A wedding is a beautiful amalgamation of two people, their families and their love. Especially Indian weddings, which are so full of color and celebration! Different castes celebrate in a special way such as the Tamil Brahmins who have some unique rituals of their own such as the Kashi Yatra!
India is a country full of myriad cultures. The people and the culture are different across the country. They have their ways of celebrating each occasion and event. Weddings tend to mark a big day in a person’s life. They are about marking a new chapter. It also allows a family to express their love, joy and bittersweet sorrow in their personal way. Centuries of traditions and customs have enabled us to create our own traditions. If you are the bride or the groom it can be exciting, nerve wracking and joyous at the same time. Through their dress, their jewelry, songs and decorations they pay homage to their roots and background. We maybe living in 2018 but we can’t stop loving our past! After all, what are we without our culture? Indians take weddings intensely and how! We grow up attending several weddings and they enrich us. Every little custom has its own meaning and quirk. Wouldn’t you love to know exciting customs or fun little traditions like the Kashi Yatra?
Some traditions remain the same through India but a little variations does happen. Every caste, culture, region brings its special flavor to the table of buffet that is India. If you are an Indian or have ever been to an Indian wedding, you will realize what we mean. Jokes aside, there are few places in India that have fun traditions and things. A typical and traditional Tamil Brahmin wedding is a perfect example of that. The right mix of traditional ceremonies such as the Kalyanam and quirky customs such as the Kashi Yatra.
Tamil Brahmins usually belong to Tamil Nadu in Southern India. The younger generation may be based anywhere in India for work or financial purposes but they go back to Tamil Nadu for weddings. If a trip back to native place isn’t possible then they bring Tamil Nadu to where ever they are.
The world is changing and India is slowly adapting to this new world. Earlier marriages would be fixed by an elder or parents. They would select a suitable partner for their son or daughter based on horoscope, financial and social compatibility and caste. Nowadays the young girls and boys are practical. They tend to chose a partner personally instead of letting society dictate it. Still families are consulted after the couple decides to take the plunge. The families of the boy and the girl meet. They know the result but the way to reach it is what they discuss. A date is fixed based on horoscopes and the astrological guidance of priests. Families also chose to have a small engagement ceremony. This marks the official betrothal of the couple and the joining of the two families. The bride’s family offers fruit, sweets and food to the guests to celebrate this day. While these are fun in their way, an exciting event is one that happens on the day of the wedding.
The Kashi Yatra or a pilgrimage is what the groom has to take before he gets married. Wearing a traditional lungi and holding an umbrella, walking stick and a parcel of food, the groom is ready to elope! He decides to walk out of the mandap or mandapam before the pheras begin. Kashi is the sacred city of India where learned men and ascetics go to attain celibacy and monk hood. A Kashi Yatra is usually done to achieve peace and discard material pleasures.The father of the bride has to plead and argue with the groom to change his mind. This adds a twist and excitement to a traditional ceremony by livening things up.
Photo by Agence Tophos