Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ranoo & Animesh

Chicago living and central PA raised, Drs. Ranoo & Animesh had a perfect Hindu wedding on a perfect Pennsylvania summer day at the Peter Allen House in Dauphin. Since the tradition of riding in on a white horse wasn't happening, the family adjusted and used a classic Rolls Royce owned by the House's owner, Frank Pinto, as part of the Baraat, the groom's procession. This was led, unexpectedly, by a bag piper and, expectedly, two slammin' bhangra drummers. It made for a really nice combination of high and low pitch. I couldn't help but notice that Animesh's sister was leading the dancing and joy with an incredible energy, rhythm and skill. I figured she was just really happy and loved bhangra. Only later did I find out that she's a backup dancer on Madonna's next tour, and she was really happy. Ok, that makes sense. The procession took about 30 minutes to go 200 yards. "It's got to last a while to be meaningful," Animesh's father told me. What a great reminder that everything doesn't have to be fast and efficient but that we can be luxurious in our time and joy, especially at a celebration like a wedding.

The wedding itself was steeped in Hindu tradition and ritual. I love weddings like this that take the act of marriage and bring in serious traditions. It makes the event meaningful in a whole other way and reminds us that we're all part of distinct and wonderful tribes with their own practices. (In American culture there's such pressure to assimilate and lose one's past. I guess the goal is that we should think of Olive Garden as representing Italian heritage and Taco Bell the legacy of Mexicans all the while pretending that where we came from is irrelevant. That somehow being American means one specific thing that's devoid of unique stories, backgrounds, beliefs, histories, traditions, cultures and heritages. Ok, the political discourse of this post is over.) This applies to all faith traditions as well as to those who make up their own traditions or bring in a hodgepodge of ideas. It adds to the depth of the ceremony and its meaning.

Slideshow here.

No comments:


All pictures posted on this blog are protected by U.S. copyright and are the property of Scott Lewis and can not be used without written permission.

About Me

I'm a veteran photojournalist with 20 years of experience telling stories with pictures.