Amalgamation of South and North! #blogprompt #weddingseason

Amalgamation of South and North! #blogprompt #weddingseason

Marriage is more than just a marriage of two individuals; it is also a union of two families. And, as the saying goes, you can never have a fun-filled, content existence if your family is unhappy. 

I and my husband made sure to keep the above-mentioned notion in mind as we planned our wedding.
But it wasn't that simple. Sabko khush karna is similar to a television series with multiple seasons so that each actor has a decent role to play. When we agreed on one ritual, another would appear, causing all of our preparations to be for nought.

The long-distance calls the whole day had become a part of our daily routine. All thanks to our mobile networks, since those days we had these happy hours plan, which helped us with our long-distance calls during the night.

After all the tu tu main main, we decided on a North Indian-style wedding with a twist, as I mentioned in my previous blog (My wedding diary- Tsunami inside me!). 

Oh my! I thought to myself as I was compiling the ritual list. How many rituals do you think exist in a Marwari wedding?
My Amma would tease, "Aur karo North Indian se shaadi!" I was literally in splits at the time. But, by then, Ekta Kapoor had planted the seed of a spectacular wedding in my heart and spirit.

First, let me describe some of the main rituals in both traditions.

Jai mala and Pheras are the two central ceremonies at a North Indian wedding. The bride and groom meet each other and exchange garlands in front of all the guests at Jai mala, and the couple seeks blessings from everyone. After dinner, they make their way to the mandap for the pheras. In the mandap, Kanyadaan is performed first, followed by pheras. In Pheras, the bride, and the groom form seven circles around a ceremonial fire, with each round representing one of the seven vows the couple makes in front of the purest element, fire. The priests chant mantras, and the family bestows their blessings in the form of flowers and rice. Following the pheras, the groom puts sindoor (vermillion) on the bride's head and ties the mangalsutra around her neck. With this, the couple is now formally declared as husband and wife.

Thali Kettu is the main ceremony in a Kerala Hindu wedding, where the couple exchanges a vara mala (garland) and a bouquet. The couple then goes around a Nilavilakku (lamp) and Nirapara (a coconut flower set atop a vessel full of rice) three times before the groom ties a Thali (a paan shaped locket with yellow string/Mangalsutra) around the bride's neck. This is followed by kanyadanam, and the couple is then officially married.

So, when my husband and I were planning the rituals, we decided to combine both traditions. The northern Jai mala ceremony was quite similar to Kerala's Thali kettu. So, in addition to the Jai mala, we decided to have thaali kettu. Both families were pleased to see their traditions being upheld in this manner. We missed the Nirapara because we were unable to arrange coconut flowers in Varanasi, but we made sure to have Nilavilaku at the mandap where the pheras were taken.

Instead of a Mangalsutra (a black beaded necklace), my spouse had a Thaali made according to Kerala traditions. To be honest, I was surprised to see the yellow string with the paan shaped locket in his palm. This tiny gesture had strengthened my feelings for him. 

Although the traditions were different and, above all, there was a language barrier, we, were able to make our big day unforgettable thanks to the efforts of both families.
As my friends put it, they were delighted to attend a North Indian wedding with a touch of the South sprinkled in.
I term it as, Amalgamation of South and North!

Dear Readers, Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. Please share about the wedding traditions you followed. I'd like to read all of them. 
I wish you, everyone, a very Happy New Year. Let us greet 2022 with zeal and zest!
Love,
Saumya

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