New Delhi, Feb 20: French wedding items such as the invitation and menu, the changing venues of the wedding – from the church to the town hall, and elements of the ceremony, like the bride’s bouquet or wedding dress are to be showcased in the capital.
The exhibition, titled “Mariages à la française”, will be organised by Institut français India at At India International Centre Annexe from February 22 to February 28. It will present shifts in cultural grammar, focusing on French weddings.
Curated by historian Arundhati Virmani, the exhibition traces the significant changes and developments in the institution and rites of marriage in France. It is expected to present a reflection on social transformations and values in France since the end of the 19th century.
“The institution of marriage is going through hard times. The rate of divorce is phenomenal. People are getting married late in life. There are more births outside marriage,” Virmani told IANS.“Yet, marriage was claimed by champions of same-sex marriage as a fundamental right recently. They quoted philosopher Montesquieu, ‘Love of democracy implies love of equality, and the democracy of equality and love’.”
“The exhibition aims to provoke thoughts about the manners of celebrating marriage in India. In this moment of spectacular change in the manner of celebrating it in India, the model and rituals of French weddings can be a source of reflection and inspiration for Indians, she explained.
There will be two related programmes at the same venue as part of this exhibition.
Virmani will present an illustrated lecture on the subject — ‘Public and Private: Histories of French Wedding Rituals’ on February 23 and French historian Jean Boutier will talk about ‘Princely Weddings at the French Court in Versailles’ on February 27.