Mindless Mumbai is a Photo Blog from Mumbai, India by Kunal Bhatia. Art Architecture Food Street Urban Festivals Travel People Portraits Signs Photojournalism Candid

all decked up for the evening

wedding reception decoration stage hindu indian mumbai
hindu weddings are an elaborate affair, spread over a number of days with a range of functions. the concluding one is the reception that usually follows the traditional wedding ceremony. there are of course other rituals that take place once the newly-weds arrive home, but these are of more private nature, and only the immediate family usually participates in these. this photograph is of the seats for the married couple set on a stage, where they greet all the guests, and politely / genuinely / forcefully smile at the camera with each family!

weddings are a big thing here, and the indian wedding industry is currently estimated to be worth upwards of rs fifty billion, growing at a staggering 25% every year. while the mittals can hire out an entire palace in france; (as do bollywood stars, industrialists and recently an increasing number of foreigners, all in rajasthan's endless number of palaces), even the the not-very-high-budget weddings have their share of splendour. as a general presumption, the "show-off-ness" is more in the national capital and surrounding regions, though i think this is dependant more on economics than on regional-tendencies.

of late, the idea to not accept any gifts or better still: to direct gifts received towards charities / ngos seems to have become popular, and thankfully so.

oh, and i forgot to mention an interesting point. certain dates as per the hindu calender are considered particularly auspicious, and many of these occur in the december month of the gregorian calender. these days are choc-a-bloc with wedding celebrations; particularly in the capital. on 13th december 2006, there were 32,000 weddings scheduled in delhi alone, says this report in the times of india. i didn't even know that so many wedding venues could exist in a particular city!

(btw, unlike in delhi, weddings in mumbai are adapted to the fast paced life in this city. all rituals are usually observed, but the celebrations are often compacted to fit into a weekend, so that no one needs to bunk office/college too much :) )
not to self: ajay and leena's reception

12 reactions:

Bob Crowe said...

They look like thrones and I am sure that is intended. Is there a custom as to who sits on the right and left? I think that in Europe the king is on the left as the audience would see the royal couple. American weddings may be opulent but the festivities do not last nearly so long as you describe in Delhi. For many of us in the west, our image of Indian nuptuals comes from the movie Monsoon Wedding.

Matthieu said...

Nice picture. How did you manage to take it ? Were you a wedding guest ?

ft. lauderdale daily photo said...

Thanks for such a beautiful photo and nice post on this special day for the couple.

isa said...

I am always amazed at the pageantry of the weddings where the couple concentrates on the ceremony rather than the marriage. What's the rate of divorce in India?

• Eliane • said...

Nice picture! I've read Strangetaste comments and I am going to guess that the bride sits on the right - hint: the flower on the chair.
Great color on this shot and I read your commentary with great interest! :)
And I smiled at the "note to self" at the bottom. It would have been amusing and surprising to learn that it was yours. ;)

alice said...

Your shots are so various and interesting, thank you for the trip! A few days ago, you said you were back to university. Do you agree to tell us what are you studying?

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Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

WOW! Amazing photo, really lovely!

Great info too.

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