Monday, 22 January 2007

Naga Wedding in Imphal and Kohima

After our sightseeing of Imphal and my being interviewed live by Danish radio P3 about Christmas in the Northeast, it was time for the main event. Susanna's old friend Sweetie was getting married. The wedding itself took place in Imphal whereas a night reception was held in the groom's village in Kohima, Nagaland.

The bride arrives. Behind her is Susanna as bridesmaid...

...and of course the four lovely flower girls.

Inside the large church with room for about 1000 people the ceremony is about to start.

During the wedding ceremony the pastor invited all other ordained pastors present to join in a blessing of the couple. There are quite a few pastors amongst the Nagas so six of them joined in.

The bride and groom jointly light a candle to symbolise their union.

After the wedding there was first a reception in Imphal before moving on to Kohima in Nagaland. On this pavilionwell wishers get to congratulate the newly weds and be photographed with them...

...while all the other guests watch and eat.

Organising a Naga wedding is a huge operation taking months and months of planning. Here friends and relatives are preparing the huge wedding meal in the days preceding the wedding. Naga diet is very rich on meat and there are not many animals that are considered taboo to eat, so pretty much everything goes.

In Manipur and Nagaland, you don't typically go to the supermarket to buy your meat. Most people slaughter their own animals and that was also the case for this wedding. I didn't have the stmach to take pictures of actual animals being slaughtered, but here is a look into the meat storage room the day before the wedding.

After the reception in Imphal we started our journey towards Nagaland in a bus and a couple of smaller vehicles. Here a photo from our car shows a small part of the beautiful landscape filled with blooming yellow flowers in December.

At the night reception in Nagaland the bride and her friends and relatives changed from Western wedding clothes to traditional Naga dresses. The bride, Sweetie, is in the middle of course.

And here she pays her respect to her new mother-in-law as it is customary in Nagaland.

3 comments:

oreneta said...

Thanks for the link, giving you one back...

Your photos are amazing.

I went to a Hindu wedding in Uttar Pradesh, only one day of it. This one is far more orderly....the one I was at was the most amazing mob scene, although if I had a clue what was going on, I may have seen more order in the chaos. I was also focused on making sure that the sari I was wearing wouldn't fall off or be ruined. It was borrowed and stunning, and I felt the weight of pressure about it. An amazing experience.

HERVE said...

Hej!

Wow! Disse bildene er kjempefint! Og brullypet ser fantastisk ut! Var du invitert i festen? :) Vel, jeg har lyst til å besøke India mer og mer!
Oh, forresten bor jeg nå i Montréal, Kanada :) Jeg reiser ofte, som du ser I hvertfall venter vi til din neste artikkel! Ha det bra!

Hervé

NellieGwynne said...

Thanks Eager for holding back on the animal slaughter.
This is just so enjoyable to read and look.