South Meets North
Let me recall a beautiful and unique incident that I happened to witness some time ago.
A North Indian girl married a South Indian boy and the wedding was performed according to the Brahmin wedding rituals. Yes, it was an amazing and one-of-a-kind blend of the North and South Indian wedding rituals.
First. the bride’s father and family, following their own set of rituals, offered huge baskets full of fruits, dry fruits and lots of sweets as a gesture of happiness to the groom’s side of the family. Seeing this, the groom’s side of the family was amazed as it is unlike any South Indian customs.
Then the Gowri Pooja was performed by the bride wearing the choora. You can imagine a North Indian girl wearing the traditional choora, which signifies the newly married women’s ensemble, performing Gowri Pooja! Gowri pooja is a South Indian tradition whereas, the choora is worn in North India by married women, so it was a contrasting yet beautiful sight.
The newlywed bride had a grand welcome at the groom’s house. This ritual is called ‘Grihapravesha’ meaning entering the house (for the first time). The Grihapravesha was simply a grand and amazing affair. The bride’s side of the family was surprised to see and be a part of so many rituals that were truly new to them. Though the rituals were new and unknown, the bride’s side of the family not only thoroughly enjoyed each moment of it but also participated in the rituals actively.
The fanfare of the event was definitely the lunch on banana leaves! The bride’s side of the family, guests and the newlyweds had lunch on banana leaves which is unlike North Indian customs.
Such weddings help bring out the best of both worlds. Both the families witnessed new customs and rituals and enjoyed it. They got to know the customs of brahmin wedding and traditions are followed by other people and other cultures and how different yet how similar are all the cultures. The practices may be different, but the essence remains the same. The ethos of Indian marriage remains intact irrespective of the region the bride or the bridegroom belongs to!
Where the North Indian bride adorns the choora and rocks the D-day in a lehenga, the South Indian bride looks glorious in a silk saree and temple jewelry. The way of offering best wishes and blessings may be different, yet the wishes remain the same – all families want their newlyweds to be happy, content and successful in the new phase of their life.
So, this was my very own experience at a South meets North Wedding ceremony where the wedding was performed as per brahmin wedding rituals. Have you ever attended a wedding of two cultures? How was your experience at such a varied and unique wedding? Which of the rituals and customs is your personal favorite?