“So did you have an arranged marriage?”
“Did you speak to your husband before you got married?”
“Did he come riding on a horse/elephant for the wedding? ”
Yes, Yes and No.
I am from India and Mine was an arranged marriage. And Once we both agreed to getting married, our families met and decided the date, venue and other arrangements (no headache of planning or becoming a bridezilla). After seven years I can say it worked out pretty well for us.
My wedding was not a Bollywood production. Given that majority of population in India ( or of Indians anywhere) is of Hindu religion and What is seen on the silver screen is a grand Hindu wedding, it is easy to understand why these questions would come my way. But mine was a simple church wedding. He didn’t come riding a horse, no large wedding procession, no dancers dancing in a synchronized way and the wedding ceremonies did not last one whole week.
I would not be wrong in saying that I love bollywood movies. I am among the ones who watch atleast one bollywood movie every week. It is like a comfort food to me and it is something that still gives me a glimpse (however rosy!)in to my Indian culture. As a culture, Our love for colors, large family gatherings, food and celebration is epitomized in a marriage ceremony and movie makers get that. Thanks to the movies, The tradition of sangeet (Song and dance at bride’s house), mehandi (or application of henna have moved out of the religious domain and into weddings of all religions.
In south of India, it is customary for christian brides to wear a Saree- the traditional Indian garment albeit in white instead of red. The jewellery is in keeping with the traditional style.
This is from another wedding in my family. A few years ago, this would not have been a common sight – A christian bride with henna on her hands.
This is one thing that Bollywood has achieved cannot be paralleled by any socio-political discourse especially when it comes to weddings. Bollywood has succeeded in addressing the culture of the land without its religious connotations….. I think it has become a unifying factor for a land often divided on issues of religion and languages.
I guess that is a great gift of Bollywood movies.
oh and if you are interested in seeing one Bollywood movie with a big fat Indian wedding with all the bells and whistles, I would recommend Hum Aapke hain kaun