Even though I had no idea where I was going, I felt lucky enough to be invited to a traditional Indian wedding.
I repeatedly asked the locals I was with, but none of them seemed very sure about it, so I just gave up and accepted the fact that in the Garhwali region of Uttarakhand, India, there still are places you cannot find on the map.
What I do know, however, is that to reach this godforsaken village took us hours from Manila, which, given the roads we had to pass by, doesn’t necessarily mean it was that far.
Most of the route towards the traditional Indian wedding was completely covered with huge stones, and we definitely struggled to make our way out of them and reach the longed spot.
Now, calling it “village” might look inappropriate to many people’s mind, let’s say that it was a small conglomerate of houses with seldom natives hanging around and with an ever-present temple. More than one temple actually, but it’s India after all, and temples are one of the main factors of Indian charm and peculiarity.
So, after all the necessary trouble, we finally reached the first temple of the wedding, where the friends and family of the groom (mostly men) were gathering in the wait to leave towards the house where the actual marriage was going to take place. We stationed there for less than half an hour and then we made our way to the final destination, where friends and family of the bride were waiting.
I was told that that was the main of the five days of celebration, and the day after would have been the last one, when the couple could finally get to their place and rest. The night I was there was when the priest celebrated the marriage, and probably one of the first times bride and groom actually met, as this was very likely an arranged marriage, like most, if not all, marriages in the Uttarakhand.
Due to the striking difference with the weddings I’m used to and the rare possibility to attend a so traditional ceremony in such an unknown place, made me spent most of the time taking pictures. At the beginning I was worried to be invading the couple’s privacy and on the way to the wedding I kept asking my friend if it was fine for me to take photos, but my doubts were swept away as soon as we arrived, as children immediately asked me to be captured by my camera.
So here it is, a traditional Indian wedding, how it’s celebrated in the Garhwali region of Uttarakhand.
Seen through my eyes, lens and through what I managed to understand from my friends’ seldom explanations and the ones of the bride’s cousin, since nobody else could speak English.
I was struck by the spontaneous hospitality of the people in this village, I couldn’t stand up one minute that immediately a chair was brought behind me, I couldn’t stay one minute with empty hands that tea, sweets and any sort of food was offered to me, to the extent that dinner time, I was already full.
I wish the couple a very happy married life, and I would love to see them again in a couple of years, to show them my pictures and maybe this post.