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Events - 03.04.2024

Tying the Knot | Celebrating Diverse Wedding Traditions

Photos of wedding in Japan, India, and Mexico
Left | © JNTO, Middle | N/A, Right | © Gerardo LopSan Wedding Planner & Luis Velez Fotografo


03.04.2024 (Mon.)


06:30 PM - 09:30 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5




Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend

The JAPAN HOUSE LA Foundation has been hosting a series of programs exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) across various themes, in partnership with and generous sponsorship of MUFG. In this program, guests were invited to join us for an evening of cultural and culinary journeys through the rich tapestry of wedding practices from Japan, India, and Mexico.

This two-part program started with a colorful presentation where representatives from Japan, India, and Mexico each took the stage to introduce the vibrant heritage of their respective wedding traditions, focusing on cultural elements, dress, ceremonies, food, drink, and festivities. The talk was followed by a reception which provided a culinary experience guided by guest experts, featuring food and beverages that reflect the diverse flavors that make these momentous occasions not just meaningful, but delicious.

Guests learned about Japan’s various types of marriage across history, and how wedding customs and fashions have evolved over hundreds of years. Explored India’s stunning bridal beauty traditions like mehndi (henna decoration) and multi-day Hindu wedding practices that include kickoff festivities, the wedding union ceremony, and post-wedding celebrations. Got inspired by the lively wedding celebrations of Oaxaca, Mexico, including its famous moles and mezcal!

Welcoming Remarks by Masatoshi Komoriya of MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation
The India presentation group
The Mexico presentation group
Japan presentation by Mami Sone
The India presentation by Smita Bagla
The Mexico presentation by Aida Velasco
The presentation representatives from Japan, India, and Mexico
The Indian food served at the reception
The Mexican food served at the reception
Japanese wedding cake and a plate with chocolate letters “Contratulations on Your Wedding”

Program Schedule

6:30 PM – 7:45 PM | Presentation
8:00 PM – 9:30 PM | Culinary Experience

Sample Menu Items

Chirashi sushi, sashimi, empanada with Mexican caviar, chicken with mole sauce, oaxacan nicoatole, samosas with chutney, aloo with paneer parathas, malai kofta, butter chicken, pumpkin seed horchata, mezcal cuish madrecuishe, and more.

About the Speakers

Mami Sone
Mami Sone was born and raised in Mie Prefecture, Japan, and graduated from Tsuda College in Tokyo with a Bachelor's degree in American Studies. Mami has a diverse background and international perspective, having lived in various locations outside of Japan including Ohio, Connecticut, Washington DC, Maryland, Los Angeles, and Geneva, Switzerland.
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Following her college graduation, Mami worked for Sapporo Breweries Co. before joining her husband in Connecticut, where she had enriching experiences auditing classes at Wesleyan University.

Returning to Japan, Mami embarked on a fulfilling career as an English teacher at public junior high schools in Tokyo, accumulating over two decades of teaching experience. Her time living abroad with her husband provided valuable insights into Japan's international standing and informed her work as an English teacher and beyond.

Mami's commitment to community service is evident through her volunteer work for various organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution's Development Office, Japan-America Society of Washington DC's "Japan in a Suitcase" program, Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) in Washington DC, and The United Nations Women's Guild-Geneva (UNWG-Geneva). In Japan, she dedicated her time to the Meguro International Friendship Association.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, Mami draws daily inspiration from the diverse individuals she encounters. Her hobbies include watching and playing sports, indulging in Asian dramas and movies, and biking through the backstreets of Tokyo.

Smita Bagla
Smita Bagla is a tech entrepreneur, corporate executive and a passionate community leader. She serves as the Managing Director of Aligned Strategies, a business advisory firm catering to Fortune 2000 companies across Healthcare, Entertainment and education sectors. She also is a managing member of California India Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit organization, and works with the Indian Consulate in SFO to promote business, trade, and culture alliances with India.
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Many in Southern California know Smita through her community leadership roles and as the organizer of large events for IIT Alumni, TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur), World Funding Network, Women Initiative Network, Federation Of India Organizations, and events along with the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. These events include prestigious speakers, such as C level executives, international dignitaries, and known experts.

Smita Bagla’s dynamic and diverse professional career spans entrepreneurship, corporate executive roles, fractional CTO positions, adjunct professorships, and business growth advisory. She is recognized for her strategic prowess and expertise in product development harnessing the latest technology and AI. She is a board member of community upliftment minority non-profit organizations such as Sahara, WIN and TiE Women Global (entrepreneurs). She has been a recipient of multiple community leader awards. Recently, she was shortlisted as one of the nominees for “LA Times Inspirational Women of 2023.”

In her spare time, Smita loves acting and production. She is a recurring theater actor at the acclaimed Santa Monica Playhouse. She has acted in more than fifteen plays in recent years and has had short supporting roles in four movies. Most recently, she was a co-executive producer of the ‘Audience Award’-winning comedy film ‘Four Samosas.’ During COVID, Smita wrote, directed, and performed a zoom play – a spoof on Shark Tank – ‘Women Investors of 2030’ with a cast of ten from six continents for a global entrepreneurship conference. She was featured in Malibu Times in 2019 as “Entrepreneur by the day, Actress by the Night”.

Aida Velasco
Aida Velasco holds a Master’s degree in Risk Analysis from King’s College London and another in International relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She graduated with merit from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City in international relations. She joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1999. At the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she worked in the North American and Special Affairs departments. She was posted ...  Read more.

abroad to the Embassy of Mexico to the United Kingdom (2001-2009) and afterward to the Embassy of Mexico to Japan (2009-2012). From August 2015-August 2022, she was Head of the Consular section of the Embassy of Mexico to the UK. She was transferred to Los Angeles, in September 2022 and is currently Consul for political, cultural, and educational affairs.

Jazmin Galvan
Jazmin Galvan joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 2022 and is currently the Consul for Tourism Affairs. She spearheads initiatives to promote outbound tourism to Mexico with programs such as “Mi Casa Es Tu Casa”, a series of events that unite countries with Mexico´s unique destinations. Galvan holds a Master´s degree in Finance and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Prior to working for the ...  Read more.

Mexican Foreign Service she worked at Banco Santander from 2010 to 2022.

Presented by

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Foundation Logo

Sponsored by

MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Logo

Supported by

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles & Consulate General of Japan Los Angeles logos

In Collaboration with

Consulate General of India and Consulate General of Mexico logos
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