Thursday, January 29, 2009

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“ER” Star Parminder Nagra Weds in Traditional Sikh Ceremony

Parminder_nagra_ERLast Saturday in Hollywood, Parminder Nagra (who plays Doctor Neela Rasgotra on NBC’s ER) married longtime love, celebrity photographer James Stenson, in a traditional Sikh ceremony known as Anand Karaj.

Anand Karaj means “blissful event or occasion” and is the official name given to the Sikh wedding ceremony. (Though born in England, Parminder’s family is from Punjab India.) It’s considered a sacred bond of mutual dependencies between man and woman. The wedding is considered much more than just a legal contract of commitment, but rather a true union of the souls. (So romantic!) The ceremony is considered a union of their two families as well. Which was likely a smooth transition for both, since the pair has been together for seven years, reports People.

We didn’t know much about this particular cultural ceremony here in the CWB office, so we studied up. Here’s what we learned:

Unique Ceremony Elements: Both partners must be Sikh, and in order to prepare for the ceremony the couple must feel and think alike and completely identify with one another, therefore becoming “Ek Jot Doe Murti” -- meaning “one spirit two bodies”. The ceremony almost always takes place in a Gurdwara (the Sikh place of worship) or the home of the bride, and is held in the presence of a Sri Guru Granth Shaib (their Holy book, considered to be a living guru), and the holy congregation. The ceremony cannot take place in a banquet hall, or hotel, and no superstitious or astrological suspicions can be taken into consideration when booking the date. Four sacred hymns (called Shabads) are read, and together they’re called the laava. They are sometimes referred to as the “four rounds”. The cost of the ceremony should be split amongst families as equally as possible.

Need something more visual? We haven’t seen any wedding photos released yet, but here are some gorgeous images of other Anand Karaj ceremonies that we found online.
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