So in between updates about my current life in Norway, here goes the story of the 40 days spent in India. I did some updating early on the trip (last post is here) so I'll take up from where I left.
Having arrived in Hyderabad on June 29th, we had 10 days until my SIL's wedding. This meant A LOT of shopping. To get an idea, on the same day we arrived I already went shopping, straight after lunch and did not get back until evening. This is mainly how the 10 days went by... lot's of running around and getting things ready.
The great thing about having my SIL's wedding so close to ours was the chance to see almost everything as it would be in our ceremony. There we small differences, mainly due to Telugu traditions (her husband is Telugu) being a little different from Tamil ceremonies (as ours would be). In the pic below you can see me, Perima (father's eldest brother's wife), my MIL and SIL on the morning of the first day of the ceremony.
On July 8th was the making of the bride ceremony and the Janwasan. The first was held at home and only women participated (although I found it funny that the men still sat around and made comments and guided us through the ceremony). The ceremony was short and then soon A. and I were running around to make sure the groom's family was well taken care of. The Janwasan took part in the evening and it is similar to a "engagement" ceremony, in which the 2 families come together and exchange gifts. We all slept at the hotel where the wedding hall was and went to sleep quite late, since the younger crowd stayed up chatting.
At 4am we were up again, getting reading for the wedding. My SIL had a huge flower arrangement tied to her braid in the back (see pic) which ended up being quite a hassle for her (due to the weight of it). Also, since her hair is not that long she got some hair extensions braided in. While getting ready the men were always rushing us, trying to get us to hurry, but I'm sure they were also having fun by doing it. The ceremony itself took about 3 hours, comprised by many smaller ceremonies. As with most Indian functions, not everyone is paying attention to what is going on... usually people in the audience are chatting, reading newspapers, eating something or just people watching while the ceremonies are going on. (The first functions I went to I thought this was strange... now I feel it is quite convenient instead of sitting and daydreaming while faking attention.) Also, as with most Indian functions there was drama... in this case whether A's eldest brother would show up (he had a part in the ceremonies, which a married sibling should perform, and he was considered the only one up to the task since our Brazilian wedding didn't count for much for them). He ended up arriving, but too late.
Wow... finally the wedding was up... I was dying to take a shower and off my sari (it was very hot and I had been running around quite a bit)... And then A's old bosses arrived! So we went with with them to have lunch at the hotel (although we were both too full to eat anything else). Finally, around 4pm (remember the time we got up??) I made it back to A's place and started organizing stuff. He arrived a little later and we all went to sleep quite early. I felt like I had made it through a marathon!!