Wednesday, August 12

Mauritius: The story continued...

To recap me and my family had all flown back to Mauritius for the wedding of my cousin, which was taking place at our house. The week before the wedding was quite hectic (as already mentioned before!). On top of all the cleaning and tidying there was a lot, and i mean A LOT, of shopping! There was countless bottles of soft drinks, towering crates of beer and boxes upon boxes of wine, whiskey and rum! That was the drinks sorted. Then it was time for the food! I think there was a need for food to be served for three out fo the four days of the wedding. Being a weddign this only meant one thing...a lot of veg! So much veg that, of course, we couldn't go to just any supermarket or even markets...we went straight to the Agricultural Marketing Board (AMB), who have a nice little informative website (some free advertising there :P)
Luckily, that was pretty much all the hard work done, the people who put up the tent also supplied the tables/chairs/and some cutlery and family and friends pitched in to help with the cooking and

The Friday evening was the 'geetgawaye' where ladies come and sing and
dance. Thankfully, nothing for me to do here apart from take pictures and relax! At the end of the night I thought "hmmmm, one down three to go", how foolish I was to believe it would be so simple! I can't go into all the details of the little ceremonies and customs that happen during a hindu wedding, because else i'd be writing a small story here, but two of the main cermonies before the actual wedding are the 'tilak' and the 'haldi' (also referred to as the 'saffron'). The tilak is a ceremony where relatives of the bride go to the groom's house with gifts to offer to the groom and his family. The gifts vary but tend to include sugar, coconut, rice, clothes, jewelry and henna. All these gifts were elegantly wrapped in the morning, during which i was preparing the camera and camcorder for the day ahead. It was said at first that it would be the father of the bride (i.e. my father) that would be sitting in the tilak with a brother having a role to play. What they really should have said was that "I would be sitting in the tilak with my father having a small role at the "! So, we gathered the gifts and boarded the van and made the trip to Bel Air. We arrived there just on time at 14.00. The Pandit (priest) asked me who was the brother, *gulp*, "me, myself" i replied. I would be lying if i said i wasn't a little bit nervous, after all i had never seen a tilak being done before, let alone sat in one! So we all went into the tent, and that was it. The actual ceremony was over quicker than i had thought. Starting with a puja and finishing with the handing over of the gifts to the groom, my job was done! *phew* After my father doing his bit of the cermony it was back in the van and back to Q.Bornes!

Later that night it was time for the Haldi. The house was busy, people going and coming, like busy bees. Food was being cooked, greetings were exchanged, music was being played, and by 7.00 pm the bride-to-be emerged from the house ready for the haldi. The key feature of a haldi is tumeric paste being applied to the bride's face by relatives and friends who are married.
This itself can take a while, on some occassions mini-queues forming. Food was being served at the back, not quite sure what there was...i was too busy clicking away with my camera. That day took a lot out of me, the travelling, sitting in the tilak, travelling back home, and the haldi in the evening. A lot of weddings nowadays are all rolled into one day, now i know why! And of course, the tiredness didn't end once the haldi was over, family and friends still remained afterwards. Lights probably went out around midnight. Wake up at 7 the following day for the Wedding!

Will continue this later...need to refil my cup with caffeine!


Bruno said...

:) buying from the AMB, hey bein!!!!

Yeps, organising an Indian wedding is a phenomenal task ... you are lucking just to take pictures around :P

nav said...


you say lucky...but to be in charge of taking all the photos put a lot of pressure on me! :p lol
my finger was a bit sore at the end too!