Considering that Backpack ME is wearing wedding clothes these days, it’s a good moment to tell you a story about the traditional Indian baraat.
Because in India weddings have to be massive and you have to keep up the spirit of those involved, the baraat is one of those multiple rituals meant to create a build up for the actual ceremony when groom and bride officially become husband and wife.
While in my country (Portugal) tradition brings family and guests to the bride’s house to eat some cod fritters, sweets and, of course, drinks, just before the wedding ceremony, in India things are much more complex – and entertaining! The groom leaves his house along with his family and close guests, on a colorful procession that takes him to the venue where the marriage takes place.
The other day we were walking around Khan Market, a commercial area of New Delhi, when we saw this baraat passing by. You can tell even by this display that the groom’s family is probably well-off (and yes, this is important and discussed openly in India). Opulently sitting on top of a horse, with an auspiciously colored turban, the groom looked like Aladin! And because a visual display without a soundtrack doesn’t have the same appeal, musicians play for the groom’s guests to dance, under the high supervision of the groom from atop his moving throne (traditionally the bride’s family is paying for this). In this case, there were also some women, but if this was in a village, we wouldn’t probably see any ladies around, or at least not the married ones.
The funniest part? Understanding that it is someone’s job to carry lights along the procession and that those lamps are actually connected with cables to a generator that follows the groom towards his wedding, installed on top of a mini-truck!
India: entertaining, every single day of the year!