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Laxman Basnet presents wedding gifts to Ram Thapaliya and Madhavi Regmi during their Bhutanese wedding reception ceremony Monday. (David Samson / Forum News Service)

For Bhutanese, arranged marriage still common

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FARGO — In a steamy apartment rich with the smell of curry, a pair of newlyweds sat on a loveseat Monday afternoon, accepting gifts and blessings in the Hindu tradition.

Well-wishers stuck tika — a mix of red powder, rice and yogurt — to the couple’s foreheads and sprinkled dried flower petals onto their laps.

The groom, Ram Thapaliya, and his bride, Madhavi Regmi, both Bhutanese refugees, sat quietly and smiled as their friends and family looked on.

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