M3 PT - August 2018

WEST HILLS 7230 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE, SUITE 401 WEST HILLS, CA 91307 WEST LOS ANGELES 10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD, SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025

WWW.M3PT.COM / LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 / AUGUST 2018

M3 AND ME

WEAVING THE KNOT LOOKING BACK ON 15 YEARS OF MARRIAGE

By the time you read this, my wife, Munesha, and I will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary! It feels like just yesterday we were hitting the books together in the study halls of USC; now we’re honoring this incredible milestone with our three kids. We knew we had to do something special to mark the occasion, so we decided to take a trip to Hawaii as a family! As I write, I am very much looking forward to some fun in the sun with the kids. Munesha and I have always been adventurous, so we’ll be sure to check out some of the island’s natural wonders and sights as well. Between you and me, I’ve been trying to work out a moment for the two of us to renew our vows, maybe on the beach. Being able to relive the magic of our wedding would be wonderful. As a Mexican man marrying an Indian woman, our ceremony was a sight to behold. We weaved together the wedding traditions of our two cultures into a bright, elaborate tapestry, paying homage to our families’ history while simultaneously creating something new of our own. We called our special day “A Hindu wedding with a Latin twist.” And, as you can imagine, the food was incredible. If you’ve never had the pleasure of witnessing a Hindi-influenced wedding, allow me to set the scene. The first thing you’ll notice is the vibrant colors. All the women dress in bright, flowing garments called saris. This does not mean the bride’s outfit is outshone — far from it, in fact. Rather than the white dress we’re used to in the West, Munesha wore the traditional bride’s sari, which is dyed hibiscus red and adorned with intricate golden trim.

a dhol , an Indian drum. My family gave the experience a Latin twist, however, using congas instead of the dhol .

When my procession reached the bride’s pavilion, our family members exchanged garlands with one another, symbolizing this union.

At the end of the ceremony, my newly wedded wife was carried away in a doli , a wooden Indian carriage with curtains and cushions. My brother-in-law, my aunt, and I had made

everything, from frame to cushions, by hand. It was a real labor of love. Being carried by our loved ones on something they had crafted was something truly special. The reception was a real multicultural experience. While a Latin band played, the food table featured Mexican tapas alongside naan and curry. And of course, tequila and scotch both flowed freely that evening.

Today, the spirit of this wedding, of the blending of cultures and ideas, is embodied by our children. They honor both

Mexican and Indian holidays, eat both Latin and Indian food at least once a week, go to a Spanish-speaking school, and have picked up quite a bit of Hindi language from their Nana and Nani (maternal grandparents). Not only are they a perfect meld of our two cultures, but time and again I have seen just how accepting our kids can be of people from all walks of life. Coming up in a multicultural household, tolerance and understanding come as second nature to them. It gives us so much pride and hope for the future.

And then there was my entrance. In an Indian wedding, it’s the groom who approaches the bride’s family — and it’s a little more than a walk. I rode in on a horse, with a procession of friends and family. Normally, it’s traditional for the groom’s party to have someone keep the beat on

–Dr. Raul Lona

LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 1

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