Wedding Customs in Monsoon Wedding
Judson Michael Edwards
Course: English 230
Instructor: Ms. Andree Cosby
Essay Type: Literary Analysis
Monsoon Wedding is a movie by Mira Nair “set in modern-day Delhi,” and falls under the interesting category of “Punjabi comedy” (Howe WE37). Nair herself is from Delhi, which has been a Punjabi stronghold since 1947, when Muslims left the city for the newly formed country of Pakistan (WE37). The storyline is based on an arranged marriage between the characters of Aditi and Hemant: two upper middle class Punjabis. Punjabi weddings include a great deal of ancient traditions, many of which are apparent in Monsoon Wedding. This analysis will cover the Punjabi marriage traditions that are most apparent in Monsoon Wedding. Their families prearrange Aditi and Hemant’s marriage. Although they have never met, they are not being forced into marrying each other. At the chunni chandana ceremony, Aditi’s aunt even says, “Give them some privacy. I met C.L. only once, we got married right away!” It is their choice, and they seem to be completely comfortable with it. They trust their families to make a good match for them because “family [is] an important factor in the selection of a spouse” (Kapadia 136).
Throughout the movie, it is apparent that there is a conflict between traditional Punjabi customs and more modern western ones. In one scene, Aditi’s father, Lalit, and the wedding planner P.K. Dubey, get into a bit of an argument over the color of the wedding tent. Lalit wanted a traditional colorful Punjabi tent, but Dubey has already put up a western-style white tent. Lalit says to Dubey, “What’s with the white tent?” “This is the fashion these days. Millennium style. Y2K dot,” Dubey responds. Lalit then says, “Put up a colorful tent. Red,
yellow, green, blue.” Dubey then tells his helpers, “Get this down. It’s not wanted! He wants the old look.”
One of the first Punjabi marriage traditions that takes place in Monsoon Wedding is...
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