3 days of wedding ceremonies in Mumbai. Everyone who has been there before warned me India would be a great cultur clash for me. Of course I thought I knew better…I had to learn that I was wrong.
India and even more Mumbai will overrun you like a train at full speed. Colours, sounds, smell of awesome food, the smiling faces, traffic, hospitality…all these facts will make you speechless. So I had the chance to be one of the photographers at a big indian wedding. I thought I had seen a lot in german and european weddings. But this was bigger than anything before.
First evening was the dancing event /ganesh pooja for the women and close family. Colourful dresses, loud music and many people dancing to traditional indian music. What a first impression!
The second night is the so called “musical night” / the sangeet. I had no idea what would hit me. Based in the world famous Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai it was a full show with choreography, dancing, acting and even Bollywood. All family members went to the stage for some awesome dancing with other dancers. Next to this of course some food from another planet and a filled dancefloor until early morning.
The third day is the big main ceremony day. We met at noon to start the procedures and ceremonies to prepare the groom. I did not even understand half ot the different religious and traditional ceremonies, still it was something so impressive. A horse takes the groom to its car, driving him to the turf club. Meeting with his family and friends the even more dance related part of the wedding started. Moving slowly behind a car full of music boxes took us hours of jolly dancing towards the final ceremony-field.
When the mass reaches the field the families line up and the bridal pair meets in a center round stage to fullfill like a first ritual of binding. This is followed by many different religious parts with herbs, spices, fruits, money and fire. I have no idea what the single steps meant but the size and numbers of these rituals were impressive.
The final step is the group picture with everyone lining up to take a group picture with the bridal pair and their newly connected families. The final midnightdinner was the relaxing part for the couple and their time of sitting back and enjoying the experiences of the last days.
3 days the full spectrum of indian lifestyle, open minded people and some of the most colourful events I have ever seen. My biggest “Thanky You” goes to the bridal pair and their family. You made my stay in Mumbai as pleasent as possible and it was a warm and rich experience. I am looking forward to meet you one day again.