Le jaenge, le jaenge, dilwale dulhaniya le jaenge!
It’s the ‘shaadi ka season’ in India! Beginning November, you are inundated with wedding invitations from relatives and friends. Pictures of happily married couples on your social media is a constant affair! And not to forget the band baaja you hear from time to time. All this (and more!) goes on for a good few months as wedding fever grips the country.
India is a nation with diverse customs and traditions across its many regions. And when it comes to weddings, it’s no different with its diversity in rituals. You would be aware of many of the rituals from watching TV shows and movies. However, there are some lesser-known ones which are quite interesting to know!
Let’s find out which are these
Imagine you are at the wedding mandap and suddenly your groom changes his mind. How dramatic! Well, this actually happens in Tam-Brahm weddings. The groom is required to change his mind for a few minutes before he sits at the altar. He then has to announce that he is becoming a sanyasi. His father then makes him “understand” the importance of marriage, hence bringing him back to his ‘senses.’
It’s assumed that the parents of the couple are the most important people required at the wedding. But in Bengali wedding tradition, mothers of the bride and the groom do not take part in the ceremony!
Sons-in-law get elevated statuses in most Indian families. In some regions, the bride’s parents have to wash the groom’s feet before he steps into the mandap. In Gujarati weddings, this ritual is taken on to another level. The groom has to drink the honey and milk mixture that his feet are washed with! The poor groom also has to save his nose from being pulled by his mother-in-law during a playful ceremony.
Maharashtrian grooms would empathise with their Gujarati counterparts. Here, the brother-in-law pulls the groom’s ear to ‘warn’ him to take good care of his sister. How sweet!
As soon as a Bihari bride is married, she has to pass a test. Yes, by balancing few earthen pots on her head while seeking blessings from elders. And she better not break any!
Have you ever been on the receiving end of tomatoes from the public? If not, then you must have at least seen or heard about it. Imagine the plight of the baraatis in certain tribes in UP who actually have to experience this! Yes, you read that right. In some of the tribal areas, the groom’s family is welcomed by tomatoes hurled at them. The belief is that with an unfortunate beginning the relationship will surely end up with love and happiness.
Imagine getting married and immediately after, being asked to stay away for a year! This happens only in some Adivasi communities in India. The bride is hidden away and can’t be in touch with anybody. After a year, senior members of the community approve of the wedding, which is celebrated with a huge function.