Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ad hoc-ish…

This post is about a number of things (they are not routine) that I got involved in of late. Let me tell beforehand what they are so that you may decide whether you want to continue reading the post or not. I attended a traditional cum western wedding in China. I have recently rented an imported second hand Piano (80’s Piano of Apollo) from Europe. We faced a Typhoon while I was in Taipei and when I came back to Guangzhou, there was another typhoon here.

With the above agenda in mind, let me write about the many unique elements of the wedding. The auspicious time of any wedding here is set to 4:30 in the morning. That means, the bride, groom and the immediate family members have a sleepless night on the day of the wedding. The groom starts from his home at around 2AM (which means he gets ready around midnight) while the bride and bridesmaids also try to look their best and wait. The groom arrives with his close family and friends and he is required to prove himself worthy of the bride! He is tested by bridesmaids and her family members on different parameters – health, wealth, education and talent after which he is allowed to meet his partner (who has already been given information about how they have tormented her would-be husband).

A bridesmaid sitting on the Groom's back

A few rituals take place at the auspicious time and the bride wears golden jewelry of specific kinds. The cutest among them is a necklace of Pig with a lot of piglets. This necklace is a wishful reminder of the fact that the marriage should lead to many beautiful children.

After some light breakfast, the bride and groom are led to the Reception hall where the non-immediate family members and friends also start gathering up. People gift lucky money to the couple (no gifts or other material items) and have their seats around round tables. These round tables are where the lunch is served later. I have told Him that we will have these round tables in our home some day. One doesn’t need to pass items from one corner of the table to the other, just rotate the table-top and they come to you.

In olden days, the women and men would be dressed in traditional red garments but these days, women dress in white gowns and men in suits. People willing to perform on the stage entertain rest of the guests. Special performers are hired to sing in different Chinese languages. The couple do the usual things – cutting the cake, giving a speech, having a drink from each other’s glasses, exchanging rings and sharing the long-awaited wedding kiss while the guests says ‘Ganbei’ (meaning ‘Cheers’).

Couple on the stage

Food on a round table

Food is an important part of the wedding and waiters start to serve various dishes as soon as the above described ceremony is over. Buffet system isn’t preferred here and people eat slowly while drinking and smoking, seems to be a part of the culture. I enjoyed the music, photo sessions and the celebration as a whole.

Now, let me show you the picture of my Piano. I have learnt to move my fingers on the keys and I can read the piano notes. I can also sing and play some nursery rhymes but that’s all that I can do at the moment. If you think that’s not much, then let me be specific and tell you that these rhymes are in Chinese Smile. I want to play ‘Tujhe dekha to ye...’ from my favorite movie DDLJ, sometime soon. That song was my inspiration to learn Piano.

Apollo Piano

I go back to Taipei now. We were at home on a Sunday and thought it was the usual rain that poured throughout the day but next day, when we went to office we realized it had been a typhoon and that the Mayor of the city had declared Monday a public holiday. I saw uprooted trees on the roads, leaves everywhere as if there was a ‘Fall’ in Taiwan. After working in a silent office with just a couple of other colleagues, I rushed back to NTU. We went to Longshan temple in Taipei on the last day of my trip and that’s the only new place that we went to. Below are some pictures from that visit:

In front of the temple

Offerings

Dragon embellished pot

The big Golden pot    Long incense sticks in hand

Bright red candles

The temple from outside

That’s all for this post, wishing you all a Belated Happy Diwali.