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A judge, a friend valued by the Tibetan community, performs the civil ceremony for Pema and Tenzing with repeat-after-me vows to love and care for each other. The couple put rings on each other's fourth finger and kiss after receiving a kiss from him.
Katrina Thomas's notes: In 1950, when China invaded Tibet, thousands fled with the Dalai Lama to India. Until 1991, few emigrated to the U.S., and there are still few here so that many years pass until I find a Tibetan wedding. Finally, in 2001, it is the last culture I photograph. In her home, the bride, wearing traditional attire and a patu, a colorful headdress with cone-like rolls of hair standing alongside, executes the rituals to welcome the bridegroom's family, bringing a sheaf of arrows, dadhar, to claim her as a wife. In a rented hall, their guests witness the couple married in a civil ceremony, and then celebrate a wedding, enlivened by songs and dances. In lieu of garlands, every guest honors the newlyweds by wrapping white scarves, khadaks, around their necks.