BSA mock wedding exposes Baruch to Bengali culture
Bangladesh Student Association hosted its first ever “BSA Wedding” on Monday, Dec. 5, giving all students at Baruch College the opportunity to experience a mock Bengali wedding.
Students were led into the Multipurpose Room, which was decorated with candles, flowers and lights. Rows of chairs were placed on either side of the center aisle, with more chairs and tables placed toward the back of the room. The aisle lead up to a center stage in the front of the room, which featured a couch and more decorations.
After students selected appetizers and took their seats, the bride and groom appeared. Each was accompanied by members of BSA, who were all dressed formally in honor of the wedding.
After the couple exchanged malas—described as flowered garlands that South Asians typically wear on their wedding days—the two were seated on the center stage to enjoy the festivities.
Members of BSA performed dances for the couple and the gathered students throughout thenight, serving dinner in-between performances.
The bride and groom also participated in a cake-cutting ceremony and were available to pose for photos with BSA members and wedding guests.
Nabil Rahman, president of BSA, detailed the formation of the event via email.
“I wanted to bring something unique to [the] Baruch community, something [that had] never happened before. Weddings [are] one of the biggest parts of Bengali culture. Since we can't have an actual wedding at BSA I needed something that would bring the real experience of an actual wedding. That’s where the mock wedding idea came [from]. A few other colleges do mock wedding[s] every year. I thought it [was] time for Baruch to have one,” wrote Rahman.
As BSA had never had a mock wedding before, the club needed to appeal to the Undergraduate Student Government for additional funding.
BSA had 10 days to create a plan for the wedding, finding a DJ, decorations and a vendor for refreshments in the process.
A major challenge, said Rahman, was finding a vendor to design the elaborate wedding clothes. Mehjabeen Hasan Creations by Mehjabeen Hasan, a designer who had previously worked with BSA, was tapped to make a custom outfit for the mock wedding’s bride Savannah Wang.
In an email, Wang described the process she went through to become the bride at the mock wedding, writing that she was first approached by a friend who is on the BSA e-board. She then met with the rest of the BSA e-board members, as well as the mock wedding’s groom Arvis Chen. The full scope of the event was then explained to her.
Leading up to the night, Wang prepared by filming promotional material for the wedding that was posted to the BSA Facebook page, as well as practicing a dance that she performed during the event.
The day of the event, she spent two hours getting her hair and makeup ready, meeting with Hasan to layer on her clothing and jewelry and complete her look for the wedding.
Overall, she was pleased with the outcome of the mock wedding event.
“I was a little nervous, skeptical and confused [at first] but honestly I could not have been happier with my choice to go through with [the wedding],” said Wang.
Student response to the event was positive, with Rahman going as far as to say that BSA may turn the mock wedding into an annual event.
“Every time there is a South Asian event, 95 percent of the audience turns out to be South Asian. I tried to change that. As a South Asian club leader, my goal was to expand beyond the Baruch South Asian community. To make that come true we involved non-South Asian student[s] in our celebration. [I’m] proud to say the result was a success.”
Event attendees were encouraged to donate money to BSA for the Poverty Fighter Foundation, a foundation that helps underprivileged children in Bangladesh receive access to food, quality education, shelter and other necessities and resources needed to help them survive.