Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sindhi wedding

Customary Sindhi weddings have numerous colorful customs that make for an interesting and enjoyable event. Once the bride and the groom's families agree for the wedding, an auspicious date is fixed for the wedding. A priest (mehraj) fixes the date for the wedding after matching the horoscope of the future bride and bridegroom. In case the families are unable to find a date, hey settle for a Gudhuro marriage, which can be performed any time after sunset. Listed below are the customary proceedings of a Sindhi wedding.

Pre-wedding ceremonies

Kachchi Misri or Kachcha Shagun is a ceremony performed once the wedding is approved. Five kilos of mithai, a basket of fruits, five coconuts and kada prasad made from wheat, and some cash is sent to the groom's house from the bride's family. This ceremony confirms the future relationship between the two families and is also called as the ladki rokna ceremony. The wedding takes place after about six months after this ceremony.

Pakki Mishri is the formal betrothal between the bride and the groom and is held just a week before the wedding. The bride and the groom exchange rings during this ceremony. A basket each of fresh and dry fruits, one kilo of mishri (sugar candy), eleven coconuts and ten kilos of sweets, some cash, and ten kilos of sugar is sent from the bride's family to the grooms family. Along with this the clothes and accessories required by the groom for the wedding is also sent.

Dev Bithana is celebrated a few days prior to the wedding where a priest installs a chakki (grinding stone) as a totemic deity. This ceremony is celebrated both in the bride's and the groom's house.

Lada indicates the beginning of the wedding arrangements in the groom's house. Traditional wedding songs are sung with either a dholak (drum) or plain thali (plate). This function is fun filled.

Berana ceremony is a satsang held ten days before the wedding.

Tih - The family priest of the brides house carries a bag of rice, cardamom, cloves, sugar candy, and green color silk yarn along with a paper on which the lagan (auspicious time for marriage) is written.

Saanth ceremony is conducted separately both in the brides and the grooms house, oil is applied on the head of both the bride and the groom by married women. Old clothes worn by the bride and the groom are torn off and thrown in the river/sea to indicate a new beginning.

Mehendi ceremony is held a day prior to the wedding. Henna is applied on the hands and the feet of the bride.

Ladies sangeet ceremony is filled with fun, women dance to their favorite tunes.

Ghari Puja is held at both the brides and the grooms place to seek the blessings of their family Gods.

Baraat - The groom wears a crown (sehra) and sits on a mare accompanied by friends and relatives. The procession is accompanied by a music band and people dance all the way along the procession.

Swaagat - The bride groom and his family is welcomed by the bride's family with gifts and sindur (vermilion).

Wedding ceremonies

Paon dhulai - The groom and the bride are seated opposite each other with a cloth separating them. The groom's feet are washed on a bronze plate with fresh milk. The feet of the bride and the groom are measured by the priest with a thread that the bride holds.

Jaimala - Exchanging of garlands between the bride and the groom.

Hathialo - The palm of the right hand of both the bride and the groom are tied with a thread. The bride's sari is tied to the scarf worn by the bride groom.

Wedding ceremony - The bride and the groom walk around the holy fire four times and then the groom places the bride's hand on his forehead.

Kanya daan - The bride's parents entrust their daughter to the groom's parents.

Post-wedding ceremonies

Datar - The bride arrives at the groom's house. The bride sprinkles milk all around the house and places salt on her husband's hands. He then returns it to her and this is repeated thrice. This signifies that, as salt blends well so should the newly married bride mingle in the new in law's place.

Chhanar - The chakki installed as the totemic deity is removed.

Sataurah - The newly wed bride and groom visit the bride's house.


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