The last wedding on my mom’s side of the family was finalized, and my family’s attendance was most certainly required. This was the perfect trip for my best friend Jessie to accompany me on, a classic large scale Indian wedding in the heart of India. Tickets were booked in February and the next thing we know, we are landing in New Delhi during Thanksgiving break 2016. It was a two week trip filled with riding in cycle rickshaws, watching care free motorcyclists cut off cars, and bargain shopping.
In New Delhi we got the opportunity to go on a Segway tour through 3 big attractions, the India Gate, the Parliament house, and Rashtrapati Bhavan. The India Gate is a war memorial created to honor soldiers from World War 1 and the Afghan wars, and while segwaying past the memorial we go to witness soldiers performing a ceremony to commemorate fallen soldiers. Next we passed the Parliament house and got a glance at where all the members of congress get together and after that we had a great view of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s house, and for the record much larger than the White House.
After touring New Delhi we all hopped in a 3 hour cab ride and headed to Agra, which is the city the wedding would take place in and the home of the Taj Mahal. My cousins from California were also in Agra for the wedding, so one day all of us Texans and Californians proceeded together to the Taj Mahal. All of us gathered in the shaky bus that lead to the entrance and once we passed security we were in. It was beautiful and Jessie and I could not get over the fact that we were there in that moment together. Watching the hues of the white marble change as the sun slowly peaked through the clouds made it look so much better in person than in pictures. We were out touching the smooth Taj Mahal stone while all of our friends were back at home stuck in school. Standing there admiring the intricate details of the building was enough to give us chills.
Lastly the event we had all been waiting for arrived, the wedding. A traditional Indian wedding takes place over the span of about 3 days, but 5 if including the super small only immediate family invited ceremonies. Jessie and I spent the wedding week in completely traditional clothing such as suits, kurtas, and lenghas, which in effect made us feel like princesses. The two of us were constantly busy running around from place to place and helping with the wedding festivities, along with enjoying the energetic atmosphere and Hindi music. Professional artists came and applied detailed henna to our hands and then professional choreographers even taught Jessie and I a dance that we performed at the wedding reception! Even though that dance was 45 seconds long it was still confusing to learn and nerve wracking to perform, but we somehow did it. One thing in particular that was stunning were the colors. Vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges filed the next few days in the form of food, clothing, and decorations. There was no chance for a dull moment to take place with pops of rich color at every corner. The wedding itself was a beautiful (but long) ceremony and once everything was over there was a big family dinner to celebrate the end of the fun/chaotic time.
This trip to India was the beginning of the trips I’ll take with my best friend that enriched us both with history and culture.
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