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A wealthy couple gets hitched in one of the most luxurious hotels in New Delhi. About 1,100 people attended the wedding. According to the hotel, the groom's family spent $100,000 on flowers and another $100,000 on food and drinks.
About 100 members of the Jea Band perform with trumpets and drums at the New Delhi wedding. The band, which is based in the city, was founded in 1936 and has become famous for performing wedding sequences in films. The band earns about $400 on average per wedding.
Tejee’s Studio-17, based in Chandigarh in northern India, specializes in wedding photography and videography. At the wealthy couple's celebration, an eight-member team from the studio roamed around the venue, which was packed with 800 guests. With weddings spanning days, photography and filming costs anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.
Chhabra is a well-known brand of retail stores in Old Delhi. It sells 1,000 to 1,500 wedding dresses monthly between autumn and spring, the high season for nuptials. A traditional wedding costume, called Lehanga, costs up to $1,650.
Celebrating Vivaha, the biggest wedding exhibition in India, took place in New Delhi from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. All sorts of wedding-related products were on display. A company called Koncept & Innovations showed off these invitation boxes, the prices of which range from $15 to $500 each. Small sweets are packed under the cards.
Treasure, a Mumbai-based jewelry retailer, deals with a wide variety of rings that cost $400 or more and necklaces priced at up to $65,000. It sells between 300 and 400 items a month. According to the owner of another jewelry store, sales of wedding jewelry are firm despite difficult market conditions. Import taxes for gold have been raised by the government.
Craftsmen toil at a jewelry workshop in Old Delhi. They use 500 grams of gold each month. They continue to ply their trade despite an increasing shift toward machine-driven production.
An astrologer offers viewers advice on tackling the difficulties of married life on Shagun TV, a 24-hour channel that started broadcasting in May. The channel's programming lineup is entirely marriage-related. About 15 million people tune in, covering a broad age range from 18 to 70.
Representatives of Horizons Holidays, a travel agency in New Delhi, meet with potential customers at the Celebrating Vivaha exhibition. About 100 engaged couples and their family members visited the booth in three days. Popular honeymoon destinations include Europe and Canada in the summer and Australia and New Zealand in the winter.
YUMI KOTANI, Nikkei staff photographer Bangladeshi women are changing their style. Many people in the Muslim country believe that women should not wear garments that emphasize their body lines. But things are loosening up a bit – traditional clothing paired with current styles such as skintight jeans are gradually appearing in the capital Dhaka.
YUMI KOTANI, Nikkei staff photographer The world's most successful apparel brands, including H&M, Uniqlo and Zara, all produce clothing in Bangladesh. And production in Bangladesh continues to grow, making it the second-largest garment exporter after China.
KAZUMI SAITO, Nikkei staff photographer
All sorts of companies want to dip into Vietnamese wallets these days. It is easy to see why: Last year, the nation's population topped 90 million, while per-capita gross domestic product was just shy of $1,900, up from about $1,230 in 2009. With the economy continuing to expand -- it grew more than 5% in 2013, according to government data -- stores are opening left and right.
KEN KOBAYASHI, Nikkei Staff Photographer Southeast Asia's economic bloc is quickly motorizing. Indonesia, where 2013 car sales reached 1.2 million, is dominated by Japanese automakers. In Malaysia, the only member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with its own car brands, the indigenous Proton and Perodua have a combined market share of 60%. It helps that Malaysia has protective auto trade policies in place. (This is the first of a two-part photo essay)
KEN KOBAYASHI, Nikkei staff photographer Japanese automakers reign supreme in Indonesia, controlling over 90% of the market. But of the entire pie, half is dominated by just two big names -- Toyota and Daihatsu. Other Japanese carmakers, notably Honda and Suzuki, are hoping to expand their presence by erecting more factories and releasing tantalizing new models. (This is the second of a two-part photo essay)