Indian Marriages- The Colorful Extravaganza

Be it the best of times or a global economic slowdown or people are stuck in the deepest recession, Indian weddings were and have been and shall always be an extravaganza. The most auspicious of all events, weddings are greeted with great pomp and joy. For Indians, wedding is an important occasion in the lives of people. It is considered to be a sacred union of two beautiful creations of God, between two individuals and the knitting of an extended family in one unit. Marriage is considered a divine institution where two people are bonded in a relation that is considered to be forever or “saat janam”. With weddings come immense tasks as well. From jeweler shopping to buying clothes and gifts and then the extravagant and colorful arrangements as well, weddings are an elaborate and worldly affair.

Indian Marriages- The Colorful Extravaganza

Families are busy with all the arrangements to make the marriage a success. Arranged marriage is most common here with people usually hesitating to get their sons and daughters get married to people of their choice. People search for eligible partners for their wards though the scene is changing with the changing times and the onset of matrimonial sites and social changes in the society, things seem to be on the brighter side now! India is a country where it is considered “Unity in Diversity”. People belong to various religions and castes and all have their separate traditional ways of marriage. Writing about all of them would invite a book of more than a thousand pages with all the different customs followed.

The procedure usually followed for a marriage is as such:

  • Families get to interact with each other and see if the alliance of the two individuals will work perfectly or not. The two individuals get to know each other in the same short span of time as well.
  • If things go well, it is followed by an engagement or exchange of rings that makes the union of the two souls possible. The two individuals give gifts and blessed by both the families.
  • The pre-marriage ceremonies like the haldi ceremony in the Hindu weddings and this is usually followed by sangeet or tilak ceremonies. The South Indians celebrate by Janasavam, a necessary ritual that finds similarity with the Christian style where the priest asks the two individuals whether they would like to be bonded for life.
  • And finally the day comes, where on a specific time known as “Shubh muhurat”, the two individuals tie their knots and get together. They wear beautiful bright clothes, as defined by their cultures. Like in the Christian style, the groom is in a suit and the bride is in a beautiful white gown with a white veil. In the Hindu style, the groom wears a sherwani or dhoti and the bride wears a beautiful saree or lehenga, usually red in color with gold embroidery.

With that the celebration does not end. There is supposed to a great party given where guests and relatives come from the groom’s and the bride’s side to celebrate. Gifts are bestowed upon the newly wedded couple. There is good food and people dance on the popular songs. Indian marriages are a time for fun and frolic. But this very institution of getting together of two people seems to have become a show for display of competition and ostentatious show of jeweler and clothes, in short of money with the spread of materialistic aspirations taking over the country.

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