The research in this Senior Independent Research Study examines the synchronization of Hindu and American cultural elements and rituals in diasporic Hindu-American wedding ceremonies. The study examines the key wedding rituals and symbols in these ceremonies to conclude that they help affirm and perpetuate a multicultural ethnic identity for the bride. It demonstrates that certain wedding symbols, such as the dress, jewelry, and flowers, have a vocality of meaning in the Hindu-American context. This analysis of the transformation of Hindu-American brides from maidenhood to womanhood, and from daughter to wife, shows how such wedding ceremonies represent a careful negotiation between distinctly Hindu and American models of ideal womanhood. In doing so, it establishes how the women who were the contributors of the study were able to utilize both Hindu and American values and rituals in their wedding ceremonies to both shape and to affirm their multicultural identities.


Frese, Pamela


Sociology and Anthropology


Race and Ethnicity | Social and Cultural Anthropology


hindu-american, wedding, rituals, ceremonies, gender, ethnicity, multiculturalism, multivocal symbols

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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