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Joshua Ryan and Nisha Hamal
Transnational weddings are symbolic, for they merge two individuals, cultures, and families of quite different backgrounds. This newly-married couple of Joshua Ryan, an Australian, and Nisha Hamal from Nepal had a traditional Nepali wedding, with certain details of Ryan’s culture, too. He shares, “I never visualised myself having such a traditionally symbolic wedding, but the fact that it was completely bound by traditions and ancient Nepali culture was really different and intriguing for me.”
After their engagement, the couple performed various pujas in the holy shrines of Kathmandu. He says, “All these pre-wedding rituals gave me a lot of hints about how I should prepare myself for the actual day, and the amount of effort and time it was going to take.” They had a private wedding ceremony in the valley, where friends and families came together from six different continents. For the groom, the fact that his guests could be a part of their celebrations and witness the
traditional Nepali culture proved to be special. He shares, “I could see my friends and families get intrigued by the variety and purity of Nepali rituals. This really stood out for me, because celebrations are not just about having
merriments, but a major part of it also has to do with cultural exchange.”
Ryan was decked up in a suit for the wedding day, but he integrated certain elements of the Nepali culture, as well. He says, “I wore a suit along with the Dhaka topi, and a bow tie made of Dhaka. I also pinned Australia’s national flower to my suit, so the whole outfit combined both the cultures, which was unique.” Hamal, however, was adorned entirely in a customary Nepali wedding outfit.
The couple really liked the private wedding ceremony, as compared to marrying in a temple, where the affair was not very intimate. Ryan shares, “Our guests were kindly ushered inside the venue, and the celebration was attended by close-knit family members, which added a warm personal touch to the event.”
In addition, the practice of entering the wedding venue led by musical bands really captivated Ryan. He shares, “We had a modern musical band and a panche baja leading the wedding procession, and the fact that the modern band played some Australian songs was heart-warming. It made me tear up a bit, because the whole process was so emotional.”
Their pre-wedding celebrations weren’t extravagant, but the presence of close-knit families and friends made it special for them. Ryan shares, “I had a little bachelor party with my friends, and Nisha celebrated mehendi and sangeet with her close family members.” The celebrations were personal, and that made all the difference to the couple.
The reception, right after the wedding, was quite loud and fun. Ryan was mostly touched by the generosity of the Nepali guests, and the fact that Nisha’s relatives came all the way from different places to bestow their blessings. They also had a special flash mob performance during the reception, which the couple says was extraordinary and awed the guests.
They plan to continue their wedding celebrations in Australia with a laid-back reception in the presence of a few friends and families who couldn’t attend the wedding in Nepal. They share, “We are planning to host a reception at the beach, and basically just enjoy this new bond with our guests.”
Even months after the wedding, their guests still cherish and fondly remember the celebrations. Ryan discloses, “My mother still gets calls from our family members, mentioning how much they enjoyed the entire event.” The couple is satisfied over the fact that they could beautifully unite two families and make the celebrations eventful for their multicultural guests.
Ryan and Hamal’s wedding celebration is a proof that the presence of close-knit families and friends make all the difference in making an event extraordinarily special.
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