India
~ Reflections on Life, Culture, Religion 1 / 2 ~
Indian Wedding

life / culture / religion
cities / metropolis
religious places
palaces / forts / monuments

Indian Wedding Bridal CoupleAn Indian wedding (wedding rites and pictures) is a feast for the eyes. All guests and especially the bride are festive and colorful dressed with clothes from finest silk. The hands and feet of the bride by tradition are decorated with precious stones or elaborate paintings. The picture to the left shows a simple dressed young married couple in a temple, traditional decoratedwith pendants on their foreheads and flower chains. 

The marriage generally is managed by the parents. There are marriage bureaus in which one registers the name of the son or daughter who is seeking a match. One selects some names and addresses from the list available there and start corresponding with the parents to obtain full details etc.

In ancient India the traditions provided for knowing the family because of the strict caste system (see chapter about the casts) . The social fabric was such, that every one knew about each other - strength and weaknesses. Then there was matching of horoscope. There are 36 "Guna" (virtues) in each horoscope. They were matched and anything above 30 was acceptable. Lastly "Gotra" came into play. This is based on 12 names of saints - to persons of the same "Gotra" the preceding seven generations on either side could not get married. In conservative families at least the horoscope still is a criterion of the selection.

With henna elaborately painted hands and feetIf apparently the candidate is a match, then some visits to each others place are arranged for interview. Generally the girl is expected to go with her parents to the boy's place as India is still a male dominated society (of course things have started changing slowly). After the interview if the boy's side approves of the relation, they write accordingly to girl's parents and girl's side may respond positively or negatively .

If girl's side accepts the relation, further talks are held to finalize details such as
where the wedding should take place and in what manner and who bears how much of the expenses etc. These negotiations are vital as many weddings are not settled due to disagreement at this stage. Generally all expenses of wedding are to be borne by the girl's side. The girl's parents have to arrange for the wedding at mutually suitable place, on mutually acceptable date. In addition there is a ceremony of engagement also, when the settlement of marriage  is confirmed. This is known as the engagement ceremony and India - wedding jewellerytakes place earlier to actual wedding Marriages these days are very expensive. The wedding halls are required to be booked well in time.
 
The ceremony lasts for about one and half day. It is mainly a religious ceremony performed in the presence of many relatives and friends from both sides. 

By now the number of love marriages is growing and if the parents agree to the union, of course a traditional wedding will be performed. Otherwise the boy and the girl can get married on their own in a Registrar's office, often with the help of the Police...! 

 top

Delhi Varanasi Agra-Fort Taj Mahal in the country Amber-Fort
Jaipur Pushkar Jodpur.Mehr.Fort Jain-Templ.R. Udaipur Ind. Marriage

reflections on life, culture, religion


© 2000-2017 sights-and-culture.com contact us feedback
share