Thursday, November 14, 2013

India: Juroon & Biya

Pre-Wedding – Juroon

The day before the wedding, was the Juroon ceremony when Gaurav’s (groom) mother officially welcomed the Elizabeth (bride) to the family. The venue was the perfect picture of romance with drapery of soft teals, peaches and gold accents. The ceremony took place in front a morol (a square shaped structure decorated with flowers and banana tree leaves) and commenced with the official greeting of the two mothers and exchange of gifts. After certain rights were performed, Elizabeth was ushered out and seated in front of the morol facing a mirror, which she was later required to throw out. Gaurav’s mom applied sindoor (red holy powder)  to the parting of Elizabeth’s hair signifying that she is now a member of the family and presented her with gifts she would need as she starts her new life.

All fresh petals

Welcome of the mothers

Elizabeth's Warriors :) 

Bride's entrance 

sindoor application

authentic jasmine tea
The Wedding Day

Haldi - Ceremonial Bath
That morning, the bride and groom's mothers visited a nearby lake (country club in this case lol ) to fetch  holy water for the couple to be bathed at their respective homes.  We attended Gaurav’s which turned out not to be an actual bathing but more of a wetting.  It was heart-warming  to be part of this because it is traditionally a family event.  Members of his family (and us lol ‘sup fam!) washed (more like smeared) him with turmeric mixed with oil and water 3 times on the head arms and feet as a blessing.

Biya - Wedding

After getting our sarees tied at Terry & Rachel’s (friends of Elizabeth whom we’d become close pals with  -hey guys : ) we headed off to the wedding venue.
Upon arrival, there was a herd of press as we stepped out of our car (didn't mention this earlier but Gaurav is a rising politician and his dad is also the Chief Minister of Assam). It was quite the experience and the first time we got to really see the other aspect of his life. My first reaction was “oh-shit!! I’m wearing flip flops #vain  (my shoes were in my bag)” fancy being televised at a fancy wedding in a fancy saree wearing  flip flops, eh? But oh well, it was too late to jump back in the car, so I kept my head down, my saree low and kept it moving. After getting through the cameramen and photographers we were greeted by Gaurav’s childhood friends who informed us that friends and family of the groom where all required to be in a procession (Baraat) and dance the groom (who was atop a horse a half mile away) into the venue, where the bride’s friends and family would be waiting at the entrance hindering us passage. They would “steal” Gaurav’s slippers which he could only collect after paying a hefty fine – our job was to prevent this from happening.

The Baraat was such good fun, there was a 35-man band busting out tunes as we walk-danced; every so often the procession would stop for dance sessions.  The 3 of us got our dance on; I bobbed my head so hard I almost broke my neck and Rose danced so hard her saree unraveled haha . We finally arrived back at the entrance with the press at bay (across the street) and the haggling began. In what seemed like a blur, there was a rice fight (play fight), someone got head-butted (joke) by the brides friends and they were off with the slippers.

Groom's sister and her daughter
Rose, Rosa and I 

The fun mellowed out with the commencement of the ceremony. The couple were seated in front of 101 burning candles where they exchanged their vows and chanted mantras in front of three Assamese priests. My favorite part of the ceremony was a dice game; the idea is that whoever has the higher number would have the upper hand in the marriage; Elizabeth’s number was higher - she wins again!

Rachel, Me, Rose, Rosa
Photo by Rosa Ortiz

The Formal Reception

Because of who the Gogois are, there had to be a formal reception on a separate day for government officials and politicians. We thought we were dazed from the press of the previous day but on this day, there was an unbelievable amount of cameras(men) along with heavily clad security carrying machine guns;  Rosa almost had a heart attack as we stepped out of the car. This time, my act was together and was wearing proper shoes :). The receptions was filled with tons of important people whom we of course had no idea who they were but I managed to score and up close picture of Rahul Gandhi the VP of the INC (grandson of Indira Gandhi) and I must say the hombre es muy caliente.

Couples cabana where they shook hand with over 1000 guests

separate cabana for the high profiles

Dinner is served - India, Italian and Thai 

Delicious black tea

Rahul Gandi & Chief Minister Gogoi


  1. Lovely wedding! Traditional/cultural weddings are always so vibrant in color! God bless their union.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I really like yours too. I love the way it's set up. I'm new to blogging, and I'll appreciate getting help on how to improve the look of mine. Let me know if you have the time. Thanks!!


    1. Thanks for stopping by too :) you flatter me, im also relatively new to blogging and have a waaaayyyys to go but im happy to share what I know with you. I dont have an official email but feel free to send me a message via g+:) It always nice to make virtual acquaintances :)


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