Wedding of the year - Nepali style
Posted by Katrina and Martin Butterworth at 00:00 on 20th July 2012
Its all over. The “wedding of the year” dominated last weekend and was a great success.
On Saturday morning I left home at 5.30am to meet up with the “janti”, the groom’s supporters who were charged with collecting the bride. It was a carefully selected representation of family, church and friends; 22 of us in all. Traditionally this would be a much bigger procession between homes with much singing and dancing. Some adaptation has been necessary!
Having assembled, drank tea and prayed, we all got onto a large bus and went to the airport. Then it was check-in and a 45 minute flight to Biratnagar in the east. Thankfully the flight was on schedule despite the monsoon weather. At Biratnagar airport we boarded another chartered bus, less luxurious, and were taken to the wedding venue – a “party palace” as the church was much too small. Wedding service number one commenced with yours truly being instructed to sit in the front row (photo; I’m next to the best man with the groom next to him and his parents each end), most embarrassing. It was very hot and the power went off part way through, not easy in the essential jacket and tie.
After the wedding service we ate a buffet curry and returned to Kathmandu, with bride and friend (sort of maid of honour) safely secured. There was much discussion, even in the airport, about whether they were married or whether the Kathmandu leg of the wedding was the defining moment. We, the elders, decided that it had been a “proper” wedding and they were married. The groom thought otherwise! He’d promised our church in Kathmandu that they would have a wedding, so that’s what they were going to get.
Having slept in separate houses the bride and groom gathered themselves next morning and the Kathmandu wedding commenced. This was a much bigger affair, hundreds of church folk, more family and lots of friends and neighbours. There was another ceremony followed by a mass catered buffet curry and a couple of hours break before the “reception”. At the afternoon event we took the rare opportunity of having our whole family dressed respectably and got a photo, shame about the feet being cut off! Thought I’d attach this one too for your entertainment, Ruth’s first outing in a saree – her own request.
A whole new set of people arrived for the evening which was primarily a “networking” opportunity, doing right by the numerous people who needed to be respected and have a photo with the couple. Having represented church/friends for the last two days I now became part of the UMN office group for a final photo, or three. Now the jacket, tie and sarees can go back in the cupboard.