The ‘unexpected invitees’ of the big fat Indian wedding!

foreigners attend indian wedding

An assimilation indeed of so many different facets of existence, whether it be the integral experiences in life or the cultural and social and economic and societal revelations in living, marriages aren’t evoking of the match made in heaven reference in nothingness. There exists a certain charm to this sacred institution that brings together hearts and families and unites two individuals in a bond promising of the most exciting as well as the most enriching realisations of happy, fulfilled living. It helps indeed that the whole ceremonial affair surrounding marriages tends to be as established a mode in fun and happeningness that which build up even greatly the anticipation of it in all its bringing together of such awarenesses to dawn and such elements to explore that are but experiences of a lifetime.

Sometimes minimal, at other times extravagant; sometimes exotic and sometimes not, but never an occurrence ordinary in any occasion- weddings are indeed the D- day of the lives of those who opt for this rite of life in personal performance. But while the reason behind this specialness is largely emotional for all, it also is as exuberant a residing in excitement that characterise these defining moments marking the beginning of new modes of lives. Specifically in cultures and across countries, where notions of the conjugal relation are rested in deep reverence of both sentimental and social sort, weddings make for an affair more than elaborate to command absolute attention. And what better culture than our own Indian identity to account for this extravaganza in pretty much every aspect of indulgence of both material and emotional kind, expressed indeed in such exemplary efforts of exclusive extents that have generated the whole charismatic rendition of this occasion in colloquial terms as ‘the big, fat Indian wedding’?

This whole enigma of what the Indian wedding occurs as is so exemplary that never fails to fascinate even the very people forever witness to this celebration of lives and relations, even when it might be a routine almost for them, encountered albeit in not a daily basis but still frequently enough indeed given how the country’s deep founded belief in the beauty playing out through its living by the unity in diversity ideal leads it to experience life in the blissful company of large families and larger friend circles, plenty of relatives and plentier of well wishers so that any and every occasion of whatever magnitude is always a buzzing symphony in the joy of its experience. One can only imagine then the extent of fancy that this flamboyant unfurling of the grand Indian wedding reveals itself as to cultures not inherently entertaining of the rituals related to the nuptials in such boisterous celebration of them that amounts to festivities indeed.

And thus prevails all over among people of different cultures and nations and identities a curiosity that the very mention of an Indian wedding conjures up the image of in all fun and merriment and larger than life celebrations in color and vibrancy and prettiness, while reserving still indeed that sacred sentiment of what it is that makes marriages the divine reality that it is ideally viewed as.

This essence of the feels characterising the spark in celebratory grandeur of Indian weddings might be unique to other cultures but it sure is in no way inaccessible for them. For it is but the spirit of togetherness that makes memorable occasions even the more special and what better than a whole other world of cultural identities to fascinate and delight through a spectacle so immensely steeped in significance for life?

It is ideas like these that weave stories out of everyday happenings into fantastical almost renditions of reality that amounts to an enriching cultural experience no doubt but that which also surprisingly spurs business out of something worthy enough to be explored in every possible term of what marks the expanse of existences. Taking the cue to bring together these diverse possibilities of this prominent affair capturing of the world’s attention has been an Australian based startup that has curated this very interesting concept in prodding tourists to gatecrash some of those big, fat and very Indian indeed wedding extravaganzas!

Only that the gatecrashing exactness does not prevail as such but it does for sure in the excitement of attending first hand one of those magnificent shows seamlessly blending the beauty of traditions with the blitz of celebrations that weddings in India tend to so often be. Availed as a paid experience by tourists ‘invited’ to specific some weddings that desires the gracious presence of these curious folks never in their life encountering something of this sort is this arrangement in the beautiful business of what weddings hold in all their span across many a specific ceremonies worked out across multiple days of spirited and essential observance.

Set up in 2016 by Hungary born Orsi Parkanyi along with Marti Matecsa, JoinMyWedding in an online portal that manifests in reality this idea sounding almost too good to be true but that which is really a brilliant indeed thinking of what can very well be identified as a unique mode of cultural exchange. By facilitating the fulfilment of this desire of non Indians to do exactly what they profess to by being a ticketed gateway to that ultimate rendezvous of what is the Indian wedding, JoinMyWedding stems as a one of its kind platform effectively materialising what has been one of the most fancied bucket list aspirations of many a dynamic globe trotter.

For both Parkanyki and Matecsa, the concept of their venture emerged out of separate personal experiences in somewhat different contexts, but relating of course to the definite phenomenon that weddings essentially are. While Parkayanki’s seeking out of something along this line of functioning derived from the disappointment of having to miss out on the wedding of some of her friends due to being abroad at the time of the event, Matecsa’s experience was more deeply rooted in the exclusive Indian consideration.

Having attended a wedding in 2012 at the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Maria was so fascinated with the experience that she deemed it necessary in fact that people from other parts of the world should be able to experience the sheer majesty and vibrancy across which Indian weddings weave out their own beautiful tales of love and togetherness and happiness and joy in terms of everything from food and drink to decor and arrangements as well as in the exuberance of what characterise the moods and hearts of all those involved. And thus evolved this idea in JoinMyWedding that allows interested folks to earn themselves an invite to the wedding of such Indian couples who have listed their special day up on the site for all to be a part of.

The idea sounds one as interesting indeed and perhaps unheard of even in its inventiveness but the fact that one would make space for strangers to partake of what is one of the most special and private moments of their life comes across as rather unrealistic. And yet, it is this very basic idea on which JoinMyWedding has set out in setting up this whole shaadi business, expanding its area and extent of reach over the years across countries like Israel and Greece and Japan. And at work here is such dynamics of both the cultural and the worldly kind that has led this unique initiative to carve out for itself as unique a path of its success.

For one, foreigners who attend Indian weddings and experiences indeed every true feel of it whether it be in dressing up the traditional way or immersing themselves in the customs and rituals as well as in savoring the authentic food and enjoying the ambience making for an episode enchanting in their travelogue are more than delighted to find themselves resonating in a cultural wavelength that is so diametrically different from their own. Equally delighted are the hosts of these special guests who consider it a matter of pride not just in ‘flaunting’ their foreign friends as a symbol of status but also in flaunting before them the many a beautiful traditions and practices that which sum up their native existence. In leading to this symbiotic residing in fulfilment, that occurs for one as providing the premise for it and the other happily barging into this expanse of newness, JoinMyWedding has managed to tap into the innate sensibilities of humankind forever excited at the potential that lay both in showcasing and seeing the dramatic.

But behind this heartwarming, enriching, unparalleled experience of uniqueness also lie the considerations of the finances. For the tourists procuring the ticket is a small price to pay for the worthy experience they prepare themselves for as a one in lifetime encounter with so much on offer. For the hosts happily allowing complete strangers more than just a glimpse into their special day, this aspect of the money matters indeed in at least partly securing the wedding costs which tend to be of course as extravagant as the entire event itself in witnessing. The association of a price with an in person presence at something as auspiciously regarded as marriage might have not been so much of a draw if not for the practicality of it. The money helps indeed the hosts of the wedding as being a funding source but it also ensures that there wouldn’t be an unnecessary overcrowding at the event ruining thus the experience for one and all. In these very strategic considerations, across every single aspect of what matters, JoinMyWedding has conjured up indeed no less a wonder than what its celebration of the big, fat Indian wedding happens to be.