Smita and Siddharth’s Roce and Catholic Wedding: May 21-23

Smita’s Roce was on May 21st. The outside was beautifully decorated but it was unfortunately raining, a trend that would continue. The roce is a traditional blessing ceremony that happens a few days before the wedding where the bride, groom and all young single men and women are blessed with coconut oil and milk (and as I soon learned, other beverages, which doesn’t happen in Canada). We said hi to our many relatives and then the roce began. The girls got off relatively easy, only getting lightly smeared with coconut milk. Then it was the boys turn. For some reason, it was only Siddharth, his brother Arjun, Smita’s brother Rahul (or Raoul as Joanna likes to call him) and me up there. And I guess since I’m their first cousin, Miki, Tara, Nandi and Alia decided to be very mean to me. Not only did we get drenched with coconut milk, we also got beer, fanta, and (the worst because of the sugar and pulp,) guava juice. I had not anticipated getting this thoroughly drenched, so I had no change of clothes. Afterwards, we went to the bathroom they had there to find the faucet flowing very slowly and then when we tried to fill up a bucket with water, it had a hole in it. Siddharth thought this was an elaborate joke, but really, it was just India. (TII as Joanna would say) I rinsed myself and my kurtha off as well as I could, and we headed back to the party. Luckily my kurtha was silk and dried quickly, but alas, my pants did not. After some more dancing, we grabbed some dinner and ate outside where it was now not raining. The dinner was quite good and after some dessert we headed back home.

Two days later was Smita’s Catholic wedding. Once again it was raining when we got to Holy Ghost Church. The ceremony was nice, though a little odd because they had to change it since Siddharth was Hindu. Joanna and Alia represented their families, reading the intercessory prayers. After that we had a quick break at Nandi’s before heading to the ceremony at the SRI Officer’s Mess. The ceremony was nice and rather informal – only a speech or two, the wedding march (an Indian tradition), and then more eating, drinking and dancing. Our family of course was all over the dance floor, led by Miki and my uncle Mario. When the bouquet was tossed, it landed on the ground between a married woman and Justine. The married woman handed it to Justine, much to her delight/chagrin. We got to see a lot of relatives we haven’t seen for a while, including our cousin Mayuk who 9 years ago was four feet tall and would follow Joanna everywhere, and is now taller than me and has a faux-hawk. Needless to say, we all had a good time.

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