We crashed a wedding
On Lydia’s last night in India we had an eventful journey home from the restaurant On the Rocks in the beautiful blue city Jodhpur. Staff hailed us a tuktuk and we drove alone the empty roads late at night. In the distance we could hear loud Western music and soon we came upon a very large crowd of people dancing away behind a truck with huge speakers slowly driving up the road. Women and children danced at the back following the older men who seemed to oversee the large group of young guys dancing madly in front of the speakers.
We asked our driver if we could stop and join them. Just as we were about to ask the party they saw us and beckoned us to come out. As soon as we joined the dancing party we were literally dragged apart from one another. They put their arms around us jumping to Gangnam Style blasting out from the speakers. I looked up and saw a beautiful white horse decorated in ornate fabric and beads. The elegant groom sat alone with his face covered. We discovered this tradition is called Barat Nikasi where the groom’s wedding party make their way to the venue. I wondered if the groom wanted to join in the party or perhaps realised it was safer on the horse. A video camera made it’s way through the crowds. At first it was fun dancing away, but I couldn’t see Lydia or Fran so I tore the arm off from around my neck and pushed my way through the people. Finding Fran I pulled her out from the Indian version of a mosh pit. I spotted Lydia who seemed happy dancing away. Fran looked quite flustered so I asked her if she was okay “…and did you feel hands on your butt?!” She nodded.
We decided to go back in and I started filming the dancing. As I held my camera I could definitely feel hands pitching my bottom and trying to touch my chest. The truck turned in the road and everyone began to disperse. Just as I put my camera away a hand painfully grabbed my chest. Turning around I saw the boy run. By this point I’d had enough, without thinking I ran after him, yanked him by the neck and planted a firm kick knocking him over. Suddenly the older men surrounded me saying, “You go now! You go now!” I shouted back at them, “You have to respect women!” Fran ad Lydia rushed over and we realised it was time to leave. Thankfully our driver waited for us and he drove his tuktuk drove up to us. We piled in laughing about how we’d just crashed a wedding party but I also felt incredibly fired up about the way those boys thought they could behave with us.
When we got back to our guesthouse we related what had just happened to the owner. She said she was glad I reacted because many Indian boys have the perception that they can do what they like to female tourists. If they were to touch an Indian girl she would tell her brothers and father. A female tourist is most likely travelling alone.
The way women are treated is slowly changing in India however they still have a long way to go.
Watch my shaky video and hear me say ‘Quit touching my butt!”