Saturday marked an event for the Budhrani and Escalante families, in this marriage of Johana and Dinesh they merged. The entire ceremony was new to me and I was a part of it, I played the role of father of the bride.
The wedding began in the hotel room of Johana which was symbolically her home. The groom arrived with his mother, brother, sister in law and other immediate family and requested permission of Johana’s mother to enter.
After entering was permitted, I as the father needed to wash the feet of the groom all under the direction of the priest.
The priest literally tied the hands of bride and groom together with string and then tied their clothes together, great symbolism. Then the entire wedding party left together for the ballroom in the Continental Hotel.
We, the wedding party sat on a raised platform under the eyes of Ganasha, a Hindu deity for the ceremony. “Ganesha’s elephant head makes him easy to identify.Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the devaof intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies.” Wikipedia
The actual ceremony was long, it consisted of the newlyweds sitting on a sofa for most of the time while Dinesh’s brother and I acting in the roles of father of groom and bride, performed many acts with flowers, food and fire under the direction of the priest.
The Hindu wedding ceremony has many variations. “The rituals and process in a Hindu wedding vary widely. Nevertheless, there are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings - Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi, which are respectively, gifting away of daughter by the father, voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify union, and taking seven steps with each step includes a vow/promise to each other before fire. The Hindu wedding ceremony at its core is essentially aVedic yajna ritual. The primary witness of a Hindu marriage is the fire-deity (or the Sacred Fire) Agni, in the presence of family and friends.” Wikipedia
After the ceremony the guest began to arrive for a long night of dancing, drinking and eating. We left at 1:30am because I needed to drive back to Boquete Sunday morning, well the same morning but I needed a few hours of sleep. I all a very wonderful positive experience for all.