Durban is the second largest city in SA and it is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city’s warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. Our main purpose for visiting Durban is not to check out the beaches, it is to attend our friend’s wedding!
Below are the highlights on Durban.
uShaka Marine World
uShaka Marine World is a theme park, comprises of 4 sections, uShaka Sea World, uShaka Wet ‘n Wild, uShaka Beach and uShaka Village Walk. We were only interested to see the dolphins, hence we only visited the Sea World.
According to Wikipedia, uShaka Sea World has the 5th largest aquarium in the world boasting 32 tanks totaling 17,500 cubic meters of water. The sea creatures found in the aquarium range from small sea horses all the way through to sharks and dolphins. Besides that we also get to see penguins and seals!
We spent the whole afternoon in Sea World going through the aquariums and watching the dolphins & seals show. The dolphin show was impressive while the seal show was slightly disappointing as there was only one seal in the show.
The first pre-wedding ceremony we attended 2 days before the wedding was the bride’s mehndi ceremony. The occasion of Mehndi ceremony is often one of the most important pre-wedding rituals especially for the bride. It is a fun filled ritual, which is celebrated mainly by the bride’s family.
The ceremony was held at the bride’s brother’s house 2 days before the marriage. On this occasion a professional henna artist applied mehndi to the bride’s hands and feet with very intricate designs as requested by the bride. The interesting part is hidden within the mehndi pattern the name or initials of the groom was applied. Not too sure what is the significance really. There were also friends dancing and singing traditional songs throughout the whole night.
The next night, it was the groom’s turn. Not getting mehndi of course. It is the groom’s Nelengu’s ceremony. Nelengu is basically a cleansing ritual, where a paste of turmeric is applied all over the body of the groom. For this ceremony, we only applied the turmeric on his forehead, sprinkle holy water and wave some coins over his head. This ritual is known to ward off any bad astrological influences that may haunt the couple in the future. Only women in the family and guests are allowed to do this.
On both occasions we were treated to delicious indian meals.
The wedding was held in Zimbali Lodge, which is a coastal resort. It was an intimate Hindu religious ceremony and we were amazed when the objectives of every rituals performed were explained to everyone. Most of the time when we attend a religious wedding ceremony it just happens and nobody understands why. After the ceremony, we went to another part of the resort for the reception. It was good fun attending this wedding.
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