Sindhi Wedding Customs
Kachchi misri ( Misri= Sweet)
After the approval of both the families, the first formal ceremony takes place.
The girl/boy is given mishri and coconut to signify that she/he is the one, who belongs to the other family.
This is called Kuchcha shagun or Kachchi Misri.
The formal engagement ceremony or the Pakki Mishri takes place a week before the wedding. The boy and the girl exchange rings and there is a get together of family members and close friends.
Ten days before the wedding, a satsang in the name of the Sindhi God, Jhulelal is organised. This is called Berana. It signifies the start of the ceremonies for the forthcoming wedding.
Mehendi ceremony where the girl’s hands and feet are adorned with prettymehendi patterns. At this time the women in the family get together, play music. Folk songs are also sung on this day. On this day is the Wanwas. In this the girl and the boy are asked to wear their old clothes, which are torn and discarded once the ceremony is over. These clothes are then wrapped into a bag and thrown into the sea/river.
‘Santh‘ is ceremony where seven married women put oil on the girl’s head. It is performed the night before the wedding. The bride is then asked to break the cover of an earthen pot placed before her in a go. If she succeeds, it is considered to be a good sign.
Like the bachelor party hosted by the groom’s side there is a party which the bride gives her girlfriends as a maiden called the ladies sangeet.
The Saagri or showering of the bride with flowers is performed on the same evening. The groom’s married sisters, cousins and the small children from his side go to the bride’s place with the jewellery made of mogra.The sisters dress the bride in a silk saree and then adorn her with all the flower jewellery. In the night the groom visits the bride’s house where he is showered with garlands. A feast is held for the family. This ceremony signifies the blessings which are showered on the bride in the form of flowers.
Ghari Puja is carried out in the respective homes of the couple. The priest performs the prayers with rice, coconut, wheat grains, oil, betel nuts, turmeric and a number of other spices.
Married ladies grind wheat on a small old-fashioned grinder symbolising that the home will always be prosperous. The groom offers a handful of grains to the priest indicating he will always give to charity and look after those less fortunate than himself.
The mothers of both the bride and groom dress up in their bridal finery. Carrying an earthen pot of water on their heads, they walk to the threshold of their homes. The sons-in-law of the respective families cut the water with a knife to ward off any evil spirits.
The parents are adorned with garlands of flowers and money by their friends and relatives. The bride and groom wear old clothes that are torn off by their friends and family members amidst merriment, illustrating the end of their old life.
The wedding day begins with a series of traditional rituals.
The first is the thread ceremony, without which the wedding is incomplete. Oil and haldi is applied to his hair and body and from then, he cannot move out of the house.
His brother-in-law (Aner) sits next to him with a knife, symbolic of a protector. Similarly, the bride too goes through a haldi and oil massage ritual at her place. Haldi is meant to work as a cleanser and purifier. The bride too is not allowed to leave the house after this ceremony.
After the bride dresses up in her wedding ensemble, her sisters or female relatives escort the groom to the bride’s house. At the entrance, the groom places his right foot on the top of the bride’s foot, signifying that he should be the dominating strength in their life together. After the groom enters the house, the bride’s parents rinse his feet with milk and water. It is believed that due to all the prayers that have preceded this moment, the groom is an embodiment of Lord Vishnu on this wedding day.
In this ceremony, the corner of the bride’s sari is tied to a scarf, which is worn by the groom. The right hands of the couple are tied with a thread that has been blessed with religious incantations. The tying of the hands signifies an eternal bond that will join them forever. The couple then prays to the Gods to give them strength and bless their union.
The Wedding Ceremony
The wedding ceremony is performed by the priest in the presence of family and friends. The bride and groom are seated in front of a holy fire and the priest recites various religious sayings from the Holy scriptures.
According to the Hindu religion, fire is considered the sustainer of life. It is believed that the Gods and Goddesses sit around this auspicious fire. The priest directs various family members to give offerings into the holy fire. The couple walks around the fire four times exchanging vows of duty and love, fidelity, respect and a fruitful union. The groom then places the brides hand on his forehead, to denote that he accepts her as his wife for better of for worse, in health or in sickness and that it his destiny to marry her. The couples heads are held together implying that although they are separate individuals, from this day onwards, they are one in body, mind and spirit.
The bride’s parents entrust their daughter in the safe keeping of the groom and his family.
After friends and family have greeted the couple, they leave for the groom’s house. At the entrance of their new home the bride’s feet are rinsed by the groom’s parents. A cover is placed over her head as she sprinkles milk in all corners of the house. The bride picks up a handful of salt and places it in the hands of her husband. He passes it back into her hands without spilling any salt, this is done three times. Similarly, the “datar” is carried out with all members of the groom’s family. Exchanging salt symbolises that just as salt blends in and gives taste to food, so must the bride blend in and become a part of her new family.
Sindhi Wedding Songs in MP3: