Unforgettable Experience Israeli photographer captures the fun side of traditional weddings in India (PHOTOS)

Sephi Bergerson took up the project, and started with a traditional wedding in Tamil Nadu before heading to Kerala, the next seven years saw him travel across various parts of India – from Ladakh to Kanyakumari to cover traditional Indian weddings

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An Israeli photographer Sephi Bergerson in an interview with HuffPost India tells of his experiences as a wedding photographer and how he took up the project in 2007.

He said, “A friend of mine in Delhi wanted me to shoot her sister’s wedding in Kerala,” he said in an interview with HuffPost India. “I refused saying that I do not shoot weddings. A few days later when I met with someone from the publishing industry, I was asked about my next assignment, and I said 'weddings' as a joke.”

The sacred fire, or  agni , symbolises the divine presence as a witness of the ceremony. Commitments made in the presence of  agni  are made in the presence of God. New Delhi, 2009 play

The sacred fire, or agni, symbolises the divine presence as a witness of the ceremony. Commitments made in the presence of agni are made in the presence of God. New Delhi, 2009

(Sephi Bergerson)

 

The rest, as Sephi says, is history. He took up the project, and started with a traditional wedding in Tamil Nadu before heading to Kerala. The next seven years saw him travel across various parts of India – from Ladakh to Kanyakumari to cover traditional Indian weddings.

Looking back, Sephi claims that he finds simple family affairs the most interesting to photograph. “The small weddings are as close as possible to what ‘it used to be’ before the digital age and all the money that came to India with it,” he says. “But it was interesting to attend weddings not on my commercial map: Ladhaki Buddhist, a Kodava wedding in Coorg, and a mass wedding of the Dawoodi Bhora in Mumbai.”

Gaye holud tattva -Is a set of presents for the Bengali bride from the groom’s side. One of the most important gifts is a large 'rohu' (fish) with sindoor (vermilion) & nose ring, accompanied by five little fish to symbolise fertility. play

Gaye holud tattva -Is a set of presents for the Bengali bride from the groom’s side. One of the most important gifts is a large 'rohu' (fish) with sindoor (vermilion) & nose ring, accompanied by five little fish to symbolise fertility.

(Sephi Bergerson)

 

The last, he claims was the most challenging to shoot as he didn’t have permission to photograph, and had to sneak into the masjid. Even though he was caught, he eventually got away and even received the blessings of His Holiness Svedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, heir of the late spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bhora community. Since then Sephi has been invited into many ‘sacred places and intimate moments’ otherwise inaccessible to outsiders.

A funny moment at a Gujarati wedding. The mother in law says "watch out and be respectful." Gujarati weddings have a ceremony called Ponkvu or Ponkhana where the groom is welcomed by his mother-in-law, who first performs an  aarti  and then playfully pulls the groom’s nose. This is a way for the bride’s family to remind the groom that he has come to their doors to marry their daughter and he has to learn to be humble and grateful. Anand, Gujarat 2013 play

A funny moment at a Gujarati wedding. The mother in law says "watch out and be respectful." Gujarati weddings have a ceremony called Ponkvu or Ponkhana where the groom is welcomed by his mother-in-law, who first performs an aarti and then playfully pulls the groom’s nose. This is a way for the bride’s family to remind the groom that he has come to their doors to marry their daughter and he has to learn to be humble and grateful. Anand, Gujarat 2013

(Sephi Bergerson)

“I was lucky enough to witness traditions buried so deep in the subconscious of India that even people from here are not necessarily aware of.”

Sephi’s book ‘Behind The Indian Veil’ releases later this month.

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