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‘Now we’re married,’ Laureen tells PM after temple ceremony in India

Prime Minister Stephen Harper watches as his wife Laureen puts vermilion on her forehead inside the Sri Someshwara temple in Bangalore, Nov. 8, 2012.

DANISH SIDDIQUI/REUTERS

Like many Canadian couples before them, Stephen Harper and his wife found themselves in an exotic locale this week, standing together barefoot before a cleric.

They weren't tying the knot on some tropical beach – but rather paying a courtesy visit to a famous Hindu temple in the Indian city of Bangalore.

Still, it prompted wife Laureen to joke they were tying the knot again.

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The prime minister made the temple stop on the second last day of his trade trip to India.

He and his wife were greeted by local dignitaries at the gate of the historic Someshwara temple, where they removed their shoes and entered the brightly-coloured holy place.

The couple made their way into the complex and assembled side by side in front of chief priest Sundar Dixit, who recited mantras and honoured them.

The cleric draped a shawl around Mr. Harper's shoulders and put a garland of Mysore jasmine buds around his neck. Then he produced another shawl and ring of flowers and asked the prime minister to adorn his wife with them.

The moment seemed familiar to Mrs. Harper as the prime minister placed a ring of fragrant jasmine flowers around his wife's neck.

"Now we're married," Mrs. Harper quipped in the midst of the ceremony.

According to India Outlook, a local publication, the priest then blessed the couple by saying "Dheergayushmaan Bhavah" (May you live long).

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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