In their different cultures, they found common denominators

By the time Sneha Medappa Maruvanda met Dr. Mark Ross Edelstein in person, she feared they had nothing more to say to each other.

“I was having a bit of a panic attack about the meeting,” said Ms Medappa Maruvanda, 30, who corresponded with Dr Edelstein on Bumble in November 2019, and quickly engaged in a two-way conversation. weeks with him on the app. He lived in Philadelphia, and she in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., a suburb of the city.

“We talked too much,” she said. “He used to tell me about his heroes when he was four, how a teacher was very mean to him.”

Another concern, Dr. Edelstein said: “We were both a little worried about our cultural differences.” He was raised by Jewish parents in Richmond, Virginia. Ms Medappa Maruvanda grew up in a Hindu family and was born in Coorg, a rural district in the Indian state of Karnataka, before moving to Bengaluru, formerly Bangalore, as a young girl.

But when they met in December at a Cuban restaurant in Philadelphia, neither was at a loss for words. As for their cultures, it soon became apparent that they might not be as different as they seemed.

“Our backgrounds are very similar in terms of a sense of community and family, so I think that made it a lot easier to bridge that cultural divide,” said Dr Edelstein, 32.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and bioethics, Dr. Edelstein earned an MD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. He is currently in his fifth year of an interventional radiology residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Ms. Medappa Maruvanda earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering in India, and later earned a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is now a project manager in the Wayne, Pennsylvania office of Johnson Matthey, a multinational chemical and technology company.

After the couple’s first date, Dr. Edelstein texted his sister, who asked if he was in love. His answer: “Maybe.

Later in December, after their third date, the couple became an official couple. Weeks later, when Dr. Edelstein’s parents visited Philadelphia in January 2020, he told them he knew it was Mrs. Medappa Maruvanda.

“I had never met someone so selfless and genuinely kind,” Dr. Edelstein said. “It has never been easier to be myself with another person.”

Ms Medappa Maruvanda said her feelings for Dr Edelstein were solidified six months later, in July 2020, when he met some of his cousins ​​and started asking them questions in Kodava Thakk, the spoken language in Coorg.

“I had no idea he had googled this language. And it’s not easy to learn because there aren’t many of us,” Ms Medappa Maruvanda said. “It was just that moment of shock Complete for me that he went to such lengths to want to connect with my cousins.”

On January 15, 2021, Dr Edelstein proposed to Ms Medappa Maruvanda in the living room of her flat in Bala Cynwyd, where the two now live together. A year later, the couple married at Main Street Station in Richmond on January 22. Rabbi Jake Rubin, director of Hillel at the University of Virginia, officiated.

During the ceremony, the ketubah was read in English and Hebrew by Mr. Rubin, and in Kodava Thakk by Mrs. Medappa Maruvanda’s mother. The Seven Blessings were read by Mrs. Medappa Maruvanda’s sister and two cousins, as well as Dr. Edelstein’s brother, sister and two uncles. Afterwards, the couple’s 160 vaccinated guests enjoyed an aperitif hour with Indian hors d’oeuvres and music.

In April, the newlyweds plan to travel to Bangalore for a second wedding celebration. In the meantime, the bride said: “I’m very excited to have the monotony of a relationship. I want to do mundane things with Mark. I’m excited to have our own little life together.

Lance B. Holton