Friday, September 16, 2011

INCREDIBLE INDIA September Journal Block

I've just gotten back from 2 1/2 weeks in Sri Lanka.  What a wonderful country! But more on that a bit later.  First, I want to catch you up on the September India Block. There is pressure to stay on schedule!

While we were in Little Runn of Kutch in Gujarat, our resort was host to a local wedding. This was a Hindu, arranged marriage, between two families. I still find the whole concept of an arranged marriage fascinating, even though I have friends from both the Indian and Arab cultures who have arranged marriages, which are very successful. It is a very different concept from my own culture. I think what makes the arranged marriage, in many cases so successful, is that both families are supporting the union and help to make the marriage work.

A typical arranged marriage usually follows these steps. First, an advertisement is placed in the matrimonial section of the paper stating a boy is looking for a girl or vice versa and their attributes are listed. The families contact each other and usually a horoscope is done on both candidates to see if they would be a good match. If the families are happy with the potential match, the boy's family will make arrangements to meet the girl and the girl's family will make arrangements to meet the boy. If both parties are satisfied that he or she is a good candidate, they will then introduce the two children.  If the children like each other and would like to proceed, then the girl's family will provide a dowry based on the requests of the boy's family.  A dowry can consist of money, jewels, property, vehicles, such a motorcycle or car, or a house and can be a very costly amount for the girl's family to provide. Once the dowry is established, the wedding date is set.

This is the young bride in all her wedding finery.
Besides her heavily embroidered wedding sari and jewelry, much of her body is covered with beautiful henna designs, to celebrate her marriage. The henna designs are done in either black or with colors, as seen here.
Hindu weddings are usually quite large, with sometimes up to 1000's of guests. I think these were family members and close friends that arrived early for the wedding, to support the bride.

This block is my third block with text and represents many aspects of the Hindu wedding.

The background fabric of the block was hand dyed using turmeric powder.
The matrimonial ads were printed on hand-dyed fabrics which I dyed using Procion Dyes, with the fabrics being prepared for printing on my computer using Bubble Jet Set and Bubble Jet Set Rinse. I used fusible applique to adhere the hearts to the background fabric and I used a hand Feather Stitch around each heart. Sequins and beads were sewn to the hearts to make them festive.
The earrings are representative of the type of jewellery worn by the bride.
The hand and foot shown are typical henna designs which I have drawn using a Micron Pigma Waterproof pen.
The center jewels represent the costly dowry that is an integral part of any arranged marriage.

The block was hand quilted with lines radiating out from around the hearts, hoping that love will grow in the marriage. The block was bound in blue silk fabric.


Notjustnat said...

Gorgeous Cynthia, I love how you used texts for this wedding block. Interesting about the arranged marriage. I think it works well in some cases! Hugs Natima

aracne said...

What a beautiful creation, so colour and meaning full. I also find fascinating your explanation of the process of creativity.
Maybe I should try an arranged marriage next time, might be more successful!

Liz said...

I remember those photographs being taken and the body language too of those couples. Lovely little block Cynthia. My journals have become more a diary of what I am doing now - which is ok. Best wishes from Liz in strangely hot England today.