From an email from a friend of mine….
Weddings everywhere are pretty similar, is the observation I have to make after watching a Baptist wedding. I thought an “American” wedding was a half-hour thing…but no, the ceremony today started 20 minutes late, went on for about 2 hours, and was preceded and succeeded by “rehearsal dinner”, “Pre-wedding brunch”, post-wedding reception, and there will be a “day after” brunch at the bride’s place…can you see any difference? Everyone was milling around, making tremendous amounts of noise as they circulated and conversed; only at the ceremony was everyone seated and perfectly quiet (that is one part I would like to integrate into our chaotic weddings!). The rituals were chosen to be meaningful…there were poetry and prose readings, and I was especially moved by an Apache wedding message that is given to the newlyweds of the tribe. The preacher spoke very movingly, and quoted the lovely poem of Yeats which ends, “Tread softly, for you tread upon my dreams.” For the few minutes when the vows were said, I became the bride’s mother once again, and it was my daughter getting married…the beauty of the long-known words still made my eyes moist.
Amazing how people are the same everywhere…
With a few exceptions (eg, a lovely house designed by Chitale in Madurai), “architect-designed” homes in India are pretentious, impractical affairs. The house is fancy-shmancy, doesn’t gel with the lifestyle of its owners, doesn’t take mundane everyday details (like drying clothes, or storage of old newspapers, to quote two usually glaring omissions) into consideration.