Haldi ceremony, bagpipes, and haggis pakoras commemorate cultures

Haldi ceremony, bagpipes, and haggis pakoras commemorate cultures


In June, a Scottish groom and an Indian bride organised a multi-event wedding that honoured the greatest aspects of their respective cultures.

According to Insider, Alastair Spray, a 28-year-old researcher, and Angie Tiwari, a 30-year-old sales director who also serves as a yoga and meditation instructor in London, saw many parallels between Scottish and Indian culture and wished to highlight them at their colourful nuptials.

According to Tiwari, a British-Indian who practises Hinduism, “Alastair has been aware that my culture is incredibly important to me from the minute we met and we began dating.”

She continued by saying that since she and Spray on Hinge first met in 2018 and became engaged in 2021, she has introduced him to yoga, taught him how to recite the Gyatr Mantra, and taken him to her family’s home to celebrate Diwali. A puj blessing was also performed by the couple when they moved into their combined London house in 2020.

In addition, Scotland has a really distinctive and strong culture, and I was thrilled to share that with Angie, added Spray. He continued by saying that they had gone to cèilidh evenings in London, which are Scottish social events with music and dancing, and that he had taken her on tours of Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and his hometown of Dunblane.

The couple included a lot of Scottish and Indian elements into their four-day, £25,000 (about $28,000) wedding festivities that took place in London and Scotland.

An formal ceremony at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral marked the wedding’s beginning.

The pair wed officially on June 18, a Saturday, in front of 150 family members and friends in a chapel under St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Spray’s father is a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), a title bestowed by the Queen that qualified them to be married there. As a result, they were allowed to exchange vows at the prestigious location.

The Bhagavad Gita was read from by Tiwari’s uncle. “At St. Pauls, we had one biblical reading that was given by Alistair’s aunt, and we were extremely astonished that our priest said we could have a reading from one of the old Hindu texts,” Tiwari said. While enjoying elements of both Hinduism and Christianity side by side, they also chose five hymns.

While Tiwari chose a white lace corset dress and veil from a charity store for £195, or around $220, Spray went for a traditional black-tie suit from Suit Supply. She wore a modest silver necklace with a baby blue pendant that originally belonged to Spray’s late grandmother, according to Tiwari, and that was her “something blue.”

Her family, meanwhile, infused the day with Indian style. The pink-and-purple sari, which Tiwari said her mother had worn, was the same one she had worn on her wedding day.

After enjoying a private dinner at a quiet Indian restaurant, they went back to their house for a mehndi (henna) reception.

The pair travelled to Scotland and went through Indian wedding customs.

The next day, the wedding party drove to Scotland, where Spray and Tiwari said they rented a barn and granary that had been refurbished in the Scottish countryside to serve as guest accommodations.

The pair celebrated Hindu ceremonies outdoors on Monday morning as Scotland saw a rare bright day. To her own Haldi ceremony, when the bride and groom are blessed, Tiwari donned the same yellow sari her mother had worn. According to Tiwari, her uncle conducted the ceremony and her aunt gave a description of the practise before the members of the family applied sandalwood paste containing haldi on them.

Tiwari added that her ancestors are from the Kumaoni tribe of northern India, who she said had a particular pichora (an orange-and-yellow scarf with red spots on it) that they wear. Throughout the ceremony, the newlyweds sat underneath this.

After that, 25 of their loved ones gathered for a sangeet, a pre-wedding party with music and dancing, where they performed Indian dances to Hindi songs and Scottish dances to cèilidh music. It was a very wonderful fusion of our two cultures, and it was also precisely what we desired, according to Tiwari.

On that Tuesday, the couple had their last celebration, which included a lengthy Hindu religious ritual. The couple hired a Pandit, or Hindu priest, who gave English explanations of the rites as they happened so that everyone could follow along.

Spray chose traditional Indian garb. I had gotten my groomsmen identical sherwanis in gold and cream, and I was wearing this very lovely blue sherwani that we had received from India, the man said.

His pals also surprised him by donning kurtas before changing into kilts, which he claimed was a “very lovely touch” that all of his buddies showed. In the meanwhile, Tiwari said that for the reception, she first changed out of her usual red lehenga and into a pink sharara.

According to Tiwari, they came upon the musical duet Dhol and Pipes, which consists of a South Asian guy playing the dhol drum and a Scottish man playing the bagpipes. A indicator of how many South Asian and Scottish individuals are getting married, she said, was their popularity.

The Perth restaurant Tabla provided haggis pakoras as another homage to their multiracial nuptials, and Spray surprised his wife by giving a speech in Hindi.

The pair said that their special journey was acknowledged in even their first dance. Can’t Help Falling in Love with You by Elvis Presley opened the show, and “Koi Mil Gaya,” a well-known song from the Bollywood movie “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” which they said was the first Bollywood movie they had ever seen together, closed it.


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