“What do I remember about my wedding? Hmm… not sure you will get much of an interesting story out of me. My marriage followed a similar procedure as did the other marriages in Bhutan. I was about 10 years old when I got married and my wife was nine. You look surprised but this is just how it was in Bhutan. Whenever your parents felt you were ready, they would have a lady (or a gentleman) already chosen and permitted to be married to you. I know a few couples who got married at even younger ages than me. I remember I awoke with the sun on the day of my wedding as I was to be prepared as a groom. I was exhausted by how long the wedding was; It took us about a day and a half just to reach the bride’s village. It took the same time in returning back home — altogether, three days. The hills were steep but the horses carrying me protected me very carefully as I sat and enjoyed the scenery along the way. I was like a prince for the day — my relatives, my parents and everyone else around me wouldn’t let me do anything. Although I’m not exactly sure how I felt on the day of my wedding as I was young, I must have been excited to see my bride. My wife had 14 aunts who adorned and guided her through the marriage rituals that day. I remember it was a bit hectic especially considering that I was somewhat anxious as well. What if I did something wrong? It was the first time my bride and I had met. I’m 65 years old now which means it’s been 55 years since our marriage. It’s been quite a long time.”
Mani Prasad Upreti, 65, is originally from Chirang, Bhutan, and based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio at the time when this story was compiled.
Story and Photo compilation by Arati Chapagai for BNS