In India, even weddings of ordinary people are attended by many guests, and the scale of the weddings of the rich makes people sigh: “Poverty limits imagination.” A few years ago, the daughter of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani got married and used 100 chartered flights and thousands of luxury cars to pick up and drop off guests. His guests not only included many Indian celebrities and international superstars like Amir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, etc. who were invited to sing, and even Hillary Clinton appeared among the guests in traditional Indian costumes… It is said that the warm-up party just before marriage cost 700 million US dollars!
Eating and drinking is a major theme of Indian weddings. The wedding of Ambani’s daughter invited 5,000 poor people in Mumbai to eat at their table for several days. Indians believe that the more people come to the wedding banquet, the better the marriage will be. So as long as you dress neatly and speak appropriately, even if you don’t have an invitation in your hand, a few words of blessing can enable you to join a wedding successfully. There is such a plot in the movie “Three Idiots”. Three students who had no invitations wore colored paper origami hats and successfully mixed into the professor’s daughter’s wedding banquet.
In India, marriage is the fusion of the social circles of the two families. This can be glimpsed from the Indian wedding invitation. Some Indian wedding invitations that reporters have seen not only state the wedding time, place, and the names of both the man and the woman, but also indicate whose son the groom is and whose daughter the bride is, and more importantly, include the relatives and friends of both spouses attending the wedding. The heavyweights are listed one by one, from government officials, business leaders to university professors, doctors, military officers, lawyers… and even some famous college graduates, and any relatives and friends who can add honor to the family will not be left out. It’s like a family honor spectrum. For those who receive the invitation, going to the wedding is a good opportunity to enter the family circle of the other party and expand their contacts. This also explains, on the one hand, why the higher the status of the wedding party family, the more guests and friends will attend, and even unconnected celebrities might get associated with it for the great opportunity it affords.
Weddings reduced by 70%
Large-scale gatherings, singing and dancing, and eating and drinking are also an easy means for spread of the new corona pneumonia virus, so large-scale weddings have been stopped. According to the most stringent regulations, there can only be a maximum of 25 people at the wedding including service personnel, including the MC, technicians, and catering service personnel of the wedding company. That leaves only half the number of places for the wedding couple, no more than a dozen. This is not the same as the lively scene of hundreds of people in the past. In addition, the wedding time has also been “shrinked.” Generally speaking, the set of rituals in an Indian wedding goes up to a dozen steps, and it takes 3 days to complete all according to the established rules. It is not uncommon for them to go up to a week or two even, to be more elaborate. Today, they are all compressed in one day or even half a day.
The epidemic has not only greatly reduced the number of people attending weddings and shortened their time, but also the number of weddings. Some wedding companies report that about 70% of the weddings originally scheduled to be held during the epidemic have been cancelled or postponed.
Wedding invitations during the lockdown period
zoom wedding live on YouTube
Under the epidemic situation, the form of weddings has to be innovated. Many wedding companies have introduced innovative wedding models that combine “offline” and “online”. Some young people who are familiar with information technology even start creative online weddings themselves. A more common one is zoom weddings, which use multi-person cloud video conferencing software such as zoom to connect people who cannot be there in person to the wedding scene. In this new situation, eating and drinking cannot be done, but singing and dancing can still be achieved. Artistic Indians can easily turn an online wedding into an “online” large-scale interactive singing and dancing party. Singing and dancing together also greatly enhances the guests’ sense of participation. The number of participants limited by zoom is 100 clients. This number is far from meeting the needs of Indian weddings. There are generally two solutions. One is to pay more to increase the client from 100 to 500, and the other is to divide the wedding participants into two types — a core layer and a peripheral layer. Those distant relatives and friends who have not contacted for many years are invited to watch the live broadcast of the zoom wedding on YouTube.
People will try their best to be creative to enhance the sense of participation and interactive interest in “online” weddings. For example, in the Haldi ceremony in the wedding, the bride and groom’s faces are smeared with Haldi (a paste made of turmeric powder), symbolising exorcism and blessings. At this stage, young people attending the wedding often play tricks, to playfully treat the newcomers well. Nowadays, with “online” weddings are held, young people who cannot go to the scene are unwilling to let go of this joy easily. They will remotely control the “internal response” of the wedding scene and paint a couple of couples as “cats”.
At a wedding in New Delhi, the groom also innovated his way of appearance with the help of the Indian police. In traditional weddings, the groom rides on a white horse. This groom lived in the southern suburbs of New Delhi, and the wedding venue was in the city center. During the epidemic, residents of the closed city must go through procedures even if they leave the community, let alone travel across districts. As a result, when the groom’s family obtained the travel permit at the police station in the jurisdiction, the wedding was almost ready. In order not to delay the couple’s “life events”, the police directly used the police car to send the groom and his family to the wedding scene. . The news that the police car replaced the white horse to send relatives also made a good story in the gloom of the epidemic, and received numerous blessings and praises from Indian netizens.