Hi everyone, Kaylla here. This weekend we were invited to two weddings in Dolatpura of family members from our village partners. The experience was an amazing opportunity to really solidify our relationship with the people, and enjoy an awesome cultural event. After Erica and I donned colorful kurtis (Zoha was away getting dental surgery in Sidhpur so she could not attend, but she let me borrow her clothes) and the guys their slacks, we piled into the van as usual and made our way to Setco, then the wedding.
My first instinct when discussing cultural events is to compare what I am familiar with (American things) with what I experience in India, but I am coming to feel that doing so limits my perspective in taking in newer, incomparable things that are so rich and beautiful or unique. Thus as we arrived in Dolatpura, the burst of colors we were greeted with was unlike any wedding I had been to before. The women were dressed in gorgeous saris of every hue, and yellow and purple fabrics were draped from a frame so the sunlight would fall through, creating a celebratory atmosphere. Everyone was eating freshly cooked Indian food and luring music filled the air, catchy enough to make me unconsciously nod to the beat.
Though we did not stay for the whole wedding (we only stopped by for a bit) we did get the chance to congratulate the brides. With intricate henna tattoos that reached their biceps, shimmering jewelry, and beaded saris, the brides accepted our “lagaan mubarak” (wedding congratulations). Though I’m not sure my Gujarti was understandable since all I can say is “Tamaru photo leku chu” (can I take your photo), I think our gesture was well received and overall, it was a successful event.
The next day, we spent the morning working and planning out the rest of the week, waiting for Zoha to come back so we could venture to the malls on the main road in Baroda. As we left the guesthouse Erica was confident in her navigation skills, but one wrong turn gave us a short excursion to Baroda High School. Erica and Zoha quickly figured out the confusion and we made a few turns toward our destination.
Erica and I wanted some kurtis to wear since the heat has been unkind to thicker western clothing, so with Zoha’s keen fashionable eye, we tried on at least 10 (together not individually) Erica and I both made some great purchases. I’m so excited to wear my kurti to Dolatpura!
Overall I think it was quite an eventful weekend filled with a blend of relaxation, a dash of field work, and a handful of fun: a great recharge for the busy week to come.