Colourful, fun & noisy. These would be the words that an onlooker would use to describe a Jaan’s arrival to a wedding. For me it’s the best bit of the wedding. It marks the beginning of the wedding festivities and sets the tone for the rest of the wedding day!For those that don’t know, the Jaan consists of all the groom’s guests and in true Indian style the Jaan will only arrive in a loud colourful procession to meet the brides side of the family. It’s a heap of fun and a nice bit of cardio before a few hours of sitting which is then followed by, let’s face it, an oil ladened lunch!!I think the Dhol players and their enthusiasm have a massive part to play in getting the crowd going. The general consensus amongst friends is that I have two left feet and so I usually need a couple of drinks before I can get myself onto the dance floor…..but a good dhol player and group of family and friends charged up to have a great time is enough get you up and dancing!At my wedding I was sitting on a horse and the baraat (the procession to the venue) was happening in front of me. My best friends were the ones to get things started and get the crowd going. The dhol players were also good friends of mine and they were simply amazing and full of energy! The Jaan lasted a good 30-40 minutes and I would occasionally attempt some Bhangra by shrugging my shoulders and tightening the light bulb but in reality the main aim was not to fall off the horse!Towards the end I dismounted the horse and got involved in one final crazy fast beat from the dhol players. It was great! But I tell you one thing – hundreds of Indian people dancing for about 40 minutes – well let’s put it this way….it starts smelling like Mumbai train station! But you know what – it’s totally worth it and definitely worth going all out! So few bits of advice for the Jaan:
- Weather – I was lucky – when I woke up in the morning the heavens had opened (which some say is good luck) but fortunately by the time the Jaan was ready to go to the venue the sun was beaming! But if you are getting married in UK – we all play the weather lottery so either provide or advise guests to bring umbrellas just to be on the safe side!
- Make sure you tell everyone when and where the Jaan will meet (you may want to tell everyone 20 minutes earlier to account for the classic Indian timing)
- Tell your closest friends and family that it’s their role to get the dancing started and crowd going – I’ve been part of a Jaan where it has literally been a stroll with some music in the background. That no fun!
- Make sure your Dhol players are awesome – if you’ve hear good ones at other weddings be sure to take their details.
- Whichever mode of transport you use to arrive in, if you want to get involved with the dancing bit at some stage – make sure this is planned with the Dhol players.
- Make sure there are towels/tissues and water available for the Jaan. It can be a sweaty and dehydrating process!!