An Indian Wedding in New York

A few weeks ago, my daughter got married here in New York.

It was a beautiful, happy occasion, where hundreds of friends and family members showed up, and celebrated. As my wife of the now-renowned Mukti’s Kitchen says, no Indian celebration is complete without food, friendship, and fun. And we had lots and lots of it.

Lots and lots of fun, food, and friends — both from our Bengali side, and our son in-law’s Punjabi side.

The ceremonies went for three days at our home in Brooklyn, capped off by the actual wedding and dinner on Long Island. And on the groom’s side, they had more than three days of fun-filled celebration. Between the two families of us, it was practically a two-week festivity. Friends and relatives came to New York from various parts of America. Some came from Canada and U.K. And my brother in-law, well-known artist Susanta Chakraborty came all the way from Calcutta. It was his first-ever visit to USA. He was the only person from India — from the bride’s side — who could attend the wedding.

Music, flowers, and wonderful Indian, Bengali and Punjabi attires worn by children, women and men made the wedding special.

But truly, our daughter’s wedding was special not just because we could spend our hard-earned money to make it as luxurious as possible. It was special because it was an example of race, religion, age and gender equality — our way.

We made it a point that even though it was a Hindu wedding, all our Muslim, Christian, Jew, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, gay, lesbian, capitalist, communist, socialist, atheist, black, white, brown and everyone else you can think of came and blessed the couple. The fact that everybody who participated with love had such a wonderful time was the true reason it was so special.

The entire ceremony was proof that true inclusiveness for a good cause is still very much possible. You need to show people that everyone is equally precious, and they reciprocate with heartfelt emotions. That is the true spirit of the Indian society.

I am sharing a few photos here, arranged choronologically. All photos were taken by Jose Tan.

Hope you have a wonderful 2017.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

bhangra-at-sangeetPhoto 1.Bhangra dance at the Sangeet ceremony.

artist-mama-blessesPhoto 2.Ashirvaad or blessing ceremony at our Brooklyn home. Artist Susanta Chakraborty, who visited from India, is blessing the bride, in presence of friends and relatives.

father-counts-number-of-turns-around-the-groom
Photo 3. — Bride arrives at the wedding hall, carried on a decorated wooden platform by three brothers. She circles the groom seven times, counted by the father of the bride.

flowers-and-friends-and-family
Photo 4. — Father gives away his daughter to the groom, through a religious ceremony called Sampradaan, presided over by the Hindu priest Jagat Jiban Sanyal. Parents of bride and groom sit on both sides. Friends and family members watch.

the-couple
Photo 5. — The newly-wed couple.

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