Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wedding Bonanza (part 2)


I've decided to write the Wedding Bonanza story is five parts.  I started with the holud and mehndi DIY, and this part is more about those events.

I'm going to focus on the holud.  It's a truly Bangladeshi tradition.  After the guests arrive, the groom's party arrives.  They are greeted by the bride's family.  Her siblings and younger cousins line up and feed them sweets and hand them small welcome gifts, such as roses decorated with ribbons.  They bring dalas, which are the gifts for the bride.  Usually, baskets are decorated and the bride's bridal clothes, shoes, matching purse, and various other new outfits.  Some dalas contain gifts (clothes) for the bride's immediate family, which in my case meant my parents, my brother, and my grandparents.  Different families do it differently, opting to gift out to the parent's siblings/aunts/uncles, as well.  Other dalas contain fruits and sweets.  These were arranged out in front of the stage, along with the sweets that the aunties in my community made.  If you're wondering where the groom is in all this - he's not invited!  While we chose to have a ladies-only holud, even at coed functions, the groom isn't invited to the bride's holud, and vice versa.  Don't worry, though - members of my family decorated dalas of our own which were brought to Char earlier in the day.

A collection of beautifully decorated dalas of clothes and food!

After everyone was seated with my almost-in-laws at a place of honor, I entered accompanied by my cousins.  Traditionally, everyone in the bride's party dresses in yellow and the groom's in a contrast color, but I exercised a little bridezilla power.  I wore a yellow sharee (sari), my guests wore reds and oranges, and my in laws wore blues and greens.  My mom's best friend conspired to purchase matching sharees for the aunties and separate matching sharees for my friends.  If so many of them weren't hijabis, I might have posted the pictures!  Everyone lined up to put turmeric paste on my forehead and cheeks and feed me a bite of sweets.  This tradition is to wish the bride well and make du'a (give blessings) for the upcoming marriage.

After dinner the fun really began.  There was a show!  Many of the community aunties had prepared acts such as dances, skits, and poetry.  Since my in-laws are Pakistani, they incorporated some Urdu into their acts as well.  They really wanted them to feel welcome as the newest members of our community.  In addition to the aunties, my cousins and friends and little girls in the community also performed dances, down to my cousins children!  It was so cute!  My cousins did a really heartfelt dance to a Bangla song and my friends danced to BSB!  My in-laws prepared a couple of songs too!!  The surprise my mom and I planned for everyone was that I sang - I don't perform anymore, but I've been training since I was five, and aunties always tell me I should keep it up cause they love my voice (not to toot my own or anything, haha).  It was very exciting to perform and also kind of scary to sing for my mother-in-law-to-be, but she seemed to enjoy it.

After all the performances, we opened up the dance floor.  The highlights of that are my mother, Nanu (maternal grandmother) and Nanu's sister getting their grooves on!  It was a great night and you could really feel the love.

I want to end with this photo of my sharee/look.  I've (weirdly) colored in my head and neck because I'm not wearing hijab, but iA from now on, I won't be blocking out my face from photos.  The sharee itself is a yellow net in the lehenga style, meaning there are no pleats in front.  I chose this for it's beautiful color scheme of green, blue, and pink (and yellow!).  The blouse was made to fit with a three-quarter-length sleeve so that I can wear it again when I'm not with ladies only. ( :  I'm wearing flower jewelry in the traditional style, although mine isn't made from fresh flowers as it sometimes is.

The outfit I wore for my holud!  I loved the colors and the materials.  I'm wearing tradition flower jewelry, and I did my eye make-up to match, using yellows and greens.

Hope you've enjoyed!