|Kimmi & Harsimran | Mendhi, Maya, Chura||Thursday|
|Jalandhar, Punjab, India||April 3, 2008|
The next day was one of the most fun parts of an Indian wedding: the mendhi! Mendhi, more commonly known as henna, is a form of body beautification. A paste is made up of dried leaves of the henna flower, and then it is applied to the hands. When the paste first goes on and is wet it appears dark green.
As the paste dries, it turns black, and gets hard.
In order to let the colour get darker, you need to leave the paste on as long as you can. You can put on a mixture of lemon juice and sugar to keep the paste moist and sticking on the skin.
The designs are always different, and each hand is different. It’s really good fun to see all the ladies going around and comparing their patterns.
Here’s a shot of me that Rob really likes and wanted me to put up! You can see that I got my hands all covered in mendhi too, my favorite part of Indian weddings :)
The house was looking fab.
Then the girls started getting ready for the Maya. They made up a decorative design out of coloured powder to place in front of Kimmi’s feet.
It started off with Kimmi’s mom putting some oil in Kimmi’s hair with a small bunch of grass.
Then everyone took turns applying a paste made up of turmeric powder (which is called haldi in Hindi. If you’ve read my article on Hindu weddings you’ll realize that this Maya ceremony is essentially the same as the Haldi ceremony, just a different name for Punjabis!) and water.
Even covered with yellow goo, Kimmi still looked gorgeous and oh-so-happy.
Her mom tied a special bracelet around her wrist.
All the female sisters and cousins helped out.
Then it was time for the Chura ceremony. The chura are the special red and beige bracelets that a bride wears. Generally they are worn for as along as possible after the wedding. For some brides it is for a few days, for others it is a few months. Here the male uncles all touch the chura as they sit in a bowl of milk.
Then the brides maternal uncle puts the chura on.
And by now you should know what comes next. Party! Kimmi and her dad had a great time dancing together, with her mom looking on between them.
Even the grandmas get into the action.
Wedding houses are always lit up with gorgeous lights. Check out how spectacular the house looked.
And finally the kalirehs were tied on by the female cousins and sisters.
Kimmi hits her kalirehs above the heads of her un-married cousins for good luck, in hopes that they will get married soon.
According to a Indian bridal magazing we picked up here in Delhi, the shape of the kalirehs has a symbolic meaning. The top is shaped like a coconut, to show that the bride will always have food in her new home. There are metal pieces hanging from it, to show that she will always have wealth.
And a final shot of her gorgeous chura against her beautiful mendhi.
At this point all the events leading up to the big day had been completed. You could just sense the anticipation, as people tried to head to bed early for the wedding ahead. That means that dinner was held at 9:00 PM, instead of 11:00 PM! Lol. Indian people definitely tend to stay up late! We ducked out early, since we knew that we’d be getting up around 5:00 AM, and needed a ton of sleep. And it was well worth it, because the next day was just spectacular. Stay tuned for that!
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