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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

American Ecumenicism

This past weekend, as I mentionedDscf0031 in my winning life's lottery post, I was at the wedding of osita Wendi's brother (Dr. Robert Adelson marrying Dr. Haritha Challipalli) in Chicago.  (And all through the weekend, I kept chanting my Bellow-inspired fantasy/mantra: I am an American, Chicago born.)

The wedding was held at the Palmer House Hilton, which, notwithstanding rooms a bit on the small side, is an extraordinary public building.  Its lobby has Phhlobby a Beaux Arts ceiling renovated by the same fellow who helped restore the Sistine Chapel.  The Empire Room, in which the wedding was held, is a rococo extravaganza, very fitting for the affair.

The weDscf0023dding was also an interesting experiment in American ecumenicism.  The bride comes from a Hindu family, and Wendi's brother is Jewish (and Ashkenazi, at that).  So, comes no surprise, the pictures of this melded union of social unions are revealing.  For the Hindu ceremeony, Wendi and her mom, along with her two brothers, sported traditional Indian garb, looking stunning.  After the Hindu ceremony, which to my naked eyes, shared some interesting parallels with Jewish services, there was an Indian cocktail hour (followed by costume changes by the families), and then a Jewish ceremony under the Chuppah, with dinner and dancing afterward.  Because the Jewish service was second, the dinner featured the unusual sight of scores of Indian men wearing yarmulkes, and moments later, dancing with alacrity, albeit haltingly, to Hava Nagila.Dscf0036_1 Dscf0017  Wendi, unfortunately, took a sharp elbow to her arm during the whirling melee.  Thankfully, there were literally at least one hundred doctors in the room...

Posted by Administrators on June 1, 2005 at 07:18 PM in Religion | Permalink

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