So today it is finally time for me to attend my first real Indian wedding!
And it is not just any wedding. It is one of my closest colleagues that are having her wedding today! In good Indian tradition, this wedding will last for a number of days. It is one ceremony today, and the main ceremony is on Saturday. And given that they are both Parsees I expect this to be something very different from a traditional Norwegian wedding, and maybe even different from many Indian weddings.
I wrote a little bit about the Parsee community when I wrote about their New Years Eve, which is off course not at the same time as the traditional Norwegian New Years Eve, but I guess it’s ok to tell more about this community.
The term Parsee literary means “from or related to Persia/Iran”. This is also where the Parsees came from. When the Arabs invaded Persia, many of them had to flee, and this was how they ended up in India. Parsee also means someone that follows the prophet Zoroaster and is of the Zoroastrianism religion. This means that Parsees are not Hindus, so the wedding is not a Hindu wedding as such. This also means that it will be wrong to say that the Parsees are of any specific caste. They are from a different religion. The main ceremony on Saturday will be in a church, which I think would not have happened if it was a Hindu wedding.
Today, there are only about 100.000 Parsees totally in the world. The absolute majority (more than 70.000) live in India and mostly in Mumbai and around that area. Even if they are few, the Parsees have made a significant contribution to the Indian society. Some of the largest family companies like the Godrej’s and the Tata’s are from the Parsee community.
So what is it that I can expect at today’s wedding? Honestly, I don’t have much of a clue. If I have understood things correctly, today it will be more of a family getting together session. There are people from all over the world coming to this wedding, so today will be a chance for all of them to meet. There are also some parts of the ceremony that is supposed to take part at the Fire temple. This is a place where only people who are born Parsees are allowed entrance, so I will not be part of that ceremony.
On Saturday, we will be in a church in downtown Mumbai, where the main ceremony will be. This I expect to be a quite very huge setting with a lot of people.
Off course I will update and tell more about my experience after the wedding.
Talk to you soon!