I feel that I’ve hurtled at breakneck speed towards the end of my final term at school here in KL. The tempo increased when, sadly, I had to make a second flying visit back to England, just three weeks after Sam’s wedding, for my dad’s funeral.
Once back in KL, it was a sprint to the finish line, where I slammed on the brakes and then celebrated the first day of the holidays by going to my first Hindu wedding.
It was a huge, colourful spectacle, which took place on a stage in the temple. There were henna’d hands for the bridesmaids –
and henna’d arms for the bride –
and lots of naked flames –
I was surprised that there were no words spoken during the ceremony, the couple on stage went through a variety of rituals – washing their hands, abasing themselves in front of their parents and having stuff chucked at them – I couldn’t really see what it was from where I was sitting. But the spectators sat and chatted; there was no sense of hushed reverence as there would be in an English church.
The groom leads the bride three times around the stage –
and then they’re married, and all the guests queue up to have their photo taken with the happy couple.
And then another surprise – once you’ve had your picture taken, you go down to the dining room and you eat … without waiting for the bride and groom.
The bride and groom didn’t appear until long after we’d finished eating, looking rather dazed, but definitely up for one more selfie –
So, a jolly good time was had by everyone, except possibly one of the bridesmaids –
– who definitely looks as though she’d rather be down the pub.
And now … my four-month holiday begins, which is very exciting – I haven’t had such a long holiday since I was a student.
However, my euphoria has been slightly dented by an end of term gift from one of my students. It was a bottle of grapefruit essential oil, with an accompanying card –
What are you trying to say, Nicholas?