Leaping Across Cultures

The newlyweds at their reception, surrounded by the camera and video crew – –

Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2005

The day we arrived in India, December 30th, was in part notable as it was the day that my cousin Sonya was married at the Little Flower Church in Ernakulam. Now, she was raised in Africa and then in the US, and for all intents and purposes is imbued with the ways of the Western pop culture. By that, in particular, I mean that getting married via the arranged marriage approach was not necessarily the most obvious or comfortable route. But that is the way she chose, with fabulous success (so far, I mean marriage is one of those things that needs a long timeframe before any real assessment can be made, if one can truly find a set of parameters with which to do so, right?).

And in marrying in this manner, she has expanded the possibilities that all her cousins may consider. Perhaps, it was a case of seeing how her older relatives were married, respecting who they were and how their marriages had shaped them, and therefore finding enough credence in this particular framework to consider it for herself, even if it was not part of the culture she was from.

We arrived in India the day of the wedding, and were only able to attend the reception. What we saw was a couple with the tired glow of newlyweds at the end of a seemingly interminable number of functions, now pleasantly tolerating the last of the hundreds of photos and the capture of hours / meters of video footage.

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