Male guests at a Rajasthani desert village wedding performing 'Riyan', a traditional opium ceremony: The host asks the guest to lick a small dose of 'Amal' from his palm in return for his support & friendship. The intention underlying Riyan is to wipe out differences and forge a bond - not partaking is considered an insult to the host.
The ceremony, where the drug is taken in small doses, is an inextricable part of any social occasion - be it a birth, a wedding or a funeral - in the Thar region.
Riyan is an elaborate ceremony. A large number of people are involved in the preparation of the opium concoction. A small amount of the drug is dissolved in water and then strained, ground and mixed with jaggery, sugar, saffron and milk
nr. Jeloo, Osian Tehsil, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India