I've recently got back from an incredible 10 days in Galle, Sri Lanka. It was a country I had always longed to visit and finally after an aborted attempt to go to Cuba in January we booked a last minute trip and were on the plane within days, furnished with a handful of contacts and friends of friends to visit on. I'm going to write more about the trip and the places I stayed in my next blog but this one is a pure celebration of the beauty of the people. Christian left before I had even woken up one morning to go on a jog around the city walls and came back to bundle me into a tuk tuk to hurry down and witness the mass of gorgeous bridal parties who were being guided around the city walls for their professional photographs.
Weddings vary according to religion, region, caste, ethnicity and language and the costumes that they wear reflect this - particularly in the variety of outfits the men were wearing.
Bride: Wears four silk saris (they can vary from the Indian to Kandyan Style) for the wedding celebrations. She also wears a nalalpata, a headband with a gold gem-studded forehead plate, traditionally worn by royal rulers. A mass of chains is worn around her neck. Padakkam (pendants) are an important part of the chains, each having a name – peti malaya, the agasthi malaya and the seri valatu. The earrings, known as dimithi, have the shape of an overturned cup with tiny pearls dangling from two ear studs. Some brides wear armlets to ward off bad luck.
Groom: Wears a traditional nilame (or mul anduma) suit over his sarong and shirt, and atamulu thoppiya (eight-cornered hat).