Weddings are lovely and…..long. And they should be. It’s no small thing to herald a relationship to the world. It takes time and planning, but it’s a joyful celebration of two souls, two hearts.
This weekend we attended an extraordinary Sikh wedding, robust with ritual, tradition and colour!
If you have never been to a Sikh wedding, they are events. They are affairs of jubilance and abundance. There are the Shabads ( spiritual music/hymns), followed by the Ardaas (silent prayer), then the Palla ceremony which tethers the bride and groom together by the bride’s father signifying physical and spiritual union.
The Lavaan describes the four pillars of marriage, and as it is being read and sung, the couple circles around the guru. At the completion of these 4 cycles, they are considered married. There are more prayers and hymns, blessings and gifts.
No where on earth have I witnessed more colour than at a Sikh wedding. Every guest was wearing sari’s or traditional dress in the most beautiful colours. Pale pinks and lime greens, teal, raspberry, sunburst orange, golds, turquoise, teal and purples. When you put all these rich colours together in a room, it’s an explosion of ebullience. This wedding ceremony was the culmination of 5 days of festivities; parties, food and dancing.
I was especially happy that my children were invited and they were able to witness a different cultural experience from their own. I want them to respect and understand different traditions and customs. We didn’t return until well after 1:00 am and I am still dealing with being tired but happy to witness such joy.
We live in a multicultural nation and community. Understanding and tolerance, acceptance and inclusion must prevail for us all to find joy and ultimately, peace.