Human Flower Project


Orrington, MAINE USA

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Murrieta, CALIFORNIA USA

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Princeton, MAINE USA

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bengali Weddings ~  What’s the Rush?


Making marriages to last (or so they hope), Bengali Hindus bring carved marsh-reeds, grass bracelets, marigolds and tuberoses to the altar.


image

Rituparna Basu on the eve of her wedding in Kolkata;

a priest and family members gather to bless her and

the wedding crowns, made of shola.

Photo: Sandy Ao

Indian couples typically don’t hurry into marriage. Even circa 2008, many parents still choose their children’s life partners, often picking out spouses years in advance.

If that weren’t enough of a brake, there are so many other customs to slow things down…ornately…devoutly…florally. Who could possibly elope where there are conch shells to blow, spongegrass crowns to make, bracelets to tie on, holy water to sprinkle, marigolds to purchase, nose rings to rig, and vermillion to daub?

In February, the wedding season in Bengal, Sandy Ao had the joy of attending two Kolkata weddings (three actually, because two couples shared ceremonies). Over the past few weeks she’s showered us with some of most splendid images we’ve seen in nearly four years of HFP.  Flowers and plants play bigger roles in Bengali weddings than do bridesmaids (or even caterers) in U.S. celebrations. Without further ado…


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Posted by Julie on 07/23 at 10:31 PM
Culture & SocietyReligious RitualsPermalink