Posted by Vishva News Reporter on May 6, 2007



Sheetal crowns her to be husband Girani with a garland that symbolizes beauty, love and happiness in a Hindu wedding ceremony preceded by age old pre-marraige process of finding spouses in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. In this case the civilization and lifestyle has been preserved for over 100 years in say the 5 or 6th generation of immigrants.

Please click on the line outside the box to read about the fact of the preservation of civilization in the 5th or 6th generation immigrants to a foreign land...

But before or after you do that please participate in searching for the TRUTH and then knowledge sharing of the TRUTH by reading the right column of this news posting...This is the whole purpose of existence of the PVAF and its web site...


(This news item was contributed by SHRii Jasvant Mehta of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. SHRii Jaswant is a regular contributor to PVAF web site of news that affects life....)


For the three quarter of 20th century, East Africa had a growing and thriving population of peoples of vEDik lifestyle....which lived daily life as if existing in India, the country of the immemorial roots of its lineage which is about 3000 miles away....This population controlled the entire commerce, industry, construction, farming, trade and all that deals with daily life sustenance of East Africa consisting of 3 countries - Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania which were British colonies....

This population mainly consisted peoples from the state of Gujraat, India with sprinkling of peoples from other States of India...

It was amazing how this population built a vEDik cultural lifestyle in a place where there was not much of a civilization at the beginning of the 20th century....The first and second generation of this population had even traveled from India to African shores by dhows which were small sail boats with a passenger capacity of about 50 to 100 with no passenger service of any kind. The traveler had to survive by self on a voyage which could take anywhere up to and over a month at the mercy of wind and sea. When they landed in East Africa it was a wilderness with shanty type housing. If they traveled inland from the shores there was absolute no security of life from the natives or wild animals or wilderness itself.....

And despite facing all the life barriers after leaving of a very thriving and advanced civilization in India, they built the same civilization for themselves and also for the British and the natives.....But they co-existed in harmony with the foreign land and never allowed the foreign land touch their own civilization....

But when the same type of migration from India to western countries is studied  one finds that the western lands and its civilization slowly but surely make the immigrants loose their civilization and self-identity resulting in social and physical sicknesses which were not experienced in East Africa by the Indian immigrants...

PVAF is hosting this news item for your social science study....Please share your thoughts as to why Indian immigrants to western lands and civilization are being assimilated whereas Indian immigrants to East Africa retained their civilization as can be seen by this news item of a vEDik marraige in Kenya....Please click on the POST A COMMENT button in the header of the news and share away your answer and explanation....or email your answer by clicking here and PVAF will publish your knowledge for others to enrich themselves and may be save themselves from assimilation and lifestyle sicknesses....  

(This right column was shared by SHRii Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry who was raised in Tanzania in a third generation and then emigrated to Canada as a married adult some 33 years ago. The knowledge sharing herein is from his experienced reality in Tanzania and Canada and not any fiction....)




SOCIETY: Standard Group: By Lillian Aluanga: Nairobi, Kenya: Saturday, December 31, 2005:


From the time I was a child, I always dreamt of a fairytale wedding, and although even today some Asian weddings are still arranged, I knew that mine had to be one of love.

When I was about to turn thirty, I was a little anxious because in our community many consider it to be rather late, and quite a number of my friends, including my brother who was three years younger than me, were already married.

Despite that, my family has always been very loving and supportive, and I also made a promise to myself that I would only marry for love and not because of pressure of the so-called ‘biological clock’.

I was born and brought up in Thika, and went to Visa Oshwal High School in Nairobi, before going to study and work in the United Kingdom.

I used to think about marriage every now and then, and was aware of the fact that my parents were concerned too.

This motivated them to organise for me to meet some potential suitors which is common in my community. We refer to these as interviews.

They had already arranged a number of interviews, which up to then had been unsuccessful, because although I had met nice young men, there was none I felt I could spend the rest of my life with.

These interviews take place in an informal setting and it is simply what most people understand to be a date, which may involve a meeting over lunch or dinner usually in a hotel or restaurant. And it is only between the boy and the girl even though their parents may have set up the entire meeting.

And so last year in April, I came back home from London, to participate in the annual eye-camp in Thika, and also to attend a friend’s wedding.

I remember that it was on a Saturday when my dad cautiously handed me a phone number and asked me to call the person (young man), and set up a meeting.

I was not expecting anything like that so it took me by surprise that another interview was coming up, but I still called the man and we agreed to meet at Fairview Hotel in Nairobi.

Feeling fairly anxious, I went with a friend and the man who by then I knew was called Giran came with two relatives.

We were introduced and then left on our own. I was a bit apprehensive but decided not to panic, and to take everything as it flows.

Giran recognised me and said that we had attended the same high school, and that really broke the ice and put us at ease.

It was an enjoyable meeting and we had a great time and hit it off at once.

He called me the next day, and after that we had six other dates in the next three weeks. On the third date we both felt certain that we wanted to spend the rest our lives together.

On the seventh date, we involved our parents.


When my parents first told me about the meeting with Sheetal, her name was not familiar to me at all.

It all happened fast because I did not know very much in advance, but I thought to myself, ‘Let me go and see her,’ and did not know what to expect.

I am normally very busy with my work so I had not met many girls through an interview, maybe one or two. And so at our initial meeting at the Fairview Hotel, it was a pleasant surprise for me to realise that I knew this girl because we had been to the same high school.

I was not anxious at the time but quite happy to get to know her better.

The meeting progressed very well, and I decided to let everything happen naturally. If we were meant to be friends I knew that this is not something that can be forced, and so I also went with the natural flow of things.

We enjoyed each other’s company after only a few dates, and soon there was not doubt in my mind that this was the girl for me.

We decided to get officially engaged on May 11 and exchanged rings to pledge our love for one another, and as a sign of our commitment to marry.

At that point, we made our intentions known to our close friends and family.

And as it is with our customs, we then honoured our parents by handing the process to them during which they meet with a priest to decide on the date for our wedding.

In Hindu weddings, the timing of the wedding means a lot, so it is not something one can do randomly without consulting a priest.

It is believed that there are good times and bad times according to cosmic signs.

The priest sets the time and the date with regard to cosmic patterns, the position of the sun and the moon and the movement of the wind.

It was again a surprise when our parents got back to us in a few weeks and said that the date would be December 4. We both thought that was sooner than we expected.

The plans progress

With a few months to the wedding a few preparations are done in advance. In relation to the diet, the bride’s mother and her friends started to buy and prepare lentils that are carefully selected and sorted out to be part of the wedding feast.

In October, Sheetal had to travel to Mumbai in India to shop for a bridal dress. Many brides who can afford it would much rather travel to India because good dresses cannot be found here in Kenya.

The dress is special with a lot of embroidery, which works out to be much cheaper when it is done in India and there is more variety there.

Giran decided to wear a modern suit and not Indian attire which is common with grooms these days who consider traditional clothes heavy to wear.

The couple also decided to get their cards printed in India, and after the bride returned from India, apart from the logistical planning for the catering and decorations, there was no big gathering until one week to the wedding when everything began to gain momentum.

Let the celebrations begin.

Thursday night December 1

This is the traditional folk dance night, which are part of the pre-wedding preparations. This was an evening ceremony that was held at the Hindu temple in Thika.

It started at 8 pm running through to 11 pm, and is attended by the two families involved and their friends. It is characterised by music, song and dance, it is a time of rejoicing and the bride and groom also dance together.

It is a time of great enjoyment and feasting and merrymaking.


Friday December 2

There is an air of excitement in Sheetal’s home.

Many relatives and friends, including her three bridesmaids have flown into the country from England.

And there is singing in the background, as her aunties bustle about the household making sure that all the guests are comfortable.

At one end of the house in a quiet spot, Sheetal is spending four hours having her hands and legs decorated with Mehendi (Henna).

These are intricate designs, which are unique to weddings, and the beautician had met with her in advance to choose the wedding designs.

They are usually symbolic of the season of weddings and of love and expert movements. A Mehendi artist explains that Sheetal has selected the design of a Peacock, and a bride and groom, a perfect choice for a bride.

Saturday December 3

A short early morning function takes place in the temple starting at 7.45 am. It involves only the bride and her family and she receives a special blessing from the priest.

It takes about one hour.

Groom’s reception party

The bride’s family was hosted by the groom’s family for a special luncheon in Nairobi, and the main purpose of this is for the families to interact together and to bond.

The bride and groom interact freely with the guests, on this happy occasion, which starts at about noon. It has no religious significance.

Sunday December 5

Best men Apul Shah (left), and Dipan Shah escort the groom to the temple

Sheetals's mother, Sheel Shah, in the presence of the priest and witnesses perform some rituals to the groom asking him if he is ready to take the bride.

It is 10am at the Visa Oshwal Mahajan Wadi temple in Thika, and the lush green lawns are teeming with guests. On inquiry about the whereabouts of the bride, one guest quietly explained.

"At this moment the bride’s people are gathered on the other side of the temple, and only the groom’s people are at this end."

And within a few minutes we locate Sheetal looking elegant and almost regal in her wedding dress that was a white and gold sari with beautiful embroidery. She was carefully made up with stunning jewellery and gold coloured sandals.

She greeted us with a radiant smile, explaining that her dressing, hairdo and makeup started at 6am with the help of a lady specialized in preparing brides for their big day.

The groom laughed merrily with his friends nearby, and had a symbolic garland of flowers draped around his neck.

After a brief photo session, the ceremony began.

The hall is decorated with flowers, and the bride is escorted by her friends to the front of the temple where the groom is seated.

The ceremony takes place in a canopy called a Mandap which represents the universe.

The bride and groom go through a ritual that signifies royal welcome to the family.

A priest facilitated the various stages involving a small fire, which is a substitute for the sun and is the witness of the marriage.

Involved in the process of the blessings are the bride’s parents, her siblings and cousins, and her uncles and aunts. Followed by those of the groom.

Eventually they both recite vows and everybody takes an oath to support the young couple in their new life together.

During the ceremony guests are served with fresh sugarcane juice by friends of the couple.

A sumptuous vegetarian lunch followed at 3pm.


Then came the last part of the day called Vidai. It is usually an emotional time called the bride’s farewell. This is when she leaves with the groom who is now her husband to start her new role, and is now incorporated into his family.

Sheetal shed just a few tears.

" I feel sad to leave my family but I am also very happy because I have come to love my in-laws and I already feel happy to be a part of the family."


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