are. I've attached some pics from the orientation. It was a lot of fun, even though we were super tired from the jetlag.

Thanks for all of you for joining me on this adventure! I'll try to keep you updated often!
The Fulbrighters at our table

At the Fulbright Reception         

The Fulbright House
In Delhi
Fulbrighters at Lunch
A McDonalds! It's really fancy here with doormen and everything!
Leaving Delhi- Between the airport and the flight, there is a bus that connects them. Our bus started smoking and apparently broke down. We were standing right next to the runway! 
Goodbye Delhi!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A little self plug...

An article was published in the Case Daily about my research, many of you might have seen it. But for those interested the link is below.
Daily article

One week till India!

Saturday, July 10, 2010



This blog will be updated once I leave for India in late August. Until then, I'm going to be busy at home getting ready for the trip!