Nita's wedding

Nita is getting married. In 45 days. In Nepal we don't take long between decision and ceremony.
In 2012 she told me as if she was weather forecasting: "love is too hard, I eventually will make an arranged marriage".
So I'm expecting to shoot a series of rituals where the bride has to cry and go into exile in her husband's family.
Her story between cultural traditions and contemporary agreements is much more complex. It is displaying the flexibility and mentality changes of some nepali families today.


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D-3: Waxing in beauty parlor. Today is Teej, the women's festival; the beautician is all dressed up. Every woman coming in the shop to buy some bangles are dressed with the traditional red sari too.
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Nita, in her apartment she shares with her mother and brother. Some days before wedding several family members and friends including her fiancé came to share dinner .
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Friends and neighbors came on this public holiday to make mala, necklaces made with herbs and to be worn by the spouses in the ceremony.
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Nita and Krishna, her fiancé.
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Sita tries her wedding sari on the evening before wedding. It was given by the groom's family, as well as sari, jewels and accessories for the bride. She has to buy clothes for her step sisters and mother back.
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Wedding morning. It's 6am, family women and friends meet to get dressed up. Putting on churra, these typical glass or metal bracelets that match sari, requires help, suffer and soap. Some have slept with them to gain more time. Strass and pyjamas.
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9:30am, Nita comes back from the beauty parlor where she was having a hairstyle and make up.
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Sari-selfie in the school yard. Nita's family lives in the school: she is an account, her mother caretaker, her brother used to work as an assistant too. He now works in a café nearby.
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The bride has to get rid symbolically of all her jewels in order to accept those of her new husband. Her friend is assisting her doing this. As Krishna is hindu and Nita christian, they chose to do a kind of public civil wedding. According to tradition, bride has to quit her religion to adopt her husband's, but in their case each of them will continue to follow its own independently.
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Teachers and Nita's colleagues come to congratulate her. Following the jewel exchange, bride and groom are sitting in chairs and receiving presents and congratulations from the guests. The new husband and wife will then go to celebrate in the husband's family home in village.
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Ladies room.
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Time to leave. Nita hugs her family. It's a moving moment. According to tradition, bride is going to live in her husband's family but in her case, they will be living in a nearby area because both of them work in town and step-family is in a village, 4:30 far with motorbike.
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Back home family is counting money from guests presents. Some put their names on the envelopes in order that the family can give them the same amount on their own future weddings. "It is very expensive to get married" Nita told me, showing her gold jewels. Buying gold means put on savings.
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Her brother Nitesh drops her to her new home with the family scooter. They bought it recently. Some days later, on September 25th, India blocks fuel export unofficially at Nepal border (totally dependent of its neighbor on that matter). India disagrees with a particular point in new nepali constitution, adopted on September 20th. This situation is paralyzing activities in Katmandou valley, public transport is crowded and Nitesh as many others starts to bicycle.
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In her new kitchen with her stepsister who lives with them and helps her for the housework. They invited me to dinner and went to buy some ice cream for the occasion.
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Nita, back to work, is wearing her newly wed jewels on her uniform. "Now I am married, people are waiting for me to wear them, they want me to look smart, and they want me to look as a married woman. I cannot wear fake jewels at work anymore." She's also worried about missing university for two weeks. Her schedule: getting up at 4:30, making breakfast, going to university from 6am to 8am, then work at school from 9am to 5pm, eventually going back home, making dinner and housework.