Canada Trip: Punjabi Wedding: Best Time Of My Life

Canada Trip: Punjabi Wedding: Best Time Of My Life

If you know anything about Indian culture, you should know that weddings are for a week long and yes you have many events to attend.

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I've always loved and appreciated my culture for many things. It makes me be unique and be myself for my culture. Out of the many things that make me love my culture, it is the wedding ceremonies, the dresses, and the little things that make the culture even better. Over Thanksgiving break, my cousin from Canada got married and of course, I went. The week was filled with many events almost every day. They had their engagement on Sunday which a couple of days before I went there. But I didn't miss much. This whole article is to my culture, my journey to Canada, and how awesome Indian/Punjabi weddings are.

Crossing the border, pretty scary moment.

Rumnik Ghuman

This was a really scary moment since the border police are very harsh and can be very rude. This was haunting me because a full Indian family was going to Canada for a week-long wedding and I guess that's not normal. But I was really calm as the view before the border was so beautiful. The Ambassadors Bridge is pretty old, but its gorgeous with all of the water beneath it and being able to see the city of Detriot just from the bridge was amazing.

Henna or Mehndi, you choose what to call it!

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According to Difference Between, Henna or Mehndi is a plant, a dye, and a tattoo. In Indian weddings, we apply Mehndi on the bride and all the girls from both sides for the celebration of the wedding. You leave the Mehndi on until it is Punjabi and it starts falling off. You can apply a mixture of lime and sugar to have a darker color the next day. But the number 1 rule in order to get really dark mehndi is to not wash your hands with water, no water for the whole day. The next day you can use all the water you want but not the day of the mehndi is applied to you.

Jaggo: a tradition Ceremony in a Punjabi Wedding

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Jaggo is a traditional ceremony at a Punjabi wedding. This a ceremony where the whole family goes around in the village if this was in India. We carry a basket or more a jug on our head and we rotate this jug with many of family members head. We dance all night, this ceremony does happen at night.

Rangoli, colored powder used to make a design.

Rumnik Ghuman

Rangoli is a tradition where you make a design with these colored powders and this piece of art is going to be in front of the groom or bride at the ceremony Meya. This is when we put a mixture of turmeric and flour on the groom and bride. Apparently, the mixture makes the grooms and bride skin glow and brightens up as turmeric is very healthy for your skin.

Fooooood, sweeeeets, and getting faaaaaaat!

Rumnik Ghuman

The food is probably the third or second reason why I go to weddings because there's so much to eat like its pretty amazing. At the wedding house, there was a whole section of the kitchen that was dedicated to sweets so whenever you would go into the kitchen you were for sure tempted to eat something, which was not good for my weight. But I ignored my weight and eat everything and enjoyed every bit of it. Canada has the best service for Indian food like my mom makes amazing Indian food, but Canada was amazing, it wasn't too spicy nor too sweet it was a perfect taste.

Dressing up, the second best thing about wedding!

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Dressing up is my favorite thing do to. It just makes me happy and feel better. I love my culture's dresses as they are so beautiful. Most people will not agree with me but I always get simple Indian dresses so my suits are so comfortable and I feel better. I'm a very simple person, I don't even wear makeup because it's not me and I just don't feel myself. I do wear jewelry which is rings, earrings, and bracelets, that's it. Simplicity is the key to life, not too extra, but not basic.

Lava: the actual wedding ceremony at the Gurudwara

Rumnik Ghuman

The actual wedding day and ceremony takes place at the temple or gurudwara. This is where the groom and bride take 4 lava where the groom followed by the bride walk around the Holy book of Sikhism and make a promise to protect, support, love, and respect each other. This can be very emotional as the bride's parents are giving their daughter away as this is a tradition. But this officially is the wedding. I'm actually shocked that it didn't really snow a lot and the weather was great the whole week, but it did rain the day of the wedding and I've heard that this is actually a good sign and that the marriage will last forever.

Family time, of course!

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Out of all of the events, the most fun moment was to see my cousins after 6 years! This was a great time to catch up and they realize that I actually go to college now, not high school. I can't explain how many of times they ask so what class are you in now? I am the youngest from both side of the family, from my mom and dad's, but that doesn't mean I'm the baby.

Dancing is my number one favorite thing to do.

Rumnik Ghuman

This is the most blurry picture because I had to screenshot this from a video to express my love for dance. The final celebration moment was the reception, this is where we danced all the way to 1 am. We weren't even tired, it was the best time. As the USA people were the last ones to leave the dance floor, which shows Punjabi Americans really love to party.

The car drive back home.....

Rumnik Ghuman

The drive back home was the longest. I don't know why but it was not fun and we really didn't want to leave the happy atmosphere. I know I went to a wedding, but every time I go out of state, I tend to realize how much I love seeing new places, meeting new people, and experience the different cultures. When I came back, I was motivated to reach my dream job which allows me to travel the world and experience the multiple cultures of this world. There's a lot to see in this world and I only have one life to see it.

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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.
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Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another—not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that. Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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People With Disabilities Deserve Representation, Like Any Other Group Of People

Having a disability is not completely uncommon, however, movies and television make it seem as if anytime someone with a disability appears, it's the first thing that needs to be noticed.

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The film and movie industry took a fresh and powerful step in the right direction when it came to representing racial and gender equality. With movies like "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians" theaters were quickly packed with audiences who were waiting to see more of themselves on screen. For women, the "Me Too" movement stands for an empowering cause that is still being passionately fought for. Though I very much enjoyed watching these movies (I went to see "Crazy Rich Asians" in theaters twice), I kept thinking when it would be time for the same movement to open its arms to those with disabilities.

Having a disability is not completely uncommon, however, movies and television make it seem as if anytime someone with a disability appears, it's the first thing that needs to be noticed. Usually, the actor isn't playing just a main or side role, but someone with a very "inspiring" or "touching" backstory and conflict which unfolds throughout the plot. Such stories prove to be very emotional and dramatic, reigning in many awards for stellar and career-making performances, but why can't a person with a disability just be a person? More often than not, the characters in question are also played by able-bodied actors.

Most recently, the film, "The Upside" sees Bryan Cranston playing a quadriplegic. Other examples include Eddie Redmayne in "The Theory of Everything" and Sam Claflin in "Me Before You." There is no shortage of actors with disabilities wanting roles and inclusion, so why aren't they given the chance? Cranston explains that it's completely due to business. As an actor, he states that he called upon to play all types of people, so why would having a disability change that? And to that I ask, would an actor with a disability ever be called to play an able-bodied character? The answer is simple, no they wouldn't. It might be hard to look for an actor with a similar caliber of talent to Cranston, but that can't be known for sure if the effort isn't put in. Furthermore, even if the hypothetical disabled actor would not be able to act as well as Cranston, they would still be able to bring something that Cranston can't, experience and more importantly, authenticity.

Some say famous and known actors need to play such roles so that people will actually come to watch the movie for it to gain recognition. However, disabled or not, all actors need to start somewhere. If roles for disabled characters continue to be given to able-bodied actors without an open audition, how is one even supposed to try?

Personally, I can count the number of actors with disabilities in current or well-known roles with only the five fingers of one of my hands. Most famously, Peter Dinklage in "Game of Thrones," Micah Fowler in "Speechless," Meredith Eaton in "MacGyver," Millicent Simmonds in "A Quiet Place," and David Bower in "Four Weddings and a Funeral." Dinklage and Eaton both have dwarfism, Fowler has cerebral palsy, and both Simmonds and Bower are deaf. Simmonds and Bower both have movie roles, whereas Fowler is the only one with a main role in a television show. That is unbelievable. Of the five roles, I have only watched three so I feel apt to only comment on those. Fowler having cerebral palsy is important to the show and provides insight into the struggles of someone like him within high school and his family.

Though "Speechless" is a comedy and maintains a lighthearted atmosphere, for the most part, it still brings to light how milestones change when one is placed in different circumstances. Having Simmonds play the deaf daughter of a family trying to hide from monsters with a heightened sense of hearing brought an added conflict and suspense to the film. In the end, it was she who actually ended up saving her family (well most of her family) from the creatures. Lastly, Bower played the brother of Hugh Grant's lover boy in the romantic comedy and he didn't need to be deaf. Yet, having the character of David to be deaf really highlighted the relationship and understanding between him and Charles (Grant) and their communication only added jokes to the much-loved classic. I think there is a misunderstanding, especially in films and television, that having a disability needs to take something away from a person, when in reality, it adds depth, different experiences, and new perspectives.

Representation, or lack thereof, is a crucial contributor to how people are perceived in the real world, as well as the stereotypes associated with them. To this day, as an almost 20-year-old, I still get stares and pointing from children, which is fine. It makes sense and it's completely understandable. The problem lies in what happens after. When parents find their children doing that, they just tell them to stop such behavior without taking a minute to explain to their child that "Yes, people are different and you will come across all different types of people in school and beyond, but in the end, we're all just the same." Having a disability shouldn't be taboo and having more people with disabilities on screen would help to change that. If a complete stranger were to start a conversation with me on a bus or grocery store and started to ask how I drive or do certain activities, I would be most happy to oblige. But because it's not something we see very often, people inherently choose to and shy away from talking about it.

Another point which I didn't think would need to be mentioned until recently is that people with disabilities do not all look the same. It's a fairly simple concept, but I felt that I had to address it after I noticed that people on campus were mistaking me with another girl with dwarfism. As I have stated before, there are more than 30,000 people on campus so that increases the chance of coming across more than one person with any said condition. Now, this girl and I don't look anything at all alike. Besides for height and body structure, everything else is different. We have different skin tones, different hair color, etc. Initially, I thought the situation to be quite funny, but later on, I realized how problematic it actually was. It's pretty much the equivalent to saying all Asians look the same because of the shape of their eyes.

I'm waiting for inclusion towards disabled actors and for diversity in their roles. I want to see someone in a wheelchair pursue a completely able-bodied person as their love interest in a romantic comedy. I want to see deaf and blind characters play the charming best friend. I want to see a character with autism playing the lead in a crime show while solving murder mysteries. There are so many opportunities for the disabled community to be highlighted onscreen, and by not doing so, the audience is missing out on a lot of new talent. It's 2019 and it's about time the movement for representation extends to those with disabilities as well. It's about time disabilities are normalized and talked about.

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