SOUTH INDIA: SWETHA's WEDDING

Swetha (also known as Annapoorani or AP) is Marek's friend from Vital Images. We attended her wedding in Coimbatore (July 8 - July 9).


Swetha and Karthik in one of their many attires used during the two-day wedding ceremony


Bride's (left) and groom's (right) families together


Initially, the two families perform prayers and rituals separately.


Karthik, his parents and two priests


Swetha, her parents and her sister

 

The second day several ceremonies are performed, the bride, groom and their families being together.


Ceremony in a decorated swing


Rice balls are used to drive away evil


Bride's father pays respect to the groom by washing his feet


The bride's father gives her daughter away by passing her hands to the hands of the groom


Tying Mangalya (golden necklace on a string) to the bride's neck is one of the major points of the wedding ceremony and needs to be done at astrologically determined exact time of the second wedding day 


Once the knot is tied, the groom leads his new wife to a fire (symbol of a household). Historically this was the first time bride and groom held each other's hand.


Prayers are recited in front of the fire


The marriage is officially completed once the bride (whose foot is held by the groom) makes seven steps and the groom recites seven prayers

 

When the official ceremonies are over, some games are played by the groom and bride. Those were originally designed for the groom and bride to become familiar with each other.

Fighting over a coconut

 


Good food is very important part of the wedding. Meals were served traditionally on banana leaves and eaten by hands.


Jitka with Swetha's sister