Hindu weddings are very religious. They are the union of a man and a woman. They are therefore said in Sanskrit, which is the language used in almost all of the religious performances and ceremonies conducted in India.
Since India has a very low education rate, the main language is also used for the sake of understanding. Marriage laws that they practice are not uncommon to the United States. They can intermarry, but have to stay within their own caste system. They are not allowed to move outside of the Hindu religion or even their own caste unless certain conditions are met.
During the ceremony, many prayers are said for the couple. They are said in the hope that the couple succeeds and that they prosper and are happy. The prayers may also be coupled by blessing from gods, such as Laksmi, the god of prosperity, Saraswati the god who gives learning and knowledge, and Ganesha, the god of luck and achievement. Ganesha may be the most commonly used, as I would use it for my friend’s wedding right now.
The weddings are very ceremonial. They have many rituals, including Saptapadi in which the couple takes their vows around a sacred fire. Barni Bandhwana is the ritual in which the couple prays that the wedding goes well and encounters no problems. One of the more interesting processions is when the groom leaves for the wedding riding an elephant. This is very formal and the groom is dressed to look remarkable. He has a lot of color and a long shirt that makes him look almost like royalty. This would be the Americans form of a limo.
However different their procedures may be, the Hindu religion is much like our own when it comes to marriage. Under law, polygamy is forbidden. They can only marry one person. They also conduct some of the same ceremonies. They take their vows around a sacred fire to represent the gods, we use rings. They have a procession with an elephant, we use a limo. They also pray before the wedding and hope that there are no problems or conflicts and that everyone can be happy. Hey, seriously, who gets married and doesn’t do this ritual?
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