Last summer I went home to Guyana to visit my family. After a six hour flight from New York to Georgetown, followed by a thirty minute boat ride to the coast, then a twenty minute car ride to my village, I was ready to be embraced by my adoring aunts and cousins.
I arrived to a frenzy of activities in the village; women in fast paced action, running with pots and baskets of vegetables, and men unloading chairs and fixtures from trucks and donkey carts. The center of this clamor was a house next to my aunt’s. I continued to stare while walking backwards into my aunt’s house. The door was open and as I called out I realized no one was home.
At that point I was no longer tired from my journey and I knew exactly what was happening. There was going to be a wedding that week. I proceeded to the house next door, and sure enough, I found my aunt and cousins. Upon seeing me, they dropped the decorations from their hands and ran to me. They held me in a tight embrace while apologizing profusely for not being at the house to greet me.
A typical Hindu wedding goes on for three to four days. In a small village, it’s usually the cause for celebration for everyone. Everyone joins in with the festivities and also with the preparations. My favorite part is eating. Traditionally the food is served in lotus leafs and you eat with your fingers. This is the stuff I live for, and I can’t tell you how excited I was to be there at that time. My other favorite part is the cooking. The men tend to take control of the giant woks. The women do all the prep work and the men do the cooking. Cooking for a wedding is done outside, in the backyard; after all you are cooking to feed an entire village.
Rona, Columbia University, School of General Studies
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