The Right Etiquette To Attend a Multicultural Wedding

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Last summer I attended my cousin's wedding who after having lived about half a decade in the USA, was getting married to an American girl. As is obvious in such a multi cultural wedding there was enough confusion and curiosity about who's following what rituals. Needless to add, relatives and neighborhood aunties added to the chaos by constantly asking the groom's side on if the bride and her family are comfortable. I realized, that despite the best of intentions, the experience turned out to be a little too overwhelming for both parties.So, perhaps in time like today when multicultural, multiracial marriages are no longer a rarity we do need to put a lid on our surprise about a match like that.In case you have a multi cultural wedding to attend in the near future, it may not be a bad idea to be mindful of certain basic things to make the process as organic and interesting as it is meant to be.

The rituals:

If you are attending a wedding that has participation from two different cultures, it is best not to ask too much on who's following what rituals. Often couples decide to take the middle way and either adopt each others practices or entirely skip some cultural traditions just so as to accommodate each others beliefs. Do not turn nosey and ask why the pandit did not chant for an hour. Just focus on the happiness the two parties is experiencing.

The dressing:

As it happened during my cousins wedding, the brides side out of their own choice wore Indian clothes. While it must have been a bit of a hassle for them be in saris, their first time ever, but perhaps the good intentioned but nosey attitude of many of my aunts asking them if they are okay in a sari made them more conscious. So the advice is that do not try to probe so much if either party is trying to emulate others’ cultures. Just give a smiling nod and be gracious and ready to offer help when needed. But suggesting that they must be discomforted puts people on toes. Avoid it.

The food:

Do not look amused if the menu has been tailored to keep both parties in mind. Again at my cousins wedding there were two food corners Indian and American. While it was meant that people from both side enjoy each other cuisines but most Indians out of curiosity kept on lingering on to the American catering tables making the place somewhat crowded. By all means try a new cuisine but also be hospitable enough for others to enjoy the food without any long ques.

Don't be too inquisitive:

Do not ask too much about the practices and customs of people. By showing your ignorance you are actually unknowingly reflecting that how little you may know about the other culture while also pressing the fact that you all may be different. Isn’t this supposed to be the time to forget the differences if any and cherish the moment. Keep your culture study for another time.

Oct. 25, 2017, 5:30 a.m.