Colgate Celebrates an “Indian Wedding”

Peggy Collins

Last Friday, the South Asian Cultural Club (SACC) hosted their highly-anticipated annual banquet in Huntington Gym, modeled on a traditional Indian Wedding ceremony.

The club began preparing for the banquet last October, planning film, dance, drama and food presentations.

The play was split into two scenes, with the first scene depicting events prior to the wedding ceremony and the second portraying the marriage itself.

Dinner was served during the intermission between the two scenes and included a variety of Indian cuisine, including vegetarian samosas, daal makhini and kheer for dessert. SACC members decided to combine elements from a range of typical Indian weddings, not solely one type in order to encompass as many Indian subcultures as possible.

The only non-traditional element of the wedding was the seating arrangement. Participants are normally seated on the ground, however participants in the Colgate version were seated in chairs at tables in order to view the event.

Inspiration for the theme came from the fact that most Colgate students have never had the opportunity to experience an Indian wedding. The event was meant to be both entertaining and educational.

Members of SACC described the importance of henna, as well as the preparations involved in the ceremony. Late appearances of family members are considered traditional, as is the focus on song and dance.

The ceremony portrayed by the SACC was an interracial wedding between an American girl and an Indian boy and celebrated the merger of two diverse families.

“Personally, my favorite part of the presentation was the crowd’s reactions to the element of surprise,” junior SACC President Amar Bhakta said. “It’s great to witness the reaction of the crowd before, during and after the show.”

The success of this event was due to the support of many individuals. Members of SACC, Aichida Ul-Aflaha ’05 (stage direction), junior Zabrina Krishnamoorthy (publicity) and junior Anand Kapur (executive adviser), were essential in the organization of the banquet. Members of Masque and Triangle, Colgate’s student theater organization, including sophomore Darcy Gordon and senior Case Aiken, also assisted.

“Almost every member played an integral role in putting this together,” Bhakta said.

“The Indian banquet was an amazing experience,” first-year SACC member Kanitha Heng said.

“It allowed people who shared a common interest in South Asian culture to get together and show others the true beauty of an Indian wedding.”

While the annual banquet is the main focus of the organization, possible future events, including a South Asian cultural appreciation week and a Bhangra night, have been discussed.