Saturday, March 13, 2010
s,s,tual and celebration, that continue for
filled with ri
s,tual and celebration, that continue for several days. They are not small affairs, often with 400-1000 people attending (many of whom are unknown to the bride and groom). Though most marriages are arranged, some couples in urban areas have love marriages. The true Indian wedding is about two families getting wedded socially with much less emphasis on the individuals involved. Many of the wedding customs are common among the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and even Muslims. They are a combination of local, religions and family traditions. dress was the
he Hindus attach a lot of importance to marriages and the ceremonies are very colorful and extend for several days. In India, where most Hindus live, the laws relating to marriage differ by religion.
By the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 passed by the Union Parliament of India, for all legal purposes, all Hindus of any caste, creed or sect, Sikh, Buddhists and Jains are considered as Hindus for the sake of the Hindu marriage Act – and can hence intermarry. By the Special Marriage Act, 1954, a Hindu can marry a non-Hindu employing any ceremony provided certain legal conditions are fulfilled.
The pre-wedding ceremonies include engagement (involving vagdana or oral agreement and lagna-patra written declaration), and arrival of the groom’s party at the bride’s residence, often in the form of a formal procession.
The post-wedding ceremonies involve welcoming the bride to her new home. Just as Hinduism is hard to grasp and contrast against the newer, book-defined, structured religions such as Christianity and Islam, India’s prevalent wedding traditions are also hard to categorize purely on a religious basis. They have a closer similarity to ancient cultures such as Greek, Roman, Persian, Egyptian and Chinese.
An important thing to note is that despite the fact that the modern Hinduism is largely based on the puja form of the worship of devas as enshrined in the Puranas, a Hindu wedding ceremony at its core is essentially a Vedic yajna (a fire-sacrifice), in which the Aryan deities are invoked in the Indo-Aryan style. It has a deep origin in the ancient ceremony of cementing the bonds of friendship/alliance (even among people of the same sex or people of different species in mythological contexts), although today, it only survives i