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May 4, 2012 12:00 pm

Getting Married in Mumbai, India

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Gateway of India in Mumbai. Photo: wiki commons.

Jewish Ideas Daily – As the afternoon sun hit its peak, Haran and I pulled up to his small one-and-a-half-bedroom flat on the outskirts of East Mumbai, India, some 20 minutes from the airport.  The building’s shiny tin roof showed that money was in short supply.  But inside the apartment, with Indian hospitality, Haran’s wife Geeta (a surprisingly non-Jewish name) served me perfectly spiced hot tea.  She sat down next to her husband, and they began telling their story.

Caste-like divisions persist in India, even among Jews.  Geeta’s family belongs to the eastern Indian Baghdadi Jewish community, centered in Calcutta, while Haran is a member of the western Indian Bene Israel, located mainly in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.   But, said Geeta, “We fell in love and our families thought it was a good fit.  It isn’t necessarily Indian, but we Jews do get a bit more freedom in that regard.”  Geeta’s English was broken but quite understandable.  She wants to become a teacher.

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