Bollywood Weddings is one of those books that is hard to put down!

With her lively and accessible prose, Kavita Ramdya has written a wonderful account of second-generation Indian-American lives and the sometimes joyous and sometimes vexed negotiations of identity and intimacy that run through them.

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Ramdya's research and findings are enhanced by wedding couples' personal thoughts and interviews.

It is a fascinating interplay, mingling contrasting insights in an exposé on the symbiotic rapport of Indian and American marriage customs, from the first meeting to the reception party.

Bollywood, whose Indian origins grants it authenticity from the Hindu perspective and whose emphasis on romance accommodates American values, emerges as the key mediating third culture around which the community applies the both/and model to wedding rituals.

The both/and model uncovered here reinforces the community's identity as ethnic and American even as it confirms that success in America need not be bought at the expense of one's religious background and cultural heritage.

The book gives a very clear insight not only into the minds of Hindu Americans but the present generation of Non Resident Indians who might have never been to India but still try to maintain a balance between the two cultures....

All I can say is that it is a very engaging book that hooks you once you have started.

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As a rule, the first generation organizes the wedding, which is largely Hindu, and their children coordinate the American-style reception.