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A 48 Hours Bangladeshi Wedding!

© Shafkat Anowar
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A 48 Hours Bangladeshi Wedding!
Honolulu, Bangladeshi Wedding
Honolulu, HI- December 2017. The attending guests were the host of the ceremony as they prepare the banners for the stage.

Bangladesh has unique ethnic practices, some of them are unique to their geographic location, and some are partially shared among neighboring states. Bangladeshi people rejoice their culture in home as well as abroad. Sometimes it may be difficult, in particular, when they are trying to fit in or immerse into the new culture abroad. However, Bangladeshis living in Hawaii have balanced the ethnicity of both the worlds by adapting Hawaiian cultural practices and maintaining their identity and connection to who they are. Thanks to “Aloha Spirit” of the Hawaiian culture extending their mutual regard and affection in caring with no obligation in return towards people of all ethnicity and background.

The bride of the night giving her finishing touch
The bride of the night giving her finishing touch before she is pronounced as the wife.
Bangladeshi Wedding
The bride and groom getting downstairs to attend the small gathering.

Approximately 15-20 families lead the existing Bangladeshi culture on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. However, the families vary in practicing their traditional cultural norms proportionate to their length of stay away from home country. As a photojournalist, I enjoy the diversity offered by the small ethnical groups as a part of broader society focusing their cultural norms in my work. The Bangladeshi population is more vibrant in the continental USA due to their presence in larger numbers. However, living in the isolated Island of Hawaii their cohesiveness is their strength maintaining who they are. Existing Bangladeshi families living about 7000 miles apart try to bring a touch of their home whenever there is an occasion which leads to bonding of the whole community. I am a Bangladeshi by birth and have lived there for the past 19 years. Growing up home I have attended quite a lot of wedding ceremonies in different platforms but never got a taste of attending a ceremony of my own culture in abroad.

Bangladeshi Wedding
The groom being welcomed by the guests of the evening.
Gaye Holud (Turmeric on the body) is a traditional ceremony observed in the Bangladeshi culture where the couple gets to meet the attended guests and get a touch of turmeric on their in a form of blessings.

Moving to Hawaii for my bachelors while living within the Bangladeshi community in the state, I had the opportunity to observe a home wedding ceremony of two Bangladesh born individuals coming together and getting married in a precise way. Ashikur, a University of Hawaii at Manoa doctorate from and Nilufar, a University of British Columbia doctorate managed to dig out a week vacation to get married. Living in the westernized society, it was struggling to carry out the whole procession in the original Bangladeshi style but at the end of the day I found it very unique to portray through my camera. Hawaii is always a choice for the dream destination wedding with the live ocean background. In contrast what I observed was not an ocean view live wedding ceremony but a home bounded cultural uniqueness and individuality.

Bangladeshi Wedding
The bride and the groom enjoys some personal moments later that afternoon.
Bangladeshi Wedding
It is a part of the Bangladeshi wedding culture to draw Mehndi (henna) on the bride\’s hand. Bride Nilufar Rahman enjoys her time watching the henna designs on her hand.
After the conclusion of the first night, the couple attended the mosque in the town to be officially pronounced as husband and wife by the Imam.
Bangladeshi Wedding
The newly wedded bride and groom in a frame on the reception night.
Bangladeshi Wedding
The couple along with the attending guests of the night celebrates the finishing moment of the reception night.
Bangladeshi Wedding
The couple bids farewell to the guests as they conclude their two nights brief wedding ceremony.
Bangladeshi Wedding
Honolulu, HI- December 2017. The house which was crowded with all the well wisher for two days back to backs seemed deserted in just a moment. The ceremony hosted around hundred people in this compact house staring from the gaye holud ceremony and the reception night.

Shafkat Anowar
the authorShafkat Anowar
Born (1996) and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, I am currently an undergrad student in University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College. My aim is to complete my Associate degree from Kapiolani Community College by 2018 and get into a four years University to complete my B.A in Mass Communication. It was grade 9 when I was influenced and motivated by some renowned photographers and especially my cousin to do something with the camera. Although my earliest photographs were nothing more than a straightforward and ordinary click. I have eventually admitted to “Pathshala South Asian Media Institute” for a primary and a foundation course in photography. After that, the journey with the camera continued till now. I have always seen photography like the one and only passion. Most of the time, my photos are focused on the general people in the streets. Sometimes any notable events around the city are his subject of interests. To me, photography is to communicate. Interact with people, and letting the people talk through his photos. I am an emerging photographer, trying to learn basic compositions of photography and desiring for a stable position as a photojournalist.

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