Parsi Weddings for Dummies

Tip #1: Feasts and Food

Food in Parsi weddings is typically served as a combination of starters and dinner. Although most attendees tend to satiate themselves on starters, it is advisable to savour the starters and leave enough space for the elaborate dinner that follows. Dinner is usually served in ‘Paats’. A ‘Paat’ is a sitting where everyone is seated at long tables and served food. There are usually 3 – 5 ‘Paats’, depending upon the number of guests and the seating available at the venue.

If you’re hungry, listen for the words “Jamva Chalo Ji”, and rush to the tables to grab a seat. Beware: There may be many other equally hungry individuals, so watch your saree and take care not to trip over any roots or wires that may be intentionally strewn across the floor.

For all the vegetarians, there are seperate veg sections with Veg Thaali and Parsi Veg food, to cater to both types of tastes. Unfortunately, the non-vegetarians will have to make peace with traditional parsee food or feast on starters for the entire time.

Tip #2: Gifts and Presents

Your presence at this function is the best gift you can give, yet, if you feel the sudden urge to splurge your hard earned wealth, cash is the preferred method.

Tip #3: Meeting the couple

Once the wedding ceremony culminates, the family members assemble meet the couple and offer their best wishes and blessings. Following this, friends and other well-wishers are welcome to meet the couple.

Most people prefer if you wait at the base of the stage until the party before you has completed wishing the couple. Gifts and Presents (refered to in Tip #2) are handed off to the couple. This may be followed by a photograph with the couple if the guests so desire.

Tip #4: The Dinner

The most exciting part of a Parsi wedding, is by far the food. Food is typically served on banana leaves. A glass with a napkin and silverware is also provided. Please use this napkin to first gently clean the banana leaves before setting it (the napkin) down on your lap.

The meal starts off with some ice, which is a good idea, considering the sweltering heat. Most people leave the ice in the glass, however, some enjoy slipping the ice down some unsuspecting persons’ back. Following the ice, pickle, chapatis and wafers are served. This is followed by fish, chicken, and rice. Each dish is served one at a time. When you’re done, fold up the banana leaves and place the silverware on top of it. Once dinner is done, you may be provided with a moist napkin to clean up. The meal completes with desert, usually kulfi or ice cream.

Don’t be alarmed if you find people standing behind you while you’re finishing off your desert. They’re probably just as hungry as you were when you started and are merely waiting for their turn at the table. Relax and take your time as you savour the rich flavourful desert. Get up only when you’re sure you’re done… There ain’t gonna be no more!

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