Ok, so I still have a headache and my legs are aching from the night of dancing but can I tell you it was fun. Going to the girls side for the mehndi was fab! It took us a two and a half hours to drive up to the venue with the car laden with gift baskets full of flower garlands, mehndi (henna), oil, mehndi plates, fruit, mati (Asian sweets) and clothes.
Now the Mehndi was to start at 6pm, but we were told to come for 6.30pm so the girl’s side could set up. Now Asian time never means on time (we are always late, no matter what time we set off!!!) So I did do well I dropped my dad of at their house at 6pm and then went to the airport to pick up my sister-in-law who came from the exotic location of…London LOL and arrived at the venue at 6.45pm when the heavens opened and it started to pour, not rain but pour!! So we are sat in the car waiting to go in, but the girls side are not ready and we are eager to get inside and get everything ready (henna and candles in the mehndi plates) and everyone can take in their assigned baskets (mine was the flower garlands as I am the older sis).
Ok, so we get the go ahead and they have lit candles in beautiful green mirrored candle holders outside the door (in the rain) and we go in carrying our baskets with the young girls holding the mehndi plates with tea lights infront. Now we are welcomed with rose petals and flower bracelets and we go in. Then we wait for the bride to be, she comes in dressed in a traditional yellow salwar kameez with green flowering, but has no jewellery or make-up on ( she has to wait till the wedding day).
Now this is where I come in with my basket and myself, sister and sister-in-law take the tray and place the garlands on her. We gave her a flower garland necklace, earrings and bracelets…she looked beautiful (by the way the garlands were yellow chrysanthemums with a single red rose which has a diamond on the middle (my sister and I spent the night before making them!).
I will put pictures up ASAP.
Then there is the RASOM – tradition in which each guest place a little oil on the bride to be’s head, henna in her palm (she was holding a fresh green leaf to receive the henna as it colours a deep orange if place on skin) feed her fruit or mati and then give some money, which will be given to charity and that is that. Once all the 100 guests or so do that we can eat a delicious buffet consisting of naan, curry- meat, chick peas and a vegetable one, rice and a traditional rice pudding for dessert mmmm.
Now it’s about 10pm and we are all full wondering what happened to the dancing because a) we were full and b) we were going to learn but my family, aunt cousins are spread over Yorkshire, Scotland and London so we didn’t get to practice anyway wishing and hoping no one asked they started to clear the space for dancing and began to do their dances choreographed to Asian music – very good. Then everyone got up mums, aunties and we had a ball!
This was the end of the night… and the boy’s side left to drive back to their respective homes from which we got back at 2pm.
One event completed four more to go mehndi, wedding, walima and civil ceremony…watch this space x
Next the boys Mehndi!
Anyone from Kirklees interested in sharing their wedding story get in touch and it could be placed in audio for on the Asian Voices website!!!