Thursday, December 17, 2009

Second Wedding and Killer Exams

In the last post I did about Indian weddings, it was true when I said I hadn't attended one because I never got to see the ceremony. Last Sunday, my host parents took me to see one as my host father's cousin's daughter was getting married. I put up the pictures of the ceremony above so that you can have a small taste of what it was like. It started with the mother of the bride preforming a prayer or pooja for the husband to be and the bride welcoming the groom by putting a wreath around his neck.
After about thirty minutes, the groom went to the stage, having a big entrance as he had to go under some dancing peoples arms to get there and another pooja was preformed with the mother. Because the bride's brother couldn't make it for the wedding, they had a constant feed of the ceremony going back to the US for him to watch. Then the bride came in on a palaquin, which is one of the platforms that 4 men have to hold up. While she ascends the stage, the priests and one of the friends held a cloth in front of the groom's face to shield it from the bride. When she sat down, they dropped it and the rest of the ceremony begun. The bride and groom had to put wreaths once again, this time on both of their necks, and members of the family came up for give blessings. Auspicious presents were given to the bride and groom, like a sari for the bride and an expensive watch for the groom.
The final ritual is the sacred fire. The bride and groom usually have some piece of cloth or they hold hands and go around the fire seven times, each time presenting another promise. While they are going around, friends and family throw handfuls of flowers and petals on them. After this has finished and the priest has given the final words, they are married.
It was all very beautiful and there were so many colors. Indians dress up in their brightest and most beautiful clothes for weddings and there was no holding back here. Despite how long it was, I really liked it. There is nothing that compares with an Indian wedding and the only way to get the whole experience is to see it in person. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend going!
On to my second topic, it can be stated plain and simple: Exams suck. Especially in another country. As I mentioned before, I am trying as best as I can to do well in school since everything is in English anyways. But it's my own fault at times for forgetting my study habits after being so overwhelmed with everything here. So with the closeness of exams, I tried, really tried to study hard. But I'm a horrible procrastinator and something else cropped up that didn't help.
On the day before exams were supposed to start, one of the 9th graders who attended my school died in a car accident on the sealink. This caused significant disruption among the entire school, especially those teachers who taught him and the classmates who knew him. We got the next day off to respect his death but I also think it was because it event would still be too fresh in everyone's eyes to concentrate on the exams. The school postponed the exams to this week and on Thursday there was a special prayer ceremony for the boy.
Personally, I didn't know him but it is still something that affects everyone. His friends and classmates set up a petition for better surveillance of the area as well as the use of seatbelts in the backseats. This may surprise you but for two years, seatbelts aren't required by those riding in the back seat, which unnerves me quite a bit at times, considering the traffic and driving. It is also to say that the drivers of both vehicles were unharmed by the absent while this classmate and the one riding in the back of the taxi were killed.
In any case, at this point I have completed 4 of my 5 exams and thank goodness the last one is Hindi. I swear, I have never felt so dumb in my life. Although the horror of DAIMUN is coming up (I say horror because I have no idea what to expect), I can't wait until my trip to Baroda/Vadodara in a week! If you didn't know, I'm participating in my school's Model UN conference as Kazakhstan in the Human Rights Commission. Austin and I are both very scared but hopefully, it will turn out okay. Hopefully. :/
I'll update soon!
(the pun created in the title was unintentional. I just noticed it...)