AS and I were glad once the initial meeting with our parents was over. We had lots of time in our hands as AS decided to stay in Nepal till mid Feb since one of his cousins was getting married while I extended my leave and decided to quit a semester at the university. At that time, I had been teaching at a university and every semester went for 3 months. I decided I would stay in Nepal till the end of March so I would have enough time to spend with AS and my parents. I had never had a long leave in my life and when I talked to my boss, she was alright with that.
So, our days were passed just meeting, going out to different cafes and restaurants and going to explore places like temples and gardens and other tourist sites around Kathmandu. Both families had no objection now with us spending so much time together. AS visited my home more often and vice versa.
However, as always, our fun had to come to end because I got an email for a new job. I had applied for a few jobs before I had left Sydney thinking to change jobs. One of the places emailed asking for suitable time for an interview. Initially, I wrote back that I was in Nepal and I am OK to do phone interview if they were happy with that.
I got a replied that they would like to do that so we arranged a phone interview. So the date and time was set. I was very nervous about this interview as I had never had a phone interview before. When they called, the line was so bad that I thought no matter what I said they won’t understand the answers properly. But fortunately, they liked me during the interview and I was asked for second face to face interview.
I was extremely happy about it all as I really wanted that job but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the job for sure so before replying, I asked AS and my parents for advice. All of them told me that I should go for the interview and if things didn’t work out, I can always come back to Nepal. I replied to the job that I am available for interview in early February as I knew it would not be possible to hold the interview any later.
When this was going on at my end, both the families were a bit worried about us. Because if I get the job, I may not be back for over a year and once AS leaves, he may not be back for a while as well. So, they decided that we need to make our relationship official so the Kochi ceremony was planned.
Kochi means “to fix” in Newari. It is a ceremony where groom’s family officially asks the bride’s family for the bride’s hand for marriage to their son. So, close relatives of both the family met so his family can ask my hand in marriage from my family.
I have always said this and believe that marriage in Nepal is not only between two people but between two families. And ceremonies like this, makes it really important that both the families are happy about the reunion otherwise imagine the mood during ceremonies like this.
Our relationship went from cruse mode to race mode. Everything seemed to happen in fast forward. It seemed like we both lost control and were just going with the flow.
So the Kochi venue was fixed in one of the cafés nearby. I was super stressed as I had to meet all his relatives. Even though we said it was going to be a small gathering, it ended up with around 20 people.
As usual, I was also stressed about my dress, hair and makeup. Luckily I had bought few Kurtas already so I had a set I could wear during the ceremony. I wasn’t even sure what was expected of me as I had never gone to anyone’s Kochi ceremony. Not living in Nepal for a long time, it was hard for me to remember the traditional ceremonies in depth.
Finally the day for Kochi arrived. From the morning, I was bit tensed but AS was there telling me everything will be all right. So I went to the café with my parents and some uncles while my other uncles were going to meet us there.
When we reached the café, AS’s side of the family was already there. After the initial introduction, we all sat down and we ordered food and drinks.
As you know, Kathmandu is not a big place so it happened that some of my relatives already knew some of his relatives. It made it easier for everyone to break the ice and everyone was talking and enjoying each other’s company. There was a kind of positiveness and happiness in the room and everyone seemed to be enjoying the occasion. Looking around the room, I was satisfied that my fear was not justified and things would be fine.
I was sitting between AS’s mum and his aunt. They of course had many questions form me and I just answered in my best possible manner. I saw AS was sitting will my uncles and he and was enjoying his food and the conversations. After a while, it didn’t feel like there were two different family but they seems to be like friends who knew each other for a while.
During the conversation, from time to time, someone would share a joke or some old incident lifting everyone’s mood up. I was just happy looking around the room and thanking god that things were going better than hoped.
After both families were comfortable with each other the eldest member of AS’s family officially asked my hand in marriage for AS. It felt all so unreal to hear the formal speech and my dad accepting the proposal formally as well.
It was decided that a small engagement ceremony was to follow and was announced to everyone.
Do you have similar culture in your country?
M from nepaliaustralian
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