Bollywood Weddings

Bollywood Weddings : Dating, Engagement, and Marriage in Hindu America

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Bollywood Weddings explores how Indian-American Hindus negotiate two vastly different wedding cultures: those of mainstream America and of Hindu India. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and drawing on recent advances in material culture studies, Ramdya suggests that Bollywood, whose Indian origins grants it authenticity from the Hindu perspective and whose emphasis on romance accommodates American values, emerges as the key mediating third culture that allows Indian-American Hindus to reinforce their community's identity as ethnic and American even as it confirms that success in America need not be bought at the expense of one's religious background and cultural heritage.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 136 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 15.24mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0739138545
  • 9780739138540

About Kavita Ramdya

Dr. Kavita Ramdya is an independent researcher in American Studies. For more information on Kavita and Bollywood Weddings check out her website at
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Review quote

Well- researched... The book speaks to those who are searching for their life partner, or are seeking answers to what marriage means to second-generation Indian Americans who want to balance their Indian and American identities. Khabar Ramdya approaches the subject of love vs arranged marriages in a thoughtful and modern way...Bollywood Weddings provides matter-of-fact insight supported by data, methodology, a glossary and real-life examples of Hindu-American relationships in the context of marriage. An interesting book, no doubt, and recommended to all South Asian readers. Bibi Magazine Kavita Ramdya has given readers an excellent, empathetic window into second generation Indian-American Hindu couples who are navigating multiple ethnicities through this major life rite of passage, marriage. She argues that second generation weddings are not simply about negotiating two cultures, but three-the third being modern-day Bollywood culture. It is a brilliant observation and a sign of a new generation of scholar who knows how important consideration of the popular is in terms of one's research and findings among contemporary topics and when doing ethnographic work. -- Donna Frietas, Boston University The writer openly, quizzically, and honestly peers into the depths and subtleties of the marital patterns of Indian-American Hindus from the latter half of the twentieth century to today. Ramdya's research and findings are enhanced by wedding couples' personal thoughts and interviews. It is a fascinating interplay, mingling contrasting insights in an expose on the symbiotic rapport of Indian and American marriage customs, from the first meeting to the reception party. Bollywood Weddings also goes beyond marital culture into what it's like to be a second generation Hindu in the US. It's a rich commentary on American sociology and the Indian-American experience as a whole. Hinduism Today An ethnographic study of Indian Americans in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It is an experiential account of second-generation negotiation between the tradition of the parental generation and the norms of love and courtship in a Western or rather global world...The book is an interesting read and will appeal to American as well as Indian audiences beyond academia. Ramdya's style is typically second generation, engaging and confident. Journal Of Intercultural Studies The book gives a very clear insight not only into the minds of Hindu Americans but the present generation of Non Resident Indians who might have never been to India but still try to maintain a balance between the two cultures... All I can say is that it is a very engaging book that hooks you once you have started. Asian Voice
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Table of contents

Chapter 1 The Marriage Market: Choosing a Suitable Boy Chapter 2 The Engagement Proposal: To Dower or To Diamond? Chapter 3 Wearing Ethnicity: The Indian-American Hindu Bridal Industry Chapter 4 Pre-Wedding Rituals: Maintaining Both Indian-Hindu and Mainstream-American Traditions Chapter 5 The Wedding Day: Improvising on Hindu and American Traditions
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Rating details

6 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2)
4 50% (3)
3 0% (0)
2 17% (1)
1 0% (0)
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