WEDDING RITUALS IN AP

The rituals conducted by the Telugu speaking people during the ceremonious occasion of wedding are different from those conducted in neighboring southern states of India. In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu people follow their own traditions, while conducting a wedding. The bride’s maternal uncle and her brother play a prominent role at the time of the her marriage.
Telugu wedding ceremony is organized in a unique way. It is an elaborate affair, wherein a number of rituals are conducted before, during and after the marriage. The preparations for the festive occasion start with the finalization of the wedding date, which is done well before the ‘important day’. As a part of the customary, the Telugu people call on an astrologer to fix a date and time (muhurtham) for the auspicious occasion. This paves the way to the commencement of the preparations for the wedding, which are done in the most elaborate, colorful and vivacious way.
All the rituals conducted throughout the Telugu wedding ceremony hold religious significance. Each element in the ceremonies is connected with the other and is given special importance. Some people also conduct a couple of pujas prior to the wedding, so that the ceremony is organized without any hassle. This makes Telugu marriage a marvelous event to witness. One would be keen in looking at the way the bride is handed over to the groom by her father (kanyadaan) and the methods by which the groom ties the mangalsutra around her neck. In this section, we have given detailed information on the Telugu wedding ceremony.
The rituals conducted by the Telugu speaking people during the ceremonious occasion of wedding are different from those conducted in neighboring southern states of India. In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu people follow their own traditions, while conducting a wedding. The bride’s maternal uncle and her brother play a prominent role at the time of the her marriage. Apart from being an event that calls for religious observance, the traditional Telugu wedding consists of some fun moments as well. If you want to know more about the Telugu wedding rituals, then this article is what you need. Here, we have provided comprehensive information on the ceremonies conducted during traditional Telugu marriage.
Telgue wedding customs are as follows:
Muhurtham
An auspicious time for the marriage, also known as muhurtham, is chosen by the family astrologer. The Telugu people generally avoid months including Aashad, Bhadrapad and Shunya, because they are considered inauspicious time for the ceremonious occasion.
Pendlikoothuru
In the Pendlikoothuru ceremony, turmeric paste and oil is smeared to the bride and the groom, at their respective homes. This is done to cleanse their skin, so that a natural glow is radiated. After bathing the bride and the groom, they are given a new set of clothing to wear. The bride is adorned with flowers and jewelry.
Snathakam
Snathakam ritual takes place at the bridegroom’s residence before the muhurtham. As a part of this custom, the groom is asked to wear a silver thread on his body. The ritual is conducted a few hours prior to the wedding.
Kashi Yatra
After reciting the Vedic verses, the groom pretends to go on a Kashi yatra. He shows that he has discarded the worldly pleasure an is no more interested in leading a family life. He is then stopped by the brother of the bride, who persuades him to assume the responsibility of a householder.
Mangala Snaanam
As a part of Mangala Snaanam custom, the bride and groom are required to take an auspicious bath on the wedding day. The aim is to purify them and make them prepared to perform sacred rites.
Aarti

Oil is applied to the bride and groom at their respective houses. Thereafter, the family members get together to perform Aarti. They pray to Lord to give wisdom to the bride and groom to lead their life happily.
Ganesh And Gowri Puja
Before the wedding ceremony, the groom attends the Ganesh pooja, which is conducted at the mandapam.
Kanyadaan
Kanyadaan is the ceremony in which the girl’s family hands over their daughter’s responsibility to the groom. During the ceremony, the bride sits in a bamboo basket. Her maternal uncle brings her to the mandapam. Until the completion of the kanyadaan, the bride and the groom are not allowed to look at each other and therefore, they are separated by a curtain that is place between them, as a partition. Thereafter, the bride’s parents wash the groom’s feet, assuming him as an ‘avatar’ of God.
Jeelakarra Bellamu & Madhuparkam
The priest recites the shlokas from the Vedas. Thereafter, the couple is asked to smear a paste made from cumin seeds and jaggery on each other’s hands. This custom is referred to as Jeelakarra-Bellamu. This ceremony is observed to communicate that the relationship of the married couple is unbreakable and inseparable.As a part of Madhuparkam ritual, the bride dresses up in white cotton sari with red border. On the other hand, the groom wears white dhoti with red border. White is the color for purity and red is for strength.
Sumangli
Ten married women (sumangalis) accompany the bride. Six out of the ten women hold plates containing a mixture of rice and turmeric powder, while the rest of the four hold small lit lamps in their respective plates. Rice represents abundance, while the lit lamps symbolize light.
Tying of the Mangalsutra
In order to perform the ritual, the partition between the bride and the groom are removed. After removing the partition, the groom ties the two strings of the mangalsutra, each with a golden disc, around the groom’s neck. The mangalsutra
represents the physical, mental and spiritual union of the couple. In the Telugu wedding, the groom ties three knots of mangalsutra.
Kanya Daan Akshata
In the Kanya Daan Akshata ceremony, the bride and groom exchange garlands. People witnessing this occasion come forward to bless the couple, by sprinkling flower petals and rice coated with turmeric powder.
Saptapadi
As a part of the Saptapadi ritual, the groom and bride walk seven steps together around the fire, while chanting mantras. When the pheras are conducted, the pallu of bride’s sari is tied to one end of the groom’s dhoti.
Sthaalipaakam
Sthaalipaakam is a ritual wherein the groom adorns the feet of the bride with silver toe rings. In order to ward-off the evil eye, she is asked to wear a string of black beads during the ceremony.
Grihapravesh
After the culmination of the wedding ceremony, the bride is formally taken to the groom’s house. This is called grihapravesh of the bride. As she steps into her new home, she is welcomed by the groom’s family members, including his mother and close relatives.
Uniting The Mangalsutra
Grihapravesh is followed by a ceremony, wherein the mangalsutra is united. As a customary, the Telugu speaking people unite the two mangalsutras (which was tied by the groom around the bride’s neck), on a common thread. This ritual is done sixteen days post wedding. This ritual can be performed by either the groom or an elderly member of the family. A few black or golden beads are slipped between the two ‘plates’ of the mangalsutra, so that they do not clash with each other. The unison of mangalsutra signifies the harmony between the two families. After the ceremony is over, the bride takes a bath and wears a new sari.

– SANJAY SINGH CHAHAR

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Importance of marriage in Indian Culture

 

India is a nation with vast and ancient traditions. The country blossoms with an extensive numbers of colorful culture, languages, communities and tribes. India gives great significance to the tradition of marriage. Indian Marriages are always celebrated with great happiness and enthusiasm. Marriages in India are the most memorable event of one’s life. The Indian culture has never been rigid and that’s why it’s surviving with pride in the modern era. It timely imbibes the qualities of various other cultures and comes out as a contemporary and acceptable tradition. That is what unique about the Indian culture..it moves on with the time
Indian marriages are performed with great purity and making couple to learn the true meanings of being together. Marriage is also the only relationship, which connects the married couple for the life time. The most important thing in one’s life is to marry at right age, with the right person.
The most difficult task is to find the right person to marry and Indian people spend large amount of time for the matrimonial search. Nowadays love marriages have made easy for the parents to search an online matrimonial site. As now boys and girls find their own life partners and parents are left with the task of showering their love and blessings on their children for their happy married life. In India new concept of love marriage is introduced. It has brought a new revolutionary change in the thought process of the Indians. Now Indian marriages are of more effervescent and exaggerated, due to the participation of the young minds. But in case of the arrange marriages, the process remains the same. The matrimonial search for the potential Indian bride and groom has to go a number of phases.
Parents, friends, relatives of the particular bride or groom really have to do a proper research work before forming a grouping with the other family members. There are various different ways for matrimonial search in India. It sometimes, becomes very complicated to find a perfect match for the potential Indian bride or India groom. But with the origination of internet, it has become far easier to search an Indian groom or bride for marriage.
The Indian culture has never been rigid and that’s why it’s surviving with pride in the modern era. It timely imbibes the qualities of various other cultures and comes out as a contemporary and acceptable tradition. That is what unique about the Indian culture..it moves on with the time.

– SANJAY SINGH CHAHAR

WHY PEOPLE GET MARRRIED

Most people want to grow old with someone they love. They want to have someone to talk to, travel with and share life’s challenges with. When life gets tough, it becomes manageable if you have a caring spouse by our side. Whether you have a job or stay home, sharing a household with somebody at night and on weekends can give a sense of fulfillment in your personal and social life. 

In reality, you can get involved with someone without getting married but it can be meaningless if you think about it. Both of you know that either can give up on the relationship in a blink of an eye, creating a sense of tentativeness and insecurity. Coming with a formal marriage are respect and commitment, which can enhance the romantic value of the relationship. It’s always a great feeling to wake up with someone who has vowed to share his/her life with you, and vice versa. Stolen kisses or a late-night rendezvous are extra sweeter. Raising a family with someone you love is possibly the most intimate relationship you can have. Bringing up children and doing everything to provide them with a good life (food, shelter, education, etc.) are not easy. Kids need both a male and a female influence. When one or the other is lacking, it may interrupt normal developmental patterns and social adjustments. There may be a lot of single parents who successfully raise healthy and successful children, but it is easier and better to have two parents who work together to attain this goal.Those who have a job that pays sufficiently can financially support themselves. However, what happens when the company goes out of business or you acquire a life-threatening illness that costs you your job? The point here is not about getting married for money; rather, it is comforting to know that in marriage, the couple shares assets and helps each other through rough times including financial difficulties.

we need a witness to our lives.
There’s a billion people on the planet.
What does any one life really mean?
But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…
The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things,
All of it… all the time, every day.
You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.
Your life will not go unwitnessed – because I will be your witness.
– SANJAY SINGH CHAHAR

A RAJPUT WEDDING


MARRIAGE THROUGH THE AGES
Rajputs are the only clan perhaps who have carried forward the tradition of the royal family weddings, the grooms’ riding of elephants and the brides’ decked up in diamonds and other precious stones. The ceremonies are always solemn and the proceedings are marked with ostensible firmness. Thus, in a way marriage is regarded as a very serious affair in which not only the boy and the girl of both the families are involved but also the their parents and the entire family lines.

The Rajput marriages , as a rule, are grand traditional affairs. The royal weddings extend to days and is mind boggling. There are innumerable events and exhaustively rich. Even the Rajput marriage of the bourgeois class is an elaborate affair – with scores of traditional customs and rituals.

MATCH MAKING
Rajput gives special attention to the matchmaking aspect of the marriage . The match between a boy and girl is made by taking into consideration many important facts. The family is the first and the foremost significant of all factors. Every care is taken to ensure that the alliance is perfect. The status of the families have to be at par. It is also very important that the bride and the groom hail from separate clans. The horoscopes have to be approved and matched by the family astrologer. Rajputs prefer to marry within the community only. However, exceptions are made if either the bride or the groom comes from a royal family.

COSTUMES 

Bridal Wear
The bride would wear a traditional Rajasthani poshak. It comprises a ghagra (a long pleated skirt), blouse and a dupatta. The clothing is always colorful as to put up a contrast to the dull bleached hue of the sands across the Thar. Color and verve is essential as in this barren land, color is the only reality. So, there is a sense of both flamboyance and coquetry in the bridal dress. The traditional bridal wear is mostly red but other colors like those of the orange, bright yellow and pink are welcome as well. A bright parrot green is a particular favorite of a particular Rajput clan. A lot many jewellery adorn the bride as well. There would be the Rakhri (a circular piece of jewellery for the forehead), hanging earrings, the timaniyaan (a choker studded with uncut diamonds), the chooda (a set of ivory and gold bangles), the bajuband or gold and stone-studded armlets, gold anklets and the bichhiya or gold toe-rings for the feet and finally, there is the nath or the stone-studded nose-ring.

Groom’s Attire
The traditional attire for the Rajasthani male includes a long coat in golden color – known as the Achkan. There are the very majestic saffron turban worn alongwith a churidar (tight salwars) and regal shoes. Surprisingly, the groom too wears some eye dazzling jewellery, such as those of a special jewellery, Serpech to be worn on the turban. There are a necklace to be worn around the neck and a cummerband at the waist.

 

RITUALS 

Rituals Before Marriage 

Tilak Ceremony  – This is the official engagement ceremony wherein only the male members of the girl’s family goes to the boy’s house. Only the bride’s father, brother and other male relatives take part in this ceremony. No ladies accompany the men in this occasion. The ceremony, as its name suggests, has the girl’s brother applying the tilak to the groom’s forehead. The men from the girl’s family usually present the boy with gifts such as a sword, other presents, clothes, sweets, fruits etc. This ceremony makes the engagement or alliance official.

Ganapati Sthapana and Griha Shanti Ceremony – Few days prior to the actual marriage , takes place the Ganapati Sthapana and Griha Shanti ceremony. These are held as very important as it takes place in lieu of the ring ceremony. A havan is performed by the groom or bride’s parents to propitiate the gods and an idol of Lord Ganapati is installed. All ceremonies commence only after the sthapana (installation).

Pithi Dastoor Ceremony – This is an exquisite ceremony which takes place at both the bride and the groom’s places. This ritual applies to both the bride and the groom. It would continue till the final wedding day. The rites include the application of turmeric and sandal wood paste to the one going to get married. The bride and the groom would not be able to leave their respective houses as soon as the pithi starts. The pithi dastoor takes place on a large scale at the bride’s house. For the occasion, the bride has to wear an orange Rajasthani dress. She is made to come under a silken canopy, which is held with the help of swords at the four corners by four ladies. These ladies eventually belong to the same clan. Then she is brought to the ladies gathering and these ladies then apply the paste to her. The pithi at the groom’s place is held on a minor scale. Dholans (women singers with dholak) sing auspicious pre-wedding songs while the ceremony is in progress. Throughout the wedding celebrations, the dholans are omnipresent, along with the Shehnai and the nagara players, though the latter remain at the courtyard or the garden.

Mahira Dastoor – Mahira Dastoor is again a custom exclusive to the Rajputs. It takes place at both the girl and the boy’s houses. This particular ceremony involves the maternal uncle of either side. The maternal uncle alongwith his family arrives with much fanfare. He is received with much greetings by the respective families. The uncle then gives clothes, jewellery and sweet delicacies to the entire family. It is a ceremony symbolic of the fact that the maternal uncle has to lend a hand of help at the expenditure that his sister undergoes during her child’s marriage.

Janev Ceremony – Janev ceremony is an important ritual of the Hindu marriages . It has the rite of making the groom wear the sacred thread. The janev is worn by men only. The groom is made to wear the janev on the eve of his becoming the house-holder. He is made to wear a saffron robe and perform a yagna with the priest. The Rajputs wear the saffron robe with the thought that the groom has two choice before him. One that of renouncing the world by becoming an ascetic and the other is of getting married and accepting the responsibilities of marriage . At the end of the yagna, the groom has to act as if he wants to become an ascetic by running away. And the maternal uncle tries to stop him and convince him to get married.

Palla Dastoor – Palla Dastoor is a custom quintessential to the Rajputs. It involves the people from the boy’s family coming with the trousseau – known as the palla dastoor. A day or two before marriage some relatives from the boy’s family come along with a set of things like the clothes and the jewellery which the bride has to wear at the wedding and also some gifts.

Baraat Procession – Rajput Baraat is different from all other Indian baraat styles. It is elegant, poised and individualistic. For one thing, the Rajput baraat is again an all men’s affair. So, to speak it consists of only the gents of the groom’s family. Ladies do not take part in the procession. As much as that there is no dancing as the baraat progresses through the street. The groom usually rides an elephant or a horse and carries a sword. Also, each of the other male members of the family carry a sword.

Marriage Rituals 
The groom is taken by the bride’s mother to the ladies section after performing the traditional Aarti. He is then proceeded towards the wedding mandap. In all this only a married male relative or a brother or a male cousin accompany him. The wedding takes pace as usual with the yagna fire and the vedic mantras. There are the pheras also. The only exceptional thing about the whole thing is that the bride has to keep her face hidden behind a long veil throughout the marriage . It is mostly attended by the women folk of the family as the men of the house remain busy tending after the barati and other guests.

Rituals After Marriage 

Grihapravesh – Grihapravesh is actually the entry of the bride into her husband’s house for the first time. There take place the essential puja and other rituals as the bride arrives at the sasural (father-in-law’s house).There take place certain games between the bride and the groom, those alike to the usual games that take place in other Hindu weddings.

Pagelagni – The day following the grihapravesh, the pagelagni takes place. This is a ceremony where the bride, still in veil, is formally introduced to all the family members of the groom who bless her and give her gifts. The veil is then finally removed.

CELEBRATIONS 

Music & Dance
The Mehfils are the main attractions of the Rajasthani wedding. A mehfil is a place where the ladies of the house assemble for music and dance evening. There is of course a gents mehfil as well. At the ladies mehfil, the women collect together at an enclosed courtyard or hall. They are usually dressed in sparkling dresses of all colors. Then, they perform Ghoomar, a famous Rajasthani dance number. The bride at the mehfil is given the position of the guest of honor. Though she can also take part in the dance numbers but it is generally believed that she should not overdo it. As overdoing indicates that she is not a modest and well behaved girl. The ladies mehfil at the boy’s place is the same except for the groom being allowed to attend the only for ladies programme. The men’s mehfils at both the girl and the boy’s places have a different flavor altogether. In these mehfils, professional singers are being invited to perform and these are exclusive all male parties.

Cuisine
Rajput cuisine comprise vegetarian as well as non-vegetarain fare. The Rajputs who are Vaishnavs, those that worship Lord Krishna are strictly vegetarian and the cuisine includes the traditional Rajasthani dishes like the daal-bati. Daal-bati is a dish of cooked lentils and roasted balls of dough, served alongwith a number of dried or pickled berries cooked in different ways. The warrior class among the Rajputs, those that have warriors as their ancestors, take non-vegetarian dishes. The food is again diverse, inclusive of the seafood and vegetarian dishes. Then, there are the tandoori mixed grill with chicken, lamb, fish, and shrimp, and a smattering of curry offerings.

SOME MODERNIZED CUSTOMS 
Bidai – Bidai or farewell to the bride takes place a little unusually in the Rajput clan. The norm is that during the bidai, a coconut has to be placed under the wheel of the car. The moving car has to break the coconut before proceeding further. The bride would pull up her veil before she rides the car. The husband normally gives his wife a piece of jewellery as a mooh dikhai (a token gift as a part of thanksgiving for showing her face).

 

– Haritha

Kashmiri wedding tradition

It is said that you cannot feel the depth of a sea unless you go into it. Like the same saying, recently I had witnessed a kashmiri wedding(one of my friend’s brother’s marriage) and trust me the experience has been very different from other normal Hindu wedding ceremonies.

                        The wedding was to be held during the month of December but the preparations had begun well before i.e. month of November. The whole ceremony had some mouth watering dishes, starting from kheer which was a bit salty made of rice. It is said that the ceremony is not complete until and unless it is been accompanied with some non-vegetarian taste to it. The more interesting things is the Poojas and rituals which are performed during the whole ceremony period. On an average there are a total of 5-6 occasions before marriage day that such rituals and poojas are been performed by the whole Kashmiri Family.

Besides the new colorful dresses worn by women of the family, they wear a special ornament called Athoor, a kind of special bunch on her essential accessory called Dejhor made of gold which all married women should wear in their ears during such important occasions. It signifies Suhagaan(married one). There are different varieties of athoor like pearl, silver and golden threads.

Another interesting fact to note is that the puja carried out are in between the marriage ceremony and in this whole process the women members of the family are supposed to fast and eat stuff like Kheva(Special Tea), fruit chat. In many poojas and hawans, after fast Non-veg food is cooked, including two types of non-veg and three dishes of veg items, except for Tuesday and Thursday in which strict vegetarian food is prepared.

The thread ceremony of the Groom is also been done only few days before the wedding. Non–veg is strictly banned at this day of ritual. Milk and curd are the integral part of Kashmiri household. Nonstop supply of Lassi, dahi and tea of three varieties, Namkeen Chai(sheer Chai,) Kheva(Mogail Chai) and our own Lipton chai goes on every day of wedding be it three days or a month.

The whole wedding ceremony begins in the evening with gana bajana and continues till late night and a final puja is performed in the wee hours next morning.

– Harsh Golani