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How Italian Guests Amused Indian Hosts

Unaware of the country's custom the foreigners' words brought  mirth

KANPUR: Nothing was previously decided as everything was taking place spontaneously before a gathering of well-dressed women. They were all enjoying the pre-wedding event completely at the bride’s house here. In between the gleeful environment there took place entry of an Italian family of three persons. As they were quite new to the guests, they were certainly amazed to find their very presence on the occasion. Despite knowing the foreign language none of them was able to converse in English. That Italian family comprised of the mother, daughter and son. The bride’s mother was very much familiar with them.

So, in order to make the situation a little less tensed the young bride’s mother began to introduce them to other guests. But language was the main hurdle in free conversation. What the Italians were known were only a few oft-repeated English words. Therefore the attempt initiated by the lady began to prove futile. In the meantime the Italian lad moving ahead paid his regards to the shy bride by uttering the word, ‘Namaste’. This son of the Italian family was unaware of the exact word of salutation so he thought it better to express that very greeting. Attending the traditional Mehdi ceremony, the throng of women started laughing at his novel gesture extended to the bride.

Unaware of the basic form of salutation at the moment, he was astonishingly started looking at the gathering of the giggling ladies. Though he considered his way of respect perfect to the bride, he did not least comprehend of his uttered word becoming a fun just after. There was a peal of laughter all around. Even this very word brought laughter to the nervy bride. She was seen smiling at the style of salutation. Every woman present on the occasion was unable to control herself at his innocence. As the overseas youth was totally unaware of our country’s Muslim culture, he would have thought it to be applicable commonly.

What was puzzling for the Italian guests comprising of the mother and her children were their total unawareness of the language spoken by the host. It was not only they were feeling odd but also the household members. They were invited to the pre-wedding ceremonies of their daughter. That scene gave just the same impression which our Prime Minister Narendra Modi felt at the time of the three-minute speech delivered by the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince at a press conference prior to his participation in R-Day programme this January.

The Italian’s greeting style made the atmosphere euphoric at that point of time. More than this he looked madder to get his hands coloured with intrinsic patterns of Henna without thinking of its other side. That youthful Italian’s insistence again caused mirth and laugh among the women gathered at the time. He appeared totally unaware of this purely indigenous custom which allows only women to apply the particular paste of Henna. None told him that this was usually for the girls and the women. What has been today turned into a fashionable trend was said to have begun during the times of Empress Nurjehan in India. He had no way to understand why he was denied from that thing. He was made to follow good thoughts, good things and good energy.

These Italian guests were certainly invited owing to their business relations with the hosts. On their part attending a Muslim wedding in the city’s Jajmau area was a great experience. It was evidently apparent from their cheerful faces. They liked the arrangements, foods and the way women dressed themselves. It was a kind of learning with the country’s customs. They have been coming to this city for the past several years but their presence without a translator made every face laughing. Later, it was through their own translator they learnt details of the happy moments and conversed with other gorgeous women. Otherwise, they were conversing through sign language. The bride’s mother attempted hard to explain every point in the English language but her every effort remained ineffective at the moment. Smiling, glowing and pleasing faces thought how nice it would have been if they were conversant with our Hinglish or Hindustani.   

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journalist & writer

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