We are in Mauritius for a wedding and this is a post on the Mehendi ceremony that took place last night in the depths of 'camp Lascars' aka Plaine Verte - right by the football stadium 'Mamad Elahee'. The ceremony is named after the plant used for making 'henna' and is usually the first of a series of events that make up the traditional Mauritian Muslim wedding. Part of the ceremony is that the bride gets her hand and feet decorated with those henna patterns.
The ceremony/celebration took place in a hall next to the bride's place. My wife is related to the bride.
We got there just after 7pm, and there were a few folks there already (all from the bride's side) eating dinner. After greetings, we sat down and got our plates of food delivered. It was curried chicken with basmati rice with a cucumber salad and there was mango kutcha.
We had a few 'servers' with more food to pile onto your plate. The custom is they will try and keep filling your plate as you eat. If you refuse, they will ask:
Faire moi plaisir ...!Rough translation would be:
I would be so happy if you would eat some more...
After everyone has had dinner, we then moved to the other end of the hall, where we had a stage meant for the bride (and groom ?) and chairs laid out to face them. While waiting for the bride, someone mentioned that they had brought a ravane. I was volunteered to sing, so decided to write something. With help from a team of people, we came up with two Segas for the occasion, and kept practicing. The idea was we were going to sing it before the bride-grooms' side came over. Then someone suggested we had to warm up the ravane - we went down to the kitchen and used the gas burner.
The grooms' side then arrived and brought with them lots of trays full of gifts - including the wedding dress, shoes, cosmetics, sweets, etc, etc...
After the groom's side settled into their seats, (without the groom - he does not get to attend the Mehendi), we then went up by the stage and performed our segas.
We then resumed the normal mehendi (performing a sega at a mehendi is definitely NOT part of the normal Mehendi).
A variety of finger food was then served to all the guests (samoosas, mini quiches, crab rangoons, banana tart, and of course the napolitaines). Food was followed by guava juice.
Then there were lots of photo sessions with the bride, the groom's side left with trays of gifts for the groom. More photo sessions with the bride, followed by freshly fried gateaux piments and tea.
A dominoes session started at the back of the hall, and I also saw someone come in with a soccer ball. By that time, it was 11pm and time to go. Adam had been running around with the rest of the kids and now wanted to go to the car.