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Wedding Gift for Sri Lankan Couple


Jul 28th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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Wedding Gift for Sri Lankan Couple

My husband may be going back to Sri Lanka in December and has been told that if he is there a business associate would like him to come to his son's wedding in Colombo. He is very pleased and flattered they would invite him.

We have no idea about Sri Lankan wedding customs can anyone make suggestions? What is an appropriate gift for the couple? What should we do and not do at the wedding. I don't have any information about the couple such as their religion so I'm really at a loss as to what would be appropriate.
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Jul 29th, 2004, 01:47 AM
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I actually called an Indian friend of mine about this because my initial thought was that a gift was not strictly necessary. I have been to several Hindu and Moslem weddings, but they were for close friends of mine, so I gave them a gift. However, my thought (with which my friend concurred) was that a business associate or other person who is not really known to the families is not really expected to bring a gift. Your presence at the wedding is a gesture on its own. If you really want to give something, then I would suggest something like a clock or other small decorative household item. A piece of Waterford or other crystal like a small vase would also be a good choice. I am fairly sure you will not find a gift table at the wedding, so your husband should give the gift to his business associate before the wedding.

I am assuming the wedding is a Hindu one given that it is in Sri Lanka. It is possible that it is Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Parsee or even Christian (leaving out the more minor Indian religions); however while the ceremonies are different, the gift issue is the same.

As for what you should and should not do, there are no real rules. If you have questions do ask, as Indians love to explain their customs. It is possible that the ceremony and a lunch or dinner will be held at the temple at the same time, or there may be a ceremony during the day or early evening and then a dinner at a hotel later that day or the next. You would need to find out what events you are invited to. In either case, I would dress modestly in terms of showing bare skin. For a man, a suit would not be out of place, although a jacket might be very warm, and you will probably find many men just in trousers and shirts, or national dress like a dhoti. A dress or even a nice pant suit is fine for women. Don?t' be surprised if the ceremony seems to be ignored and people are chatting, milling around and eating during it. The Hindu and Moslem ceremonies are longish with several parts, so people don't pay full attention, in my experience. People will come late and leave during the ceremony as well. You will undoubtedly find someone who will be happy to explain all the parts to you. In a Muslim wedding (at least the few I have been to), the bride is not there for much of it and shows up toward the end. If it is a Christian ceremony, it will be like other Christian weddings you have been to. Can?t speak for Jain or Parsee, I would love to hear about it if it turns out to be one of those.

You might run a search on the web or go to your library and do some research on wedding customs.
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Jul 29th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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I would also add that you're better off wearing pants in the event that you have to sit on the floor.
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Aug 1st, 2004, 11:51 AM
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I am very greatful for the information. It would be in December so I won't know till then. I did try searching on the web but wasn't successful.
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Aug 8th, 2004, 04:50 AM
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Generally articles in silver are often gifted at auspicious occasions in this part of the world. A small silver photo frame or candle holders or salt and pepper shakers are just some ideas depending on your budget. Cicerone's point re gift table is well made and I would advise your husband to place a visiting card inside the wrapping paper as well as a card on it. Weddings are normally very crowded and often the cards taped on the top of the wrapping paper get lost. Even better would be to send the gift across to your business associate or the residence in advance of the wedding.
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Aug 17th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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Hey..Hope my reply is not too late ( considering the wedding is in December), but Iv really been to busy to check on to this site lately
Well i dont think you really have to worry too much on the gift. Most weddings are taken quite similarly to ones taken in any western country, and people are not too sensitive about the nature of the gift.
A Hindu or Muslim wedding might be a bit more ceromonious or cultured, but my guess is it will probably be a Bhuddist wedding. If so there will be a formal reception at first ( no church) and then it will be followed by a party which will normaly be held in a big hall / hotel.I wouldnt wear a Tux, but a suit would be appropriate to almost any wedding.
As for the gift, an elegant tea set would be nice enough.
And I really worry about the etiquette unless its a muslim wedding.
If there is anythin else in particular that you would want to know then pls mail me at [email protected]
Good Luck
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Sep 1st, 2004, 07:16 PM
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Thanks again for all the help!
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