We live in an increasingly globalised, future-orientated world where the new way is the best way. Yet many young people are rediscovering richness in tradition. Rajni and Kunal are not everyday traditionalists. They are young, educated, urban, fashionable. To say the least. Nevertheless they recognised the unique value of tapping into the ways that their parents and ancestors have long celebrated the sacred transition into marriage. It can’t be overstated that Indians make a really big deal of weddings. Like, everything is epic. Six days worth of celebrations; ceremonies and rituals, feasts, song and dance, colossal community, and lots of colour! The Indian marriage celebration is not just a stale rite of passage. It plays out like an epic saga belonging to great works of literature. It envelopes an entire community. It demands all your senses.
It was a privilege to witness and partake in Rajni and Kunal’s festivities. The story below documents only one of the six days – a traditional ceremony at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Avondale, Auckland. This beautiful day had a bit of everything, so feast your eyes.