What community has engaged you most this year and what did you get out of your participation?
My family and friends mean a lot to me. I try to make sure that I make lots of time for family outings and chatting with friends each month. And when planning a wedding, I realized that it would involve our family and friends, but I didn’t realize just how excited they would be for us. I didn’t realize how touched I would be by their presence and happiness at both of our nuptial events. Especially, the Bengali wedding. Because I spent so much time working on the traditional Christian wedding, I wasn’t as focused or excited at the prospect of the Bengali wedding until late in the process.
But when the week of the Bengali wedding hit, and my family started arriving from all corners of the world, I realized how important this event was, not just for E and me, but for them also. It was so overwhelming that when presented with all of our wedding gifts, from my aunts in Bangladesh, I burst into tears. My family can be very frustrating when it comes to events and obligation, but there was no doubt that they truly wanted to be at our wedding. When I was looking at the Bengali wedding as a low-key party, to them, it was the main event. And I think I felt it most when we were getting ready for the party. My photographer likened the ladies to little birds who would swoop in to adjust this and pin that whenever something moved out of place, which was often.
When I came away from the event, I was so glad that we had done it. I was so glad to have so many family members together, having a good time. I realized that when my older cousins got married, we traveled to them, and when my sister and younger cousins get married, we will all travel to be together again. I look forward to these events. They are full and happy reunions, and only happen every few years. I truly cherish them. And I am so glad that I was able to share how great my family is with my friends and Erik’s family. I have shown everyone where I come from and they understand a little bit more about me. And I wasn’t expecting any of that, but I am so thankful for it.