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Anyone familiar with Sangeets?

I'm invited to a sangeet. I've never been to one and I'm not really sure what to expect or how to dress.

I've read that sometime they do henna. I'd love to do that but I'm not sure if its for just family, if its a religious thing, etc.. Obviously I'm clueless.

I'm assuming my friend and most of the guests will be wearing saris (I'm one of only a handful of white people invited to the wedding). I was thinking one of my floor length, non-gown dresses.

Is there anything big I should I know about a sangeet? What should I expect?


Re: Anyone familiar with Sangeets?

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    Sangeets are fun!

    So mostly what you've got yourself into is a night of dancing, music, and tons of food. They might open up with some formal/traditional performances, the bridal party may do special dances, but then it's basically just a big party. Traditionally, sangeets were kind of a women's thing, so the women may way outnumber the men. If it's only women, it's more likely they'll do the mehndi ceremony then.

    They might do the mehndi (henna) ceremony during sangeet - it kind of just depends on family tradition, region the family is from, just basic scheduling, etc. They'll rub tumeric paste on the bride and then the mehndi artist will get to work. Usually as a non-family member/non-bridal party member, I would not expect to be worked on, especially if there's a large crowd in attendance. They might offer it to you, but don't expect it. If they offer it to you though, know that the stuff can linger for weeks and can give you crazy tan lines.

    You can google up on the symbolism/history behind the ceremony if you want; it's a neat ceremony - one of the 16 adornments every Indian bride is supposed to have.

    You've got the idea with dress. Most people will be in saris or shalwar kameezes, but really any dress would do - depending on the families, more conservative is probably better - a nicer maxi with a cardigan would be good and then you can ditch the sweater if it feels like the dress is a bit more liberal- feel free to be colorful and jewelry-covered though. Wondering around in India, I'm always in at least a knee-length skirt with shoulders covered (sleeveless is usually ok).

    But for the most part, just go ready to have fun!
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    @PDKH - you're the best! Thanks for taking the time write all this out. Super helpful compared to the things I was reading!

    H is invited too so should he just wear a suit? Tie/no tie?

    Should we bring a gift for the B&G? Just a hostess gift?

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    No problem! 

    You don't have to bring a gift, but bringing cash in a nice card is typical (some people get ridiculous with cards and flowers, but that totally wouldn't be expected from you). If you do cash, make sure whatever amount you give ends in a 1 (e.g. $21, $51). Amounts ending in 1 are auspicious (lucky). H didn't know that apparently and was the one opening our envelopes and got super confused about the random dollar bills when he was opening envelopes from my family. Aside from jewelry and other small items, my family pretty much exclusively does cash. 

    Anyway! Since your H is invited, it's more likely to just be a giant party (I think these are more fun than the women's ones). I'd have him wear a sports coat/blazer at least (easily ditched once the dancing starts). Tie kind of depends on how lavish you think it'll be - just kind of like any western wedding. For a sangeet at an event space,  I'd probably make my H wear a decent suit just to be on the safe side. 
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    Sangeets are the best! Go, and eat a ton, and dance a ton, and have fun. I personally love to get the henna if they offer.
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