One evening walking in the streets of Kochi we met a few young guys, started to talk with them, had some very good laughs and ended the night with an invitation to a Hindu wedding. The wedding of Yadhu and Savi. Oh wow!
A few days later early in the morning, we go to the home of Yadhu. All his family is there, neighbours and friends. I am immediately taken by the hand to get dressed – with the saree of the groom’s mom! The neighbour wraps me in this enormous amount of green and golden fabric and puts Jasmine flowers in my hair. Meanwhile Nadim gets help dressing with the traditional Kurtha and Mundu.
The temple ceremony takes place in Vaikom, the village, where Savi has been living with her family until today. The small temple is surrounded by palm trees, chewing cows on the meadow and a ton of people! Everybody is staring at us. People are smiling, they wave, want to talk to us, know where we are from and introduce us to their families.
In the temple area we gather under a small gazebo where two priests are waiting next to an altar and two other man play some music. Yadhu is impatiently waiting for his bride, which eventually arrives wearing a red and golden Saree, a Jasmine flower veil and a lot of golden jewelry. She carries a silver bowl with fruits, flowers, and a little fire and circles the altar three times. After that her father puts her right hand in the one of Yadhu, holds them for a while together end everybody starts to sing a prayer. Within the ceremony Yadhu and Savi garland each other and Yadhu puts two necklaces around Savi’s neck. Also Yadhu puts a red powder on Savi’s forehead and hair as a sign, that she is a married woman. Eventually they circle the altar together and the people make “Booo”-sounds to celebrate. Within 30 minutes Yadhu and Savi are married.
After that we go to the house of Savi’s family, where they’ve set up a big tent in the garden. Now more and more people notice us and again we look in many friendly faces and talk to many very nice people. All in all there might be at least 600 people. Meanwhile the bridal couple is busy taking pictures on a big stage. Photos with the parents, siblings, cousins, neighbours, friends, other cousins and so forth and so on. They are busy for a very long time. We get an excellent lunch on a banana leave, take some pictures with the newlyweds and friends and all in a sudden the wedding is over. Yadhu and Savi get in the car and drive to his home, where Savi will live with him from now on. Everybody (including us) is happy, full, and wants to make a siesta. The next day, everybody will meet again at the reception in Fort Kochi where everybody comes to welcome Savi to the community.
Yadhu and Savi, we wish you a happy and long life together! Thank you for inviting us. It was a incredible honour and a great pleasure.
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