U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Weds with Traditional Hindu Ceremony in Hawaii
The very first Hindu congresswoman in the United States wed earlier this month in a traditional Hindu ceremony.
Tulsi Gabbard, America’s first ever Hindu American Congresswoman, just recently tied the knot with her Hawaii-based cinematographer heartthrob, Abraham Gaurachandra Williams, in a very colorful traditional Hindu Vedic wedding ceremony that took place in windward Oahu, Hawaii.
The April 9 event which was officiated by Vinod Dave, a California-based priest, was held at the historic Kahalu’u Fishpond on Kāne’ohe Bay, windward Oahu.
The 33-year-old two term Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii, who had previously stated in interviews that she will be retaining her last name after she weds, was proposed to by a media-shy Abraham Williams back in January with a 1.17-carat champagne diamond engagement ring with an 18-karat rose gold setting.
An elated Gabbard who is marrying for the second time – a first for Abraham though – told the Honolulu Star Advertiser in an interview that the wedding is something new for them.
“Both Abraham and I are generally kind of private people. He has nothing to do with politics. He’s a humble, great guy who doesn’t want to be in the limelight, so this is something new to the both of us,” she said in the interview which was published in February, and made available on India West.
Although much of the ceremony, which was attended by a large number of US lawmakers, played out in native Sanskrit, the couple exchanged their vows in English.
The ceremony began with Gabbard’s father walking her down the aisle to meet her 26-year old heartthrob. It then followed with Gabbard’s mother tying a flower lei around the couple’s right hands, which were symbolically stacked atop each other.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 10, 2015
The priest then built a fire and asked God to be present in the blaze. The couple then went ahead to throw grains and bananas into the fire as an offering, then walked around the fire seven times while reciting prayers. The colorful event was then concluded with a lively yoga kirtan, where the guests encircled the newlyweds, dancing and reciting special chants as music blasted away.
With Tulsi Gabbard having a heavy dose of congressional responsibilities to shoulder, she had to skip a honeymoon to head back to Washington D.C. by Monday and resume duties at the Capitol building. She says while there’s no time for a honeymoon right away, they’re working on it.
Commenting on the wedding the morning after its conclusion, Gabbard told PEOPLE that it was a deep spiritual and traditional moment for them both.
“It was a deeply spiritual, traditional ceremony that held great meaning for Abraham and I. It brought all the important elements of our life together.”
Hawaii will be the couple’s primary home, local media have reported.