This is a picture of my parents' wedding (1987). My mother was 20 and my father 22 at the time. Since their marriage was arranged, they barely knew each other. My mother moved from India to Indonesia thinking it would be like Europe but soon realized that leaving home and moving to a foreign land to live with a stranger and his family was no easy feat. She knew nothing of the culture, let alone the language. Her mother-in-law (my grandmother) was domineering and often asserted her authority with my mother. At age 21, my mother became pregnant with my oldest brother. At 28, my mother had three kids and opened up her own business sewing uniforms and banquet materials. Sewing was a skill she inherited from her mother and one she passed down to me. It was part of her path to financial independence in a society where women relied heavily on their husbands for everything. Despite the adversity my mother has overcome, my parents are happily married. My parents are barely high-school educated yet they have They have successfully built a business and a family from the bottom in order to give not only their children but also their parents the best of everything. Since my mother has kept and maintained her wedding dress, I hope to wear it on my wedding day and look as pretty as she did. I also aspire to be as happy as they are in their marriage.
– Meher Vaswani