Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard marries videographer Abraham Williams

A Hindu Vedic ceremony with a Hawaiian twist.AB Wire

 Tulsi Gabbard with Abraham Williams
Tulsi Gabbard with Abraham Williams

WASHINGTON, DC: Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, 33, married videographer Abraham Williams, 26, in a Hindu Vedic ceremony in Windward Oahu in Kahaluu, Hawaii.

The marriage took place at the Pohai Ke Aloha Pavilion and Garden at the historic Kahaluu Fishpond, reported Khon2.

It concluded with a traditional yoga kirtan with friends and family celebrating the newly married couple with song and dance.

“It was the fish pond that the native Hawaiian people used to feed the village,” Gabbard told People Magazine days before the wedding, of the wedding location. It’s “a secluded area with palm trees, with flowers, a quiet peaceful place.”

Gabbard met Williams when he worked on her campaign, said the Khon report.

“A little over a year ago, when he first asked me out, we had a chance to just talk story, hang out, chill out for a little bit. What I saw was somebody who is not only my friend, but somebody who is genuinely kind and a good person who every day I see him put other people before himself,” Gabbard previously told KHON2.

Gabbard says she will be keeping her last name and Hawaii will always be the couple’s primary home.

Hawaii News Now said though a traditional Brahmin priest acting as the officiant, there was a Hawaiian twist since they said their “I do’s” in Hawaii.

Williams, a cinematographer and musician, was in charge of music and asked some friends to play.

Gabbard said the menu at the reception wouldn’t include meat since both she and Williams are vegetarians.

The guest list included former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

Williams popped the question with a 1.17-carat diamond ring during a sunset surfing session while Gabbard was home for her Thanksgiving break, reported Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

4 Comments

  1. if these two are vegerarians, fine; what is wrong in serving meat to the guests? is this ceremony exclusively for the two? then, what is he point in inviting guests?

    • Congratulations Tulsi and Andrew…What a good looking couple too! Hope you have long happy marriage, and Tulsi rises as far as she wants and should…in a political environment that needs people like her, while Andrew supports her and pursues his dreams too.

      Mr. Harithv, some clarification to your comment.

      Many vegetarians do not eat or serve non-vegetarian food. If you go to their homes or functions, especially a wedding which is special and sacred, they are not going to serve dead animals…no matter how deliciously cooked or what the culinary preference of the guests are.

      Though I come from a very strict vegetarian Brahmin family and I do not cook meat at all, I do make omelettes sometimes as an adult. This was partly because I lived in places where vegetarianism was rare and even salads were served with eggs and bacon growing up and when young. My mom was a very strict vegetarian who did not allow any household items to even touch meat products like ice cream or cakes that contained eggs. But love and nurture makes Hindu women, especially mothers, flexible, creative in their inclusion and open to new knowledge when necessary. That is an amazing quality. My Hindu family has never rejected me because of my limited non-vegetarianism, or my marriage to a Christian-Methodist-Jewish-Agnostic who now follows Vedantaism by choice, or my amicable divorce and hopefully my remarriage. It is this ability to accept while maintaining one’s own standards and limits that speaks volume to the “Hindu concept of knowing one’s own guna (nature, core personality and passions) and karma (duties and obligations, which is more than fate) and being respectful the needs of the larger community by protecting it for the right reasons and promoting the best in the world (dharma).

      My sister is a strict vegetarian, and yoga has helped her lead an active life in spite of suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) from an early age. She says vegetarianism and yoga has helped her a lot.

      I, though grew up in a strict vegetarian household, do eat chicken, fish and eggs when I go outside occasionally, This is because I have lived in very meat-eating country and being a vegetarian in a small town in the Midwest, going back to the 80s and even early 90s, was hard. Even salads were served with bacon and eggs those days. I also did not get a lot of lentils for protein as the stores in small towns did not even carry beans then, so I had to rely on soft meat for protein. I got used to it. But I can live off of vegetarian food easily these days..as vegetarianism is no longer odd, strange, exotic or rare. Many terrific restaurants and fast foods now cater to vegetarians and vegans in the US, and around the world, these days.

      It is not unusual to find Hindus, non-Hindus, Agnostic Hindus, non-Hindu Agnostics and Atheists who are vegetarians all over the world these days. Some are vegetarians for spiritual reasons, some for religious reasons or health reasons, environmental reasons, yoga reasons, family reasons, etc. It is wonderful that this lifestyle, once considered odd, strange or unacceptable (vegetarians were made fun off when I was growing up), is now acceptable.

      Some vegetarians, like my mom and her family, are so strict that they will not even eat out lest the vegetarian food eaten out is cooked or served in dishes that might have carried meat, or touched meat. Some eat only food cooked at home or cooked by special chefs who come from vegetarian families. Others, like me, due to world travel and due to not-so-diverse environments, have been forced to accept limited non-vegetarianism in my life. My husband, an Anglo American of German-Hungarian descent, is a meat eater. He eats steak and pork when we go out…because I do not cook them. But I do not judge him, nor have I tried to convert him. But he has always been strict about not violating my preferences. That is negotiation, collaboration and respect for each other. And we too will be having an amicable divorce. He voluntarily chose Vedantism and is now a big follower of Vedic chants which he says helps his Huntington’s Disease. He is doing hundred times better than his mother who had the same disease and who died completely bed ridden for years. He says Vedic meditation and chanting is helping him. I am impressed how well he has done.

      Hinduism teaches us to respect diversity with standards and limits, while also encouraging you to keep your good roots with pride, firmness, sense and sensibility. I admire Tulsi for doing just that.

      More power to women like her. To be a Hindu outside India is not easy…as Hinduism is poorly understood, at times misunderstood, and even made fun of. Her family has brought her up to be a strong, proud and confident Hindu woman (of Vaishnava sect) who is also a good American, good Hawaiian and good Samoan too.

      We should admire and appreciate women like her. She will inspire more Hindus of Indian and non-Indian origin) to confidently enter politics and make a healthy difference in a world that does need true diversity (with good standards).

      Hope what I shared was helpful…

      • S S Umakanthan

        Quite a lengthy reply more about you rather than a proper reply to harithv’s comment.
        I now understand why our ancestors prohibited Brahmins going abroad.

  2. Gorgeous wedding and great video. Congratulations to the beautiful couple.

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