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Indian Wedding Rituals that are Strange: Part 1

This blog post is part of a series of blog post on Indian Wedding Rituals. Stay connected for Part 2 of this blog next week!

 

The diversity of India is reflected in its people, food, language and most of all in its wedding traditions. A wedding in the north can be completely different from one celebrated in the south.  While there are a lot of common wedding rituals, some are strange but there are a few that are just outright weird. For the one following the tradition, there is always an emotional relationship and a duty to carry it forward through the generations.

 

 

Here are 7 Wedding Rituals That are Just Weird

1. Marrying a peepul dog/tree

According to astrology, being ‘Manglik’ is considered a fatal flaw in his or her ‘kundli’. It is believed that if such a person marries another, it can result in early death for the one who isn’t. A number of crazy cures are advised for brides in case they are faced with this astrological accident. To ward off the evil eye, a simple religious ceremony solves the issue. A dog or a Peepal tree is employed to get married to her in a grand ceremony. After the ritual is over, the bride is considered to have warded off the evil eye and is now free to marry anyone. This humiliating ritual is deeply patriarchal in nature as no such advice is given to a ‘Manglik’ man

 

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2. Balancing of Pots

 

In an old Bihari ritual, the moment a bride enters her husband’s home, she is supposed to balance a number of pots on her head and touch the feet of elders. After every 5 minutes, a new one is added to her head. The Bride has to ensure that she does the chores with the maximum number of pots intact. In earlier times, the bride would get ridiculed for every pot falling on the ground.

 

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3. Mother banned from the wedding

In some Bengali Weddings, the bride’s mother is forbidden from attending the wedding. It is believed that her presence will result in harm for the daughter’s married life. Again this tradition may be considered patriarchal as no such limitation is put on the father. The mother is said to be possessing evil-eye and thus this terrible tradition!

4. Name change – first name

In parts of Northern and Western India, the practice of completely changing the bride’s name post marriage is followed. The new name is decided on the basis of the bride and grooms’ astrological charts. The last name is the same as the grooms’. This practice is found commonly in urban areas as well. It is certainly not a good practice as it denies the bride to a right to her identity.

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5. Washing of Feet

Another commonly practised ritual, it involves the bride or the bride’s parents being made to wash the feet of the groom when he arrives for the wedding. In the earlier days, the people walked barefoot from village to village but today this tradition seems archaic. In some Assamese weddings, the bride’s sister is made to wash the feet of the groom which can be humiliating.

6. Kashiyatra

In Tamil weddings, Kashiyatra is a popular wedding ritual and is taken today as an activity just for fun. In this ritual, the groom gets up from the wedding and acts out a pre-planned script where he has given up on worldly pleasures. He picks up an umbrella, a walking stick and a towel containing simple food and sets off to lead the life of an ascetic. The bride’s father stops him and convinces him about the benefits of married life. Also, he promises him that his daughter will support him throughout his life. All this seems like an innocent and fun exercise. But the question is, why isn’t it acceptable for the bride to do a Kashiyatra?

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7. Hide the Bride – Tribal Wedding Ritual

In certain tribal weddings, a man is supposed to marry women and keep her hidden from society for a year. Exactly after one year, a ceremony is held where she can come out and interact with people. This regressive ritual should certainly be ended quickly?

Feeling depressed after reading this blog? Stay connected for the part 2 of this blog which is coming next week called ‘Indian Wedding Rituals that are Strange: Part 2 Funny Rituals.’

 

In conclusion, traditions sometimes get a new meaning with the changing times and some turn out to be regressive. Arya Samaj weddings have their own set of rituals which are interesting. Here is a look at Arya Samaj Marriage Procedures, Rituals & Everything You Need to Know about It

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