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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
In pictures: Mass wedding in Bombay
Brides waiting in central Mumbai's Saifee mosque
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More than 500 couples from the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community have taken part in a mass wedding in Bombay (Mumbai).
The grooms and their guests wait for their spiritual leader to arrive in the Saifee Mosque
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The event marked 50 years of mass weddings in the community in India, where most Bohra Muslims live.
Children on horse-drawn carriage in the wedding procession
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Marrying en masse helps poorer families save money - and busy couples save time.
Grooms' procession led by traditional band
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The grooms were led in by a band wearing kilts, a legacy of Scottish soldiers sent to India during the British Raj.
Grooms on horseback
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Many came on horseback, others chose elephants or carriages.
Grooms separated from brides
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The grooms and brides were kept apart until the main ceremony, or "Nikah", was over.
Fatima
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Many of the brides couldn't hide their happiness - Fatima, 20, was one.
Brides
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Another bride was ecstatic her wedding day had come at last.
Spiritual leader Syedna Burhanuddin about to begin the sermon before the mass marriage ceremony
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They received the blessing of the community's 92-year-old spiritual leader, Syedna Burhanuddin.
A groom on horseback and his nephew waiting to join in the procession
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There are about a million Dawoodi Bohra Muslims in the world - Bombay has the largest community.
Tasneem
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Most of those taking part were local, but some came from abroad.
Grooms conducting business on their mobile phones
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Bohra Muslims are renowned as traders and businessmen - grooms were making business calls minutes before they married.





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