Friday, October 06, 2006

F+R Sangeet Party – Mombassa

The word ‘Sageet’ literally means song or to sing in Hindi. The ‘Sangeet’ is a function centered on enjoying music and celebrating. It is a wedding party that is totally unadulterated by any religious ceremonies or formalities. I think most Indian sects celebrate a ‘Sangeet’ although I am sure none of them take it as far as us Sindhi’s do. The ‘Sangeet’ party was held on a beach in Mombassa. That was a first for me and it was awesome. The dining tables were all laid out in front of a small stage on the sand and to stage right there was a sort of Moroccan corner where cushions and mattresses were set around coffee tables.

Flowers are a significant part of any wedding and in Indian weddings the most popular flower is the marigold. Its orange and red hues really define the traditional wedding atmosphere.

There were hookahs made available to the guests with about 5 different flavors. This area was the most comfortable to chill in as it was closest to the bar as well.

As it was obvious that most of the younger crowd would hover around this space they also set up this traditional bridal seat placed under a large tree for the bride and groom to settle down in once the party started.

It is customary at the ‘Sangeet’ party for friends and family of the bride and groom to put together a musical show or skit to entertain the guests and in tribute to the couple. Usually they have weeks to plan and practice their routines but in this case we all only linked up in Mombassa and had about 2 days to get the whole thing down. One of my extremely talented cousins served as the choreographer, and actually managed to coax people off the beach during the day and had them come to a large hall where he orchestrated one hell of a show. The dance practices however were more like a Club Med activity rather than a chore. And with almost 30 people itching to honor to the bride and groom the show was a hit. It was a series of dances with particularly significant songs that when put together depicted the story of the bridal couples unification. The grand finale was this dance with all the friends in attendance.

After the family performance the hired DJ took over the music and got the party going. Some Sindhi weddings go all out and hire famous stage performers and other well known DJ’s from India. There is no limit to what I have seen people do for ‘Sangeet’ parties. In Mombassa they had hired an Indian DJ based in Nairobi called DJ Gups. He is the bloke on the right. He had great charisma and really managed to draw the crown onto the floor from the oldies to the young guns. He played a great combination of classic and new Hindi music with the additional mix of some Hip-Hop thrown in the middles.

A good DJ can keep a ‘Sangeet’ going on till wee hours of the morning. It is no wonder that the dance floor got so packed.

The coolest image my eye caught on the beach was the glitter ball hanging over the stage. It was suspended there by a make shift piece of wood tied to a coconut tree. If that does not say beach wedding then what does. It was an amazing sight to see all these people having such a good time, singing, dancing, and getting pissed right there on the beach.

The ‘Sangeet’ is by far my favorite wedding occasion. You really get to connect on a different level with the other people around you. The music, the booze, and the joy all just set the perfect atmosphere.

All inhibitions go out the window. Some people just forget that they are in the same room as their parents, uncles, aunts, and even grandparents.

It seems the hotel staff loosened up as well and let a couple of the guests drive the hotel buggy on the beach.

This function in particular was spectacular. The bride, her friends, and the groom were all color coordinated in orange and red hues like the marigold flowers that garlanded the area.

I can only imagine how much work went into this wedding in order for things to run so smooth. There were no glitches with the lighting or sound and they even managed to set up a projector on the beach for a picture slide show of the bride and groom. This was all just one more part of a spectacular wedding.

1 comment:

IndCoup said...

Fucking grade A!!

Nice chick with you as well.

If only weddings in Jakarta were like that!!!!