‘Bridgerton’ Season 2: 5 Nods to Indian Culture With the Sharmas

The Sharma sisters are new to the ton in Bridgerton Season 2. While the Netflix series has been praised for its inclusive characters, the Sharmas are the first to be from South Asia. Being Indian and growing up away from London means Kate and Edwina had a more worldly upbringing. Bridgerton Season 2 did the job of including accurate representations of Indian culture in subtle yet profound ways.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Bridgerton Season 2.]

Kate, Edwina and Mary Sharma performing Haldi in 'Bridgerton' Season 2 Indian culture examples.
Kate, Edwina, and Mary Sharma in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 | via Netflix

Edwina and Kate’s use of endearing words like ‘Appa’

Kate and Edwina Sharma were raised in Bombay, India. It would not be a surprise that the sisters use common Indian words of endearment and say a few Hindi words. In fact, Kate’s first-ever word in Bridgerton Season 2 was in Hindi. When Lady Danbury wants to question Edwina’s teachings, Kate reassures she has been taught to be almost perfect and knows how to speak Marathi and Hindustani.

Throughout the season, fans fell for the way Indian words of endearment were often used with the Sharmas. One example is how Kate and Edwina often refer to their father as “Appa” and they call their mother “Amma.” Fans might hear every so often that Edwina calls Kate by the Indian word “Didi,” meaning older sister. Kate also often calls Edwina “Bon,” meaning sister in Bengali.

The use of Indian jewelry and marriage details in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

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Part of the glamour of being a part of high-class society in the ton is the immaculate jewelry worn by the female characters. On the day of Edwina’s wedding to Anthony, there is the heartwarming inclusion of traditional Indian jewelry. Kate takes out a pair of green jewel-encrusted gold bangles.

She explains they were her mother’s and she wore them on her wedding day. According to Medium, bangles are a common part of Indian marriage tradition. “Bangles are traditionally a part of the solah shringar of Indian brides,” explained Medium. The bangles represent a husband’s long life.

Fans of Bridgerton Season 2 may have also noted the other small nod to Indian marriage culture before the wedding. A fan on Twitter noticed how when Anthony passes by Kate, their pinkies almost touch each other. During Indian wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom often hold pinkies in anticipation of the union.

Kate hates English tea in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

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So soon into the series, Lady Danbury learns of Kate’s true intentions as to why Edwina must marry a nobleman. In episode one, Kate explains how she taught her sister everything, even how to make a “pitiful excuse for tea the English so adore.” Kate then announces she absolutely hates English tea.

One of the subtle nods to Indian culture in Bridgerton Season 2 was when Kate adds some flavor to her tea. While at the Bridgerton country estate, Kate makes herself a cup of English tea with some signature Indian spices. The South China Morning Post identifies the spices as crushed cardamon pods. She then adds milk to make a version of “masala chai”.

Kate tends to Edwina’s hair in a small scene paying homage to Indian culture

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When Edwina’s time at the Bridgerton country estate does not lead to a proposal before the grand party, she voices her worries to Kate. Later at night, fans get to see a subtle yet heartwarming display of Indian culture in Bridgerton Season 2. Kate dips her fingers in a small bowl of heated oil.

She then proceeds to massage and run the oil through Edwina’s hair. One fan on Twitter comments on the scene saying, “Many South Asians grow up having their hair oiled routinely by a parent or older caregiver. It’s so warming to see those cultural practices presented in this season.”

The practice can be used as a stress reliever and fits appropriately as Kate and Edwina have a meaningful conversation about Edwina’s self-worth.

The pre-wedding Indian tradition in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

Mary, Edwin and Kate in 'Bridgerton' Season 2 spreading Tumeric paste.
Mary, Edwin, and Kate in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 | via Netflix

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One example of the Netflix series including Indian culture that fans adored was Edwina’s pre-wedding ritual before she marries Anthony. Despite the complex relationship between Anthony and Kate, the Sharmas display an emotional and heartwarming tradition.

The first scene of episode six begins with a modern rendition of “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” as Kate mixes Tumeric and a white powder with water. Dressed in Tumeric-colored gowns and surrounded by the same colored flowers, the Sharmas take part in the Haldi ceremony.

The application of the turmeric paste is intimate and assures the bride of glowing skin on her wedding day. According to Town & Country, the scene is impactful as, “It is just the three women, carrying out a ritual in a foreign land where the sum total of their cultural rooting is each other.”

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