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Wedding Culture Essay

2346 words - 10 pages

V.I.P article submitted by: Sravani Gullapalli (Phd. Student -Chemical Engineering) Aparna Raju Sagi (Phd. Student -Chemical Engineering)

Indian Wedding Traditions
One billion people, more than 1600 spoken languages, 28 culturally different states, over 9 religions, one country – India defines diversity. This diversity, seen in every realm of Indian life starting from food & clothing to customs & traditions, is reflected in Indian marriages as well. Thus, describing all the nuances of the country’s wedding traditions in a single piece of writing would truly be a herculean task. This article is a humble effort to give a glimpse into a colorful and cultural extravaganza – the Indian ...view middle of the document...

Months before the wedding an engagement ceremony, known as Mangni (in North India) or Nischitartham (in South India), is held. The two families meet to perform rituals to make the engagement official. A muhurat (auspicious date & time) for the wedding is

decided based on horoscopes. The couple is then blessed by elders of both families, and is given gifts including jewelry and clothing by their new family. In certain traditions, engagement is marked by the exchange of rings between the bride and groom to be. Indian engagement ceremonies are very elaborate and vibrant, a sort of prequel to the main wedding, involving close friends and relatives. The period between the engagement and the marriage is one of great excitement and anticipation for both the bride and groom to be. It is marked with a lot of fun-filled activities, with both families getting to together to plan the wedding, to shop, and getting to bond. Pre-wedding ceremonies Traditional Indian weddings last a week, and start with pre-wedding ceremonies. Haldi is a ritual holy bath during which turmeric (Haldi), oil and water is applied to both the bride and groom by married women. This is followed by Mehendi ceremony, during which the bride’s hands and feet are decorated with intricate patterns by the application of Henna. On a lighter note, it is believed that, deeper the color of the mehendi (henna) stronger is the groom’s love for the bride. With foot tapping music and dances, this ‘ladies-only’ party lends a break from the otherwise more ritualistic ceremonies. When the bride goes to the groom’s house after the wedding, she is not expected to perform any housework until her mehendi has faded away. Other important North-Indian prewedding ceremonies include Sangeet, and Tilak. Sangeet means music. As the name suggests, this function is an evening of musical entertainment and merriment hosted by the bride’s family. The main significance of this ceremony is that the bride is introduced to all the members of her new family. As a part of the Tilak ceremony, vermillion or

kumkum is placed on the forehead of the groom by all the male members of the bride’s family. Kumkum is a sign of auspiciousness. Presents are given to the groom and his family, requesting them to take care of the bride. Janavasam is a predominantly south Indian tradition, where the groom is paraded around the town on a chariot (or nowadays a open car!), the evening before the wedding. In small towns and villages this event serves to show the groom to the people, so that if they knew anything about the groom that had to be brought to the notice of the bride’s family, they could do so. This is similar to the Christian tradition of the priest asking those present, if anyone had any objection to the wedding. Wedding Attire Traditionally the bride wears a sari or a lehenga which is highly ornate with gold and silver embroidery. The color of the sari or the lehenga is of great significance, and is different for different...

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