Last week we got invited to a Hindustani wedding from
a guy that we are taking salsa classes with. Of course we couldn’t
pass up that invitation! At second glance, yes, the start time was
9:00PM. Still not sure why. Even though we have been going to bed
around 10pm at nights (yes I am still a loser), of course exceptions
needed to be made for events like this.
We left for the wedding at 7:00 because you can just
never be sure about the bus system. It was only 20km away but of course
we were still a little late. That was ok because even for weddings
that is . Some people didn’t even show up until 2 or 3AM!
The ceremony itself was very interesting. We had heard
some things about Indian culture and there were many aspects that
we recognized in the ceremony. Of course it has been fused with Suriname
traditions as well. There were lots of loud drums followed by fireworks
and then the groom showed up in the fanciest crown I’ve ever seen.
The guy who brought us said he was the king tonight.
The rest of the ceremony took only around 6 hours.
Actually we ended up leaving before the end because the sun was almost
coming up. Of course there was’t a whole lot of group participation
in the ceremony so people felt free to do their own thing. While the
priest guy was going through all of the creeds and speeches to the
newlyweds, people mingled, ate, talked in their own circles, drank
etc.. Even the band tuned their instruments and sound checked while
the ceremony was going on.
The highlight for me was definitely eating. Eating,
like everything, didn’t really have a set schedule. The deal was that
during the ceremony whenever you felt hungry, you went to the eating
tables where people would serve you. I mentioned to amie that it kind
of felt like eating in prison because people brought around big buckets
of rice, curry, vegetables, and soup. They scooped it out and plopped
it on our plates. The meal was traditional food, all vegetarian, and
of course eaten communally with the hands. After eating we just went
and sat back down in our chairs to resume watching the ongoing ceremony.
Did I mention this was all outside infront of the bride’s
house? Anyway, the ceremony moved inside the house and the band started
to play, people began to dance and we found out that the guy who brought
us was part of one of those groups who sits on the fringe, drinks,
and jokes about everything. So we found ourselves with them and by
this time it was getting really late and we were beyond tired. But
the party was just getting started as many more people showed up for
the blaring music.
Just what I needed, a glass of whiskey was put in my
hands. It contained levels of alcohol that could efficiently power
a small vehicle. I was tired and although I didn’t want to offend
our friends, I just couldn’t drink it. I had to think of something
because that obviously wasn’t going to be the first glass. I borrowed
a safety pin from Amie and made a couple small holes in the bottom
of my plastic cup. From then on, as my cup kept getting topped up
and everyone got a little more tipsy, mine trickled out onto the ground
without anyone noticing (actually it likely evaporated into fumes
before hitting the ground).
This was highly amusing until I mentioned before that
the sun was going to come up soon. Although a few people had to work
the next day (like the guy who brought us), I just wasn’t up for staying
up the whole night. So we finally got driven home after failing
to avoid a few early morning dances.