On a recent trip to Singapore to attend a friend’s wedding I was immersed into a new world, full of cultural, bursting with colors, beautiful costumes, vibrant music and flavorful food. Indian Punjabi culture is known for its strong ties to their cultural traditions and in carrying them on through past generations to our present time. In this occasion I had the pleasure of witnessing first hand a Punjabi Sikh wedding and all the ceremonies that take place to complete the binding agreement.
My attire to the wedding consisted of a cream rhinestone studded chiffon sari with a golden silk border. The sari consists of many yards of fabric that are wrapped numerously around the waist and pleated to allow leg movement then placed over the shoulders. In this occasion the last yard of chiffon was place on the shoulder and over my head as the ceremony took place in the Sikh temple where modesty is valued so heads are covered and shoes are taken off prior entering.
Below we have two young ladies dressed in the cultural Punjabi suits in vibrant eye-catching orange and lime silks. Typically a Punjabi suit consists of a “Shalwar” or a loose-fitted trouser that’s tight on the ankles and a “Kameez” or a long Tunic with the side seams open below the waist to allow movement and accompanied with a scarf.
This photo is of the bride sitting in front of a plate filled with milk and rose petals where a “Choora” ceremony is taking place prior to the wedding ceremony. A Choora is a set of wedding bangles usually red and white in color that are worn by the bride on her wedding day and are given to her by her uncles and aunts. The ceremony consists of the Chooras being dipped in the plate of milk and rose petals as a blessing before the bride puts them on. Traditionally the bride is meant to continue wearing the bracelets for 40 days after the wedding.
This is a photo of the groom in the Sikh temple prior entering to attend the ceremony. In Sikh Wedding traditions, the groom’s sisters would tie a “Sehra” across the groom’s turban to cover his face prior to leaving the house. This is to ward off the evil eye and to also maintain anticipation for the wedding guests to see the groom when he enters the temple.
The grooms wedding attire consists jacket and pant suit, where the jackets are studded with precious embellishment the exude lux and magnanimity on the wedding day.
The bride is dressed in traditional Indian Punjabi wedding attire. This typically consists of a red and gold Punjabi Suit. The top and skirt are couture-esque decorated with heavy embroidery, sequins, beading and trim details. The bride is accessorized generously with gold jewelry including a headpiece, necklace and earrings. She is also wearing the sets of “Chooras” on both arms that are also adorned with henna patterns. All eyes are definitely on the beautiful dazzling bride on her special day.
– Mona Hamid