On “Bridgerton” Season 2, Brownness, and the Intimacy of Cultural Tradition

Romantic couplehood has lengthy been the hegemonic superb of intimacy. In Western contexts, since a better worth is positioned on the self and the particular person nuclear household unit, intimacy is conceptualized as one thing reserved strictly for amorous relationships. It outcomes from intentional self-disclosure – that’s, revealing one’s private emotions and ideas to a different. In distinction to the individualistic manners of the West, intimacy as a by-product of familial and pleasant closeness is frequent in Jap cultures, specifically in India. A collective historical past, shared reminiscences, assumed belief, and definitive security; intimacy stems from all of these. When remoted from an surroundings that fosters this stuff, in the means an immigrant typically is, intimacy can reveal itself by means of cultural traditions. Regardless of having little worth in the West, it’s this intimacy that may really feel like a life-raft if you’re solid out to sea, as the Sharma household illustrates throughout the season.


Maybe the most memorable instance of the intimacy in custom is Bridgerton’s haldi ceremony scene, the place Edwina Sharma is making ready for her wedding ceremony. In Hindu follow, the haldi ceremony is supposed to be held the morning of one’s wedding ceremony day. It marks the starting of an extended set of marriage rituals and entails a paste created from turmeric (haldi), sandalwood, and rose water being utilized on the face, arms, arms, knees, and ft of the bride and groom to bless the couple earlier than their nuptials. The brilliant yellow shade of the paste is taken into account auspicious and believed to keep off evil spirits, and the medicinal properties of haldi is claimed to carry a wholesome glow to the wearer in preparation for the upcoming event. These days, haldi ceremonies are celebratory, crammed with music and pomp and crowds of family members showering properly needs upon these quickly to be wed.

Bridgerton shares with us a special model of the occasion. In a panoramic, dreamy scene the place garlands of orange marigolds are strung all through the room, Edwina’s mom mixes the haldi paste, and her sister spreads it throughout her arms as the three ladies wearing comparable shades of the aforementioned auspicious yellow muse on her future as a bride, a Viscountess. Edwina has been dreaming of at the present time, the precise second the place haldi can be smeared throughout her face in preparation for the marriage she has been well-groomed for her whole life. There isn’t any pageantry or spectacle, as there can be when you have been to attend a haldi ceremony immediately, however there may be intimacy. In the throes of a cultural custom that’s commonplace again dwelling, three ladies who’re outsiders in the society they’ve been thrust into have solely one another to rejoice the passing of a significant milestone. Whereas remoted, the collective expertise they share is sufficient. It’s about greater than the superficial magnificence of the scene, it’s the promise that when all else feels international, the comforts of our historical past might be there to floor us.

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