Renewing wedding vows


With peace having returned to the nation, tourism entrepreneurs are doing all that they can to lure tourists. October 18 witnessed yet another new step taken by some tourism entrepreneurs — wedding tourism. This is quite a happening thing in India, and Rajasthan is capitalising on it in a major way.

Organised by the Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure in cooperation with the Travel Directors, Australia, the “mock wedding” saw two Australian tourists getting married (again) according to the Nepali rituals. An elephant decked with a red howdah and garlands complete with a huge gold trimmed umbrella was ready to transport the groom to his bride’s house.

Douglas and Christine Allen have been married for the last four decades, and as their 44th wedding anniversary fell in October, they decided to make their tour more memorable by

(re)tying the wedding knot the Nepali way.

Though usually rateuli is enjoyed when the groom goes to get his bride from her home, this wedding ceremony started with rateuli. Dressed in dhaka-ko-daura-suruwal, a smiling Douglas made his way towards his janti, made up of his tour friends who were all dressed in their best (silk kurtas, lukhnawi embroidered tops et al), while an even-more radiant Christine dressed in all red and gold finery made her way for the rituals.

“We came up with this idea as it can be fun as well as educational for foreigners wanting to know more about Nepali culture and traditio-ns,” said Suman Pandey, pre-sident of Explore Himalaya Group. There are two more groups coming and as many mock weddings, he said.