Sindhi Wedding Ceremony & Rituals

Published: 17th November 2011
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In Sindhi community, there are special priests known as Mehraj, specializing in matchmaking and a Guryanni, who is mainly known for carrying the horoscopes of eligible boys and girls from house to house.

Sindhi weddings usually take place on an auspicious day, like all other Hindu Indian weddings. It is believed that the Satyanarayan Chandsi and the New Moon day are some of the most preferred days. In this article let us explore the rituals followed by the Sindhis in general.

The Sindhi customs mostly begin right from the time the prospective bride and the groom's family agree to the union, after matching the horoscopes of the two. A priest then fixes the date of wedding and both the families engage themselves in preparations and organizations for the marriage.

Kachchi Misri & Pakki Mishri Ceremony is the first pre wedding ritual conducted before marriage. Kachchi Misri, an informal engagement between the groom and the bride,where they are given coconuts and mishri as a symbolic acceptance that she/he is the one who belongs to the other family. One week prior to the wedding, the Pakki Mishri takes place.This refers to the formal engagement ceremony where rings are exchanged between the couple either in a temple or home in the presence of the priest.

Berana marks the start of the wedding ceremonies and is usually organized ten days before the wedding. Dev Bithani is conducted five to six days before the wedding after which the bride and groom are not allowed leave their homes. Ainars(marriage guards) are appointed to them who are generally their brother-in-laws.

Tih is conducted a day before the marriage where a priest, sent over by the girl's family who conducts puja with the groom to the Lord Ganesha.

Saanth/Wanwas is Conducted separately in the homes of the bride and the groom a day before the wedding. As part of this event seven married women pour oil in the center of the head of the groom/bride after which they wear a new shoe on their right foot and try to break an earthern lamp with it. If the groom/bride succeeds, it is considered a good omen.

Next is the mehndi night where the ladies of the bride's house sit together and beautify the bride. Sounds of music and dancing will be filling the air during this event. There will also be a sangeet party as part of this event celebrated with drinks and dance.

Saagri is a ritual, involves showering the bride with flowers to bless her. In the night the groom visits the bride's house where he is showered with garlands. A feast is held for the family. Ghari and Navgrahi puja are some of the quite a long procedural pujas held simultaneously before the wedding day at the respective homes of the bride and the groom.

The wedding day begins the Haldi ceremony. This is followed by both the bride and the groom, this involves the family members pouring oil and haldi all over the body and hair as a form of purification.

Sindhi weddings take place either in a temple, a gurudwara or a marriage hall. A mild screen is placed between the bride and the groom when they sit for the ceremony, as they are not supposed to see each other's face. They are asked to place their feet in a plate and it is believed that the partner whose feet is higher, will be the dominating one. Then the bride's mother washes their feet with milk and the pundit begins the religious chants. Shortly, the sheet is removed and the married couple take seven perambulations, conducted as per vedic rites around the sacred fire.

The last of the Sindhi wedding rituals, Saptapadi is performed when the couple places their right foot on seven small piles of rice. Afterwards, they touch the feet of the elders to seek their blessings.

After the wedding, the bride and the groom arrive separately by different routes to the home. As they approach the house, drums are beaten to announce their arrival. The new bride on arrival sprinkles milk in all corners of the house, following which she places a handful of salt in her husband's hand. This is with the belief that just as the salt mixes with everything and becomes invisible, the bride too mingle with her new family and become one with them.

The groom's family holds a reception on the evening following the wedding. Traditionally, after a short visit by the bride's father to her in-laws' house, the couple, at an auspicious time fixed by the priest, pays a visit to the paternal home of the bride.

The author is a Matrimony Research Analyst(MRA) in Arathy.com Matrimonials. http://www.arathy.com is one of the leading online matrimonial services provider in asia adding over 3000 profiles every month. It has brides and grooms from over 32 countries across the world. Register at www.arathy.com to view 1000s of brides and grooms.

This article was intitially published at http://arathymatrimony.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-marriages-happen-sindhi-community.html



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