Marrying India's Traditions

BY: BRIAN WAGNER, DAILY HERALD

Sep 5, UTAH (SUN) — "Rejina Jinaraj wanted her fiancee to know what to expect. She wanted him to get a glimpse of the world she once called home, a world rich with Hindu traditions. "He's never seen it," Jinaraj said of the Indian traditions she grew up with in the southwest Indian state of Kerala.

Jinaraj left this behind in 2001 when she came to study at the University of Utah. But on Saturday, Jinaraj, 22, her husband-to-be Ryan Sincic, 29, and their friends made their way to Spanish Fork to the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple for their Betrothal Ceremony, where those traditions live on.

Not much is spoken of Hindus in Utah County. Not much is even said of Hindus in Utah. But they're here, and they have their own temple modeled after the famous Indian palace, Kusum Sarovar, which means "temple on a lake of flowers."

The LDS Foundation even helped fund the temple, which opened its doors a few months before Jinaraj moved to the states.

"It's not supposed to be here," said Caru Das, the temple priest. He and his wife Via Devi, the temple president, moved to Utah in 1980 after purchasing a small set of radio waves, 1480 AM. But instead of retiring with the station, their intent, Das and Devi began to build.

"Shanti, tushti, pushti, svasti, vighna, vrdha, ayush, aisvarya, mangal karma," echoed off of the dome ceiling, further resonating off of the white marble floor of temple.

The words, Sanskrit of origin, were being recited by Jinaraj and Sincic's friends, meant to transfer energy and good wishes to the couple. The words mean peace and satisfaction, nourishment and auspiciousness, overcoming obstacles and progress, long life, prosperity and good works.

Das performed the ceremony. Devi took pictures. They seemed at peace with the place, in their element. But Sincic, raised agnostic Catholic and new to the Hindu ways, said he was nervous.

Two weeks earlier he gave Jinaraj a ring in San Francisco. He asked her to marry him, and now he was part of something he doesn't quite understand but embraces whole heartedly.

"It was a more spiritual way to go through the engagement," Sincic said. "It definitely took our relationship to another step."

"You can't do anything without God's help," said Das.

So as with Hindu and Indian traditions, the first person invited to attend the wedding was God. Just like an engagement ceremony in Kerala, God's invitation was hand-written and placed on the alter.

The couple plans to wed in December 2006 in Cochin, the capital of Kerala.

"Now we'll have this to remember 'till the wedding," Sincic said.

For more information about Hinduism, the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple or the 19th annual Festival of India, September 17 at 4 p.m., visit www.utahkrishnas.com."



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