Students Sofya Pugach, left, and Ahmad Fordous, on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2014 at the third annual Bengalis Unite Mock Wedding. The ceremony aimed at giving Stony Brook University students a taste of bengali Wedding culture. CHRISTOPHER CAMERON / THE STATESMAN
Students Sofya Pugach, left, and Ahmad Fordous on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2014 at the third annual Bengalis Unite Mock Wedding. The ceremony aimed at giving Stony Brook University students a taste of Bengali Wedding culture. CHRISTOPHER CAMERON / THE STATESMAN

Bengalis Unite cordially invited everyone to the beautiful traditional “wedding” of Ahmad Fordous and Sofya Pugach on Saturday night.

It was a night to remember, as Fordous and Pugach took their fake vows in the lovely LDS Center venue. Approximately 190 guests shared the night with the “bride and groom,” enjoying good food, colorful performances and great company.

Bengalis Unite is a student group on campus. They want to share the traditions of Bengali and South Asian culture while bringing together people of all different backgrounds.

This is the third mock wedding hosted by the club. The event has previously won an Undergraduate Student Government award for best social event.


Bengali is comprised of the cultures from the Bengal region.

The Bengal region consists of the independent nation of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, but is represented throughout the world and greatly represented on Stony Brook campus.

This mock wedding reflected a traditional South Asian wedding, from the attire to the rituals. A wedding is typically a several-day affair but was wrapped into one eventful night.

The lighthearted playfulness of the mock ceremony had the guests giggling in their seats. The bride, biochemical engineering student and Russian beauty Pugach, was adorned in a gold and red Bengali lehanga. The charming Fordous of Pace University in Manhattan looked dapper in a traditional Punjabi pajama.


The blushing bride and groom then exchanged garlands. In a real wedding the exchange of garlands is happening while the purohit, who officiates the wedding, chants mantras, representing the unity between one another.

After garlanding, the bride and the groom are made to look at each other in front of all their guests. This exchange of loving glance is called shubho drishti. No, kissing is not involved in this ceremony.

The guests were then treated to lively performances by the SBU Bhangra group, which danced to upbeat music associated with Punjabi culture and Indian fusion a cappella group SBU Yuva. Yuva performed a rendition of Indian music fused with some catchy Bruno Mars.

The big hit of the night was the club’s Executive Board and friends performing a dance representing the bride and the groom.

Dance groups wowed the guests with their colorful and coordinated presence. SBU De taali, a south Asian a cappella song/dance group, SBU Raaswalas and the SBU Belly Dance Troupe hit the floor and left the guests wanting more.


Second year running President of Bengalis Unite, Business Management student Syed Abrar Hossain, said “We had this event three years back. We decided we should bring all the successful events back and give people a sense of what a Bengali and South East Asian wedding looks like.”

When asked what makes this event special, he said, “ Because we are a cultural club, we should show what our culture is like. We don’t see events like this on campus, something really unique, I want people to have a good time.”

Aside from mock weddings, Bengalis Unite is involved in various charitable causes, like raising money for sports kits for orphans. The group’s fundraiser last semester, “Soccer for Care,” featured an organized soccer tournament at the Campus Recreation Center.

In a real Bengali wedding, by the end of the night, the couple would be preparing for the festivities to come the next day.

After about 18 rituals and about a weeks worth of celebration, the couple is officially joined in holy matrimony. Thanks to Bengalis Unite, in about three hours, the mock Mr. and Mrs. Fordous can now celebrate a lifetime of mock love and happiness.


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