Swapna's Hindu Wedding

Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of India  , Kerala,
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kozhikode (Calicut), India - Sonja and I met at Chennai airport and continued on to Calicut the following day to attend the wedding of her friend, Swapna. Swapna was kind enough to invite me as well as helping Sonja with evidence of wedding invitation to help process her Indian visa earlier than usual.

The train ride to Calicut was 12 hours long, we had waiting tickets which normally means, you will continue to wait and wait and wait. We were offered help as to where to sit before seeing the conductor. We only had to move a few times, and Indian trains are always packed. The windows have bars on but this still doesn't stop one from buying a tea or some treats through the bars. The 12 hours flew by with chat, treats and tea. We were exhausted by the time we got to Calicut.

It took some time to find a place to stay, many said they were full, but it might infact be that they are not allowed to host foreign visitors. We checked in at a more expensive place and had to try sleep with music echoing out from a food stall downstairs on the street. Even though we went to sleep well after 1am, we got a knock on the door at 6am asking if we wanted to buy water. Sadly, that young boy was told off.

In preparing for the Hindu wedding of Sonja's friend Swapna, i was worried about looking like a messy jungle traveller so we tried to find some traditional dress. But in the end, we got my trousers ironed and found a suitable top to wear from my bag. Sonja was unsure about a wedding present, I jokingly suggested a toaster but seeing as her friend loves cooked bread, we tried to find one. We did, but sadly, they didn't have one in stock and tried to sell us the display model in a different type of box. We were relieved later that we didn't buy a gift, as no-one else seemed to arrive with a gift. I was imagining me holding onto a large box and everyone wondering what was in it. But, I think on the positive side, it would have been our western addition to the wedding.

Sonja had stayed with Swapna's family for 11 days a couple of months before the wedding so they were very excited to see her and we were even allowed to stand on the stage during the wedding ceremony.

The wedding was a beautiful display of culture and i was fascinated to watch and be involved. We were asked to stand on the stage as it reflects well on a family if they have western guests/friends. The bride and groom in theory have not met before this day as the marriage is arranged.

The ceremony was wonderful and I felt very grateful for being invited. Of course, with all weddings, I really enjoyed the food after the ceremony.

Later in the day, there was more celebrations at the grooms house and we were treated to more delicious Indian delights.

We stayed in Calicut one more day then left as we were unable to find anymore cheap accommodation.

Next stop, Varkala
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