www.whyville.net Jun 19, 2005 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

The Times Editor Is Married

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Hello fellow Whyvillians and guests,

My name is gopal200 and I am a Hindu. If you didn't know, the Times Editor recently got married to a Hindu.

The religion Hinduism originates from India. Our main language is Hindi. Hinduism is the third most popular religion in the world, and the most popular in India.

I'm here to explain how Hindi weddings work. I know that you've read a few articles from last week's Times, but perhaps you'll appreciate hearing from a practicing Hindu.

Our weddings happen on an auspicious date, set by a pandit (pan-de-th), which means priest.

The groom usually travels all the way from his house on a horse (or in a car) to the bride's home, accompanied by his family, all dancing and singing along with the band. This is a very fun and nice part.

Meanwhile, the dulhan (dul-hun), who in English is known as the bride, is getting ready and her side of the family is waiting for the barat (bha-raht), which is what we call the group of the groom and the people accompanying him.

When the groom -- the dulha (dul-ha) -- arrives, he sits down on what you might call the altar, or, as an Indian would call it, a mundap (mun-duh-ap). He is later accompanied by his bride.

In the center of the altar, a fire is lit and the priest speaks some holy words. After the holy words are said, the bride and groom walk around the fire seven times, which represents how they are going to be together for seven lifetimes.

After that, the groom puts sindoor (sin-do-re) on the bride's head. The sindoor is actually a type of red-colored powder that is considered holy. Wearing this red powder is a sign that a woman is married.

The next step would be for the groom to put a holy necklace, or a mangalsutra (mang-al-sue-thra), around the wife's neck. After all this is done, the couple is considered married.

In the Times Editor's case, maybe only some of these rituals will be performed, because there is not enough space, time or the right equipment to perform it all.

Anyway, I wish the Times Editor a prosperous marriage! I also hope he publishes a photo of his newly wedded wife.

Logging out,

Editor's Note: Thank you, gopal200, and everyone else for your wondering wishes of joy and prosperity. The outpouring of love and curiosity has been truly inspiring!

In the interest of privacy, I won't publish a picture of our wedding, but I will let you know that it was truly wonderful. We had almost 200 guests who attended a beautiful ceremony performed by a close friend of her family. The day before the wedding, a smaller group of my close family and hers honored her ancestors at their home -- mostly solemn, the event involved symbols of gratitude, honor and generosity. At the end, the cleansed me and my future wife with holy water and a turmeric mixture -- by rubbing the turmeric all over our faces and dousing us with the water! :-)


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