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Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Monday, 7 June 2010 14:07 UK
Mixed marriages on the increase
By Mark Jones
BBC Wiltshire

Rita Patel
Rita Patel agrees that mixed marriages are on the increase

For Hindus there are a number of dates which are special if you want to get married.

Sunday 16 May was one date when tens of thousands of Hindus around the world tied the knot.

The date, along with others in the lunar calendar, is seen as one of the luckiest wedding dates.

One Hindu man, who married a Wiltshire woman, decided to buck that trend and marry two weeks later. And on top of that he married a non-Hindu.

When Vikesh Jobanputra married Kelly Stooke, from the town, it was his heart he was following not a tradition which perhaps older, more traditional Hindus would follow - marrying within their own faith, often in an arranged marriage.

But Rita Patel, a leading light in the Hindu community in the Swindon area, has told us this is not uncommon these days.

She said: "Our wedding ceremonies have lots of rituals, which mean a lot, and because of that they often span over a two or three day period.

"There are also a lot of pre-wedding rituals, one involving the Hindu God which removes obstacles and we hope everything will go well for the couple.

"It's a real family event, all the aunts and uncles come together along with everyone else."

Traditionally a Hindu wedding would be held in a temple, but these days in modern times they are often held in halls or hotels.

Rita said: "The cost of a Hindu wedding is a lot, you could buy a house with the money spent, usually around £30,000 - it's a big deal with Hindus."

Vik and Kelly had a mixed wedding ceremony with the traditional Hindu tying of the knot, as well as a civil ceremony at Grittleton House, near Chippenham.

They didn't want to be photographed for this article, but you can hear Vik's interview on the big day explaining why they chose to do what they did.

Rita Patel said: "Mixed marriages are definitely more and more popular now, I would say one in three, or one in five are now mixed because of the society we are living in these days.

"Arranged marriages are less common now, times are changing."

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08 Mar 10 |  Religion & Ethics
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15 Aug 07 |  England



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