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India In the Sikh tradition

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Vikram singh, Aug 10, 2010.

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  1. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    INTERVIEW: Irish fashion designer Joanne Hynes donned traditional Indian wedding garb to marry Kamal Chana in New Delhi, writes DEIRDRE MCQUILLAN

    ‘IT WAS REALLY magical,” sighs fashion designer Joanne Hynes, recalling her wedding to her Indian beau Kamal Chana in New Delhi earlier this year. In particular, she remembers the special moment when the couple walked together to the gurdwara or temple for the formal ceremony. “You stop at every house and drums are beating and men are singing of love.” A European bride is a rare sight in the city, says Hynes, and everybody assumed she was American. “We didn’t really want a big production, but for his family, a traditional Sikh wedding, which is a week-long affair, was really important.” More than 300 guests, the majority of them the groom’s relatives and friends, along with Hynes’s parents and a couple of family members from Galway, attended the celebrations.

    Hynes and Chana met in New Delhi a few years ago. Chana comes from a manufacturing family, trained in New Delhi, and has done a degree in fashion design and an MBA in luxury marketing at the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Despite their different backgrounds, the couple share a lot in common. “We can have a conversation about lining for half an hour, me starting from the creative end and he starting from the commercial side and we meet in the middle. He is technically very astute and has a real European sensibility, more tuned in than I am,” she says. “At the moment he is doing a lot of work looking at artisan manufacturing.”
    The wedding, in the time-honoured Indian tradition, full of ritual and ceremony, was a colourful, joyous event with much music, singing and dancing. “It was all new for his family, too, because traditionally the bride leaves from her own house and the groom from his, but I was staying with his family, so that was another novelty factor. People move into the house for the whole week, all the furniture is taken out and food is offered 24/7. It’s called the jaggo, which means wake up,” she explains.

    Her elaborate wedding attire consisted of a very ornate sari and four different suits or salwar kameez, gifts from the groom’s family for the festivities. “What you wear is very important and the bride is the centre of attention, so there was a lot of pressure in that sense, particularly since I am not Indian. But the Sikh marriage is considered very sacred and I learnt a lot from it as one who has never felt connected to my own religion, which didn’t have any relevance. Sikh belief is very scientific.”

    Her maroon and green velvet sari was covered in crystal and gold zari embroidery and she wore a veil and jewellery on her head. “I really enjoyed the process of choosing a sari. It is so pleasurable, you just wrap it around the body and there are no fitting problems, apart from the bodice. I loved the process of standing with my arms out and being draped by other people – I was off duty.” Traditionally every female guest at the wedding is given a suit, every man a gift.

    Henna painting was another key stage of the ceremony. “It’s done on the second day and traditionally the entire leg is painted. It took two guys three hours to paint my legs and hands and they inscribe the initials of the groom somewhere in the patterns and the groom has to find them. As the henna sets and dries, there is singing and dancing and food. Before the marriage ceremony, the henna is washed off with milk and rose petals and you have to wear special bangles for 40 days and 40 nights. So you are really in character and it’s a ceremonial dress.”

    She has become fascinated by the sari “and from a trend point of view the radar is on Asia at the moment,” she says. “I love the idea of draping and find it very therapeutic. If I feel low I go and drape on the dummy and it works. I just love the simplicity of it and you can see it coming through in a lot of collections such as those of Lanvin and Dries Van Noten.”
    Markets in places such as Dubai have now opened for Hynes and she adapts her collection accordingly. “Those collections have to be looser, freer, lighter, with strong colours – they’re less complicated.”

    Although she didn’t design her own bridal attire, she has designed for a number of wedding customers. “The new trend is for lifestyle weddings – customers will come in and say ‘I am going to XYZ and I want something that will work abroad’. We have a lot of brides buying dresses before the wedding. We had two brides recently for my white leather dresses.”
    Many women, however, want what she calls “the princess experience”, particularly younger women. “But Irish women experiment a lot more, they don’t come in with preconceptions and are open to ideas. Normally what they want to know is what will others think, what will the mother-in-law think?”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2010/0807/1224276105467.html
     

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Forgive me but I can't see the Sikh tradition in this. Sari, visiting homes on the way to the ceremony, mehindi, all may be traditional Indian but how Sikh is it?

    Sikh brides wear salwar kameez not saris -- unless I suppose they are born and bred outside of Northern India. But even then I wonder.

    I know it is still traditional among many Sikh brides to have the mehindi ceremony before they are married. But is it Sikh? The designs are traditional for Vedantic beliefs and it is difficult to match this up with the Sikh Rehat Marayada.

    I am not speaking against this. Just am genuinely befuddled whenever I read about it, or someone tells me about a wedding where it was practiced.

    Last point. The protocol for a Sikh Wedding is for bride and bridegroom and their families to meet before the ceremony at the gurdwara and then the couple process to the darbar sahib together. It is new to read -- that they process through the neighborhood visiting homes.

    Maybe I have been in a daze and am just getting the full story?
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Narayanjot ji,

    Guru fateh.

    It was a " Sikh ceremony" in a way. No where in the news it is mentioned that Chana is a Gursikh. He belongs to a Sikh family, so the marriage is more to do with clannish traditions than the religious side.

    One can say it was more like a "Sikhwood" ceremony. Many Sikh ladies do wear sarees on special occasions like this but never seen a bride getting married in a saree with a veil as she has mentioned. Veil is an old Punjabi tradition borrowed from the Muslims and it is kind of archaic now.

    I do not know if you know about this but the origin of Salwar kameez is from Afghanistan as is harmonium and tabla.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  5. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Sikh weddings can be all sorts of things. There are certain Punjabi traditions usually followed, but really, the anand Karaj itself is all that is needed to satisfy the religious requirements.

    I startled everyone by being married in a blue chola (long enough to be decent on a woman), dressed exactly like my husband, except he tied turban and I had a chunni. If I were to do it now, we'd both tie turbans.

    And I scandalised everybody except the groom by refusing to wear make-up. Hardly convention, but it worked for us.

    To satisfy Daddy, we had all the stupid parties and to do. At least the anand karaj was as I had always dreamed.

    I did wear a sari on my wedding night, managing it just right to...you know...entice my new husband. Normally, I hate wearing saris because I feel like I'm gift-wrapped. On this occasion, I really was gift wrapped, so it was OK.
     
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  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    It would be very interesting if individual members would share the unique features of their particular marriage. Some of us enjoy these stories.
     
  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Tejwant ji

    Yes I was aware that the salwar kameez originated in Afghanistan. One of my hobbies is salwar kameez as a cultural study and for personal collecting. I have more than 40 LOL.

    Now that Aman Singh has uploaded the photo of the couple I get a better notion of what was the case in this department at least. The bride is wearing a khalidar-style kurta (heav hResham embroidery, actually I can't be sure of the beading from the pic) and churidhar style trousers/salwar.

    My personal ultimates are in the Chikan style of heavily embroidered cotton from UP. Which cheerleader have become expensive. So I don't buy them these days. LOL

    Example of Chickan embroidery attached.
     

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  8. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Narayanjot ji,

    Beautiful collection!

    Following are two pictures from my nieces wedding. The first one is Maneet who got married last year in May and this is what she wore at reception.

    The second one is Haroop who got married in May this year.
     

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  9. spnadmin

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    Tejwant Singh ji

    They are magnificent and what my image of perfection would be/is. Now to get technical? Is Manmeet wearing one of the new foil silks. It is a graceful gown. I have never actually seen the foils which are becoming popular among fabric sellers. Your second neice is for the information of readers who are interested in this kind of thing a brilliant example of zari work.

    I could spend all day on this subject.
     

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