A large team of bandsmen preceded the marriage party to the girl’s house which was tastefully decorated with flower-garlands, outings and lights. At a short distance from the girl’s house, my brother was made to sit on a mare with huge Sera hanging from his head.
Hoe girl’s relatives were already there to receive us. We were given a red carpet reception. Then there was “Milne” i.
e. embracing of relative counter-parts from both sides. At the “Milne” all our close relatives were given gifts and money by the girl’s parents.
Then there was “Shaman” ceremony, during which we were also served cold drinks and then sweets with tea and coffee. Again, we were given gifts, packs of sweets and baskets of fruits. Our request not to be given any dowry only as dowry was accepted with a trick! After that we were treated to sumptuous dinner. Then there was the main marriage ceremony – “the pears” – which was performed by the priest. The boy and the girl both had to take several vows. It was almost dawn when the ceremony was over and the marriage party returned with the bride and the gifts.
We had our own photographers to prepare a movie of the whole marriage function from beginning to end. Thus an Indian marriage is a noisy and expensive affair.