Karma invited us to his cousin’s wedding. It was a traditional Sherpa wedding, a special experience one might travel across the world to take part in, right here in New York City! A little known fact is that roughly a thousand Sherpas have made their way to live in Jackson Heights, Queens. And it seemed that almost everyone from the community came throughout the night to celebrate this occasion.
If the wedding was in Nepal it would have taken place over the course of an entire week! Here it only went from 3:30pm until after 2am.
We found it to be a lively but relaxed affair with women wearing Patuka dresses, kids playing freely, constant dancing and lots of food.
I’m accustomed to a wedding ceremony where you sit in silence and give complete focus to the orchestrated proceedings. During this ceremony, there was not a mandatory focus on the bride and groom. There were no vows nor rings exchanged. Prayers were delivered by a Lama and an umbrella was held over the bride and groom (indoors) to keep evil spirits away.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds moved throughout the banquet hall serving drinks to the guests. The Sherpas give to others, even on their special night.