This ceramic Rajasthani bride doll wearing a traditional costume for her culture. Her dress is called a Lehenga, which consists of a blouse (choli), long skirt (ghagra), and veil (dupatta). Her ghagra and choli are red and gold silk brocade, and the dupatta is gold chiffon with gold applique flowers, silver trim and fringed edges. The doll is adorned with a gold headpiece (rakhri), earrings, bracelets, necklace, and nose ring (nath). Her face is hand painted with the traditional Hindu markings and she has henna on her hand. The stand says: “Brides of India: Rajasthan. Shankar’s International Dolls Museum New Delhi (India).”
Capital: New Delhi
Main language: Hindi, English
Currency: Indian Rupee
Height in Centimeters: 36
Height in Inches: 14
Reading Level: 5.80
My name is Chitra and I live in New Delhi, India. A few months ago, my father told me that he had chosen a husband for me. Even though I know Indian culture includes arranged marriages, I started crying. How could I possibly marry a man I did not know? How could I be expected to live with a stranger and have his children?
The man my father selected is named Kiran. He seems to be very nice. He promises that I can continue my education.
Now, the wedding is approaching, and I am getting excited. The wedding will last several days, and tomorrow the pre-wedding ceremonies begin. It will be almost like a parade when Kiran and his family come to my house. Kiran will be riding an elephant.
The wedding will take place under a canopy (called a mandap). I will wear a beautiful red and gold sari. My hands and feet will be painted with henna (like a beautiful tattoo). An important part of a Hindu wedding is the seven steps or sapta padi. As the priest or Brahmin says the 7 promises, we will circle the holy fire 7 times. The promises focus on the loyalty, love, and commitment we will share for the rest of our lives.
My parents tell me that the placement of the stars and planets at the time of my birth and Kiran’s birth indicate that we will be happy together. I hope with all my heart that they are right.