Friday, January 26, 2007

Wedding, Punjab and Pakistan

When I was invited to my friends wedding in Gurdaspur, in the northern Punjab, I thought I couldn't go, and I was regretting it. I have 5 sets of friends getting married this year, and I wasn't going to make it to any of their weddings.
Plans changed and I got to go. I was the only one of Amanda's friends who could be there, since everyone else was in the US. Only her Dad could make it from the US.
The wedding was in Gurdaspur, where Davinder, the groom is from.

Of course I don't know any Punjabi, so I didn't understand pretty much anything anyone was saying. But I had a great time anyway. The food was great, the music was loud, and the ceremony was serene and reverent.

Bride and Groom after the ceremony.

After the wedding I went to Amritsar for a day to see the Golden Temple. It is the holiest place in the Sikh faith, and a beautiful building. Built in 1577 and destroyed in 1762 by a Mughal emperor, Ahmad Shah Durani, it was rebuilt in 1802. It was attacked in 1984 and had to be restored once again. Amritsar the name of the town comes from the words "amrit sarovar" or tank of nectar, the pool of water that surrounds the building.

Golden Temple at Dusk (Amritsar, Punjab)

Going to Pakistan, I crossed the border at Wagah, which was an interesting experience. Crossing the border by foot was fascinating. Aside from the myriad of bureaucratic processes, I was reminded that the borders we have are invented, lines drawn on the landscape with big fences, and people patroling them. The dirt, the wind, the rodents, and even the people are the same on both sides. The air you breathe doesn't change.

In the case of Pakistan and India, this line is recently drawn, the fences recently built. The partition between the two is only 50 years old. In Lahore, the places I visited, the Lahore Fort, Masjid Wazir Khan, and Jehangir's Tomb, are all part of the Mughal history of the region. A shared history of Pakistan and India. And Harappa, and the rest of the Indus Valley civilization, serves to drive that point home. A shared history 10,000 years old.

Entrance to Lahore Fort.

Tile Column at the Masjid Wazir Khan (Lahore, Pakistan)

Ancient city of Harappa, conserved area (Dist. Sahiwal, Pakistan)

For more of my photos from the wedding in Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Lahore and Harappa visit my flickr site.


vivek said...

Very nice pictures and post.

I was just wandering the internet looking for pics around the Amritsar Lahore border.

-Dallas, TX

Edith said...

They are beautiful pictures Gwen. You are so incredibly blessed to be in a place that you enjoy so much, one that has so much amazing history, culture, and archaeology (of course). Wow, wow, wow.