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Sindhi Wedding Rituals

Sindhi Wedding Rituals

Indian culture and heritage upholds the sanctity of the institution of marriage with the richness of its traditions. Through innumerable generations, the nuptial knot has defined the very concept of ‘family’ in Indian culture and social communities. Marriages in India not only depicts the mere union of the bride and the groom, but also communion of their souls. Matrimony stands for the virtues of faith, trust and loyalty.

The occasion is thus celebrated and jubilated by the close and distant relatives of the concerned families. It is an event of great gaiety and frolic.

Originally hailing from the Sapt Sindhu, the area of the Sindhu River, Sindhi people are basically Sanatani Hindus and do not follow Hindu rites strictly. Sindhi weddings are mostly based on Vedic rites. Sindhi wedding rituals reflect the glimpses of Hinduism and Sufism. Their marriages are usually a lavish affair, characterized by great pomp and show. In the community, there are special priests known as Mehraj, who specialize in matchmaking and a Guryanni, who is entitled with the task of carrying the horoscopes of eligible boys and girls within the community.

Sindhi weddings are usually conducted on an auspicious day like the Satyanarayan Chandsi or the New Moon day. The gaiety and frolic begins within the family immediately after the families of the prospective bride and groom agree to their union. Sindhi weddings exemplify extreme grandeur and magnificence.

Sindhi wedding rituals comprise of interesting pre wedding, wedding and post wedding customs. The pre-wedding rituals of Janya, Kachchi Misri, Pakki Misri, Berana satsang, Mehendi, Santh, Saagri tradition and Ghari Puja set an atmosphere of merriment and celebrations.

These customs are succeeded by the Thread Ceremony, wherein turmeric powder and oil is applied to the Sindhi bride and groom in their respective houses. From then onwards, they are not allowed to step out of the house. This is followed by the traditional Swagatam custom, wherein the groom is led to the bride’s place. At the house entrance, the bridegroom places his right foot on the top of the bride’s foot. This gesture signifies his dominating strength. Thereafter, he enters the bride’s house. The bride’s brother washes the bride and the groom’s feet with milk and water, considering the groom to be a form of Lord Vishnu.

Hathialo tradition then follows wherein the groom’s scarf is tied to the bride’s sari after which the wedding ceremony follows. The bride and the groom take four rounds around the sacred fire while the priest recites verses from Holy Scriptures.

The groom takes the bride’s hand to his forehead. This gesture indicates that he accepts her as the better half of his life. The heads of the bride and groom are then held together. It represents that from now on, they are one in body, mind and spirit.

The Sindhi wedding is culminated by observing the ritual of Kanya Daan, wherein the bride’s parents hand her over to the groom.

Post wedding customs of Vidai, Datar, Chanar/Dev Uthana, Sataurah further magnify the resplendence and flamboyance of the marriage ceremony.

Marriage thus is ritualistically carried out in the Sindhi community as one of the most sacred and solemn customs of their sect.