Today was a cleaning ritual... thing for the wedding of my cousin, Anu. Ordinarily, there would be much rubbing of _insert eleven secret herbs and spices here_ on Anu's skin so make her more fetching. However, as we are into the 21st century (and loving it) she went to a beauty salon (man is that what they're called? I don't know I'm a guy), so there was a customary _smearing_ of maybe one or two herbs on her face and legs, taking care not to ruin the good work of the salon peeps.
There were also some ritual bits, including having my female relatives repeatedly doing the "heads and shoulders, knees and toes" dance on Anu, then feeding her. It has sunk in that the Punjabi religion's rituals _all_ consist of:
# Do religious activity
# Eat something.
This works well as positive re-inforcement.
Anyway, the final bit was great, which was Anu's mum (my Chachiji) taking the Atta (flour) and Haldi, and putting hand prints on the wall. This was basically a good day for photo taking, and that part looked awesome and colourful, if a little gross.
At night we went to the Ladies Sangeet. Ordinarily this means a bunch of women get together with Anu and sing some very old traditional songs about marriage and stuff. There's also much giggling (I've never really understood). However, as we are into the 21st Century (and... WTF?) we went to a gay night club and listened to hard-core techno? OK so we got there and I wasn't very sure about this. Like I said the look and feel of the place, as well as the music being played said "gay night club" (knowledge from a sample size of 1).
Instead of gay people, though, the place was full of my relatives (some of them quite old and married). Eventually the music turned to be _Bhangra_, and there were waiters handing out _horsâ€™dourves_. There was proper food at the... umm... arse end of the place. Eventually the traditional ladies sangeet took place on the checkerboard walls among laser lights. It was truly... something.