Today's post is a long one full of photo's and stories. This is due to the fact that we were traveling and attending my wife's nieces wedding. We also had another festival and a few stops along the way.
But first to the wedding. It was truly an international affair as Ammu married Bruno on January 17. Both of them now live in Melbourne, Australia although Ammu's root's are here in India, while Bruno's family is of Chinese decent from Malaysia. Ammu's mom is Catholic while her dad is Hindu and thus a Hindu celebration was had. This is the second type ceremony that I attended as her brother Ammu had a similar wedding in the summer of 2011 although he married a girl with local roots.
However there were a number of different touches this yea that helped make the ceremony easier to follow and understand. First was a lovely little booklet was produced that explained the various rituals and their meanings. Second I think the photographer's this year took a bit of a lesson from me as they stayed to the side and kept low which is my style of inconspicuous shooting for weddings. This allowed everyone a chance to view the proceedings.
Now Southern Hindu weddings are a little different then there northern counter parts with the most notable being that it is over two days and not three. The first three photo's are from that evening where it is all about the bride as her family prepares her for the marriage. There are some simple rituals in which she gets the blessings from her parents and family and then there is an entertainment program for the rest of the evening.
Day two it is about the groom and his being welcomed to the family and joining his bride. After her brother brings the groom in and washes his feet, the brides parents walk her in. She then greets him and a variety of garland and items are exchanged. They also circle the alter three times and there is a ritual fire which burns from wicks that were made the evening before during the entertainment by the single and married ladies. At one point they pour rice in to the flames. It is a Kerala custom then for the groom to tie a Talley around the brides neck after which they are married. Then becomes a long stretch as the family and guest come up to greet and bless the couple and have their photo taken with them. Below are some of the photo;s I took on the second day.
Finally I waited until the end where I quickly asked Bruno and Ammu to indulge me in creating an individual iPhone Hipstamatic portrait of both of them.
On our way down we stopped at a church dedicated to St. Sebastian in Allapply. My father-in-law walked in and knelt down and there was this one beam of sunlight coming in behind him which I really liked and gave a spiritual feel to the photo.
These two photo's were taken at the Trivandrum Zoo. It is one of the nicer one's in Kerala, but it still has many of it's animals behind heavy iron bars.
Now we are in our final day and my next blog post won't be until we return home next Monday. While looking for something to photograph I found this flower which had bloomed while we were away. As I shot my wife told me that we had to prepare for the arrival of the arrow for St. Sebastian's Feast that takes place at our local parish this weekend.