– Monica was married on June 24, 2011 in Penang, Malaysia in a Hindu ceremony. This is an image of her following the wedding in her wedding sari, which is traditionally red. The ornate necklace which can be seen is customarily placed on the bride during the ceremony in lieu of a wedding ring. During the ceremony, Monica’s hair was covered by a scarf, which remained on until the ceremony was completed. When it came off, an elegant braid was revealed underneath. The jasmine in her hair is the flower customarily worn; the smell was exquisite.
For those of you not familiar with Hindu weddings, they definitely know how to party. These festivities lasted for four days and at each event there was wonderful food and drink, with all who were present dressed to the nines in fabulous saris, gowns, cocktail dresses and amazing Indian garb. On the first day, there was an engagement party where the engaged couple received blessings. On the second day there was a Mehendi party where the bride and female wedding guests received henna tattoos on their hands, arms, legs and/or feet. This was followed by a Sangeet, an evening party, held under a tent on the beach. On the third day, the wedding took place under a tent at sunset followed by another fabulous meal. The kilted groom and his family, who are Scottish, were escorted to the wedding site by a group of bagpipers. People hung out their windows to see this sight in tropical Penang. Finally, on the fourth day, there was a formal reception.
The painting was commissioned as a gift for Monica’s mother, Usha, in thanks for her warmth, generosity and hospitality. The original photographs that were used as reference for this painting were taken by Monica’s new sister-in-law, Alicia Betham.