A Kashmiri Pandit Marriage in Pictures

A Kashmiri Pandit Marriage in Pictures

A Typical Kashmiri Pandit Marriage

Part 1

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

Part 1 of 7

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The picture on the left shows ladies of the house and their relatives burning "ISBAND" in the Kangri on the morning of the wedding day when the bridegroom is being dressed for the occasion. Along with "Isband burning" ladies sing the folk song of "Vanvun" called as "Henze". On the righthand side the groom is ready. He is seen supporting the traditional headgear called "Safa" which is a must for every Kashmiri groom to wear. 
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When the groom is ready to leave for the girl's place he is kissed on the forehead " Muthe" and hugged (Nalmot) first by mother and then by other persons of the family. The members of the marriage party "Yenivol" assemble at groom's place and witness these rituals. Every member of the "Yenivol" is dressed in his or her best.
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And then the custom of garlanding the groom by almost every body present starting with the eldest in the family, preferably a grandfather or father's elder brother. As seen in the picture even small kids take pride and happiness to garland the groom. An atmosphere of celebration and joy prevails all around. I remember in our childhood days way back some 30 years before, the children used to arrange for a "Poshmal" one day before so that they could garland the "Maharaza" the next day. We as children used to feel proud if offered a seat in the "Mahraza" car. 
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The groom is escorted out of the house by elders and relatives. A young boy always remains with the groom to hold a flower bedecked umbrella called as "Chattar". The boy is assigned this job for the whole day to keep the "Chattar" over the head of the groom. Seashells are blown what we call as "Shenk-Shabad" to express joy and thereby inform all around that the groom is about to leave. The groom is escorted out to a Rangoli called "Vyug". The groom stands on the "Vyug" and the eldest lady of the "Parivar", generally the grandmother offers sweets to the groom as a shagun and good omen. In olden days instead of sweets the groom was offered "Nabad" a sugar cube.

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After this "Vyug" ceremony the groom is escorted to the car by friends and brothers. Please note that groom is not allowed to walk alone as is the custom. He has to be escorted wherever he goes. I would add here that after the departure of the groom, the ladies folk of the house and their relatives used to encircle the "Yazmanbai" i.e. mother of the groom. Then they used to take rounds of the "Yazmanbai" in a circle, carrying lighted "Diyas" made of wheat and muttering some folk songs. I don't remember now what it used to be called. All the ladies folk of the house used to stitch a printed paper to their saris. The name of this paper I don't remember now. May be something like " Talij". Ah! old memories.

Uteesh DharPictures and Commentary provided by:

Uteesh Dhar, Ahmedabad 

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