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  • An Indian designer makes a Paghdi, or groom's cap, which is especially made for Hindu and Muslim weddings, at his workshop.
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From Head to Toe
An Indian designer makes a Paghdi, or groom's cap, which is especially made for Hindu and Muslim weddings, at his workshop in the old city of Hyderabad, July 2007.
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Hindu Bride and Groom
The groom's shoes are removed before entering the area where the ceremony takes place.
Photograph by Santokh Kochar

India

Stealing the Groom's Shoes

An important part of the groom’s wedding attire is his beautifully embroidered wedding shoes. He leaves these to the side when he enters the tented area where the wedding will take place. In some parts of India, the sisters of the bride take this opportunity to steal his shoes. They quickly hide them and only return the shoes when their ransom demands are met. Although it is a playful game, it serves to highlight the sense of loss that accompanies the joyous occasion of a marriage.