Recently I attended two marriage ceremonies in the family. And believe me I came back confused and perplexed at the confluence of cultures. Though honestly speaking I have become much used to watch this confluence that nothing seems to disarm my mask of indifference but still there are certain matters which I need to write.
In earlier times (read my times) marriages were purely and purely Himachali, by Himachali I mean the way they were celebrated in Himachal. Brides would be like brides, hidden from pubic gaze, behind a veil. So when I saw the bride at one of the marriages I was pleasantly relieved that brides do behave like brides even these days but imagine my astonishment when I saw two red and gold velvety big chairs being brought to the courtyard so that the bride and the groom could sit in full public gaze. Not that I wanted to deprive the girl of all the attention that she deserved on her big day but still it was very incongruous. The big red chairs were put on a dais and I am sure the groom would have extended his hand to help the bride come up the dais! Now this was a new way to welcome the bride to the dais. And to see this ceremony taking place in villages where the courtyard is cleaned and covered with fresh cow dung, makes whole of the exercise very comic indeed.
it seems as if people want to have the best of the two worlds and while doing so make a caricature of themselves. If on the one hand it is much difficult to shed away old traditions and cultural practices, new, alien and outlandish customs have prominently become a part of marriage ceremonies.
I would write more about all that I observed but let me first come out of the cultural shock that I was exposed to!