|The Brahmins of Kashmir are some common surnames: Kaul, Raina, Matoo, Tikoo, Dha
Keywords Gota:. Bhandawar: , Badia:, Shagun:,Mehenzeraat: , Phoolan ka gehna: Devgun: , Sanzvaru: , Seherabandi: , Baraat: Lagan:Posh Puja,Bidaai,Dahi bhaat,Garasun:
Gota: The making of thin flakes of pistachios, almonds and betel nuts Bhandawar: “Announcement of the wedding”
To announce that a wedding is going to take place in the family, mango leaves are strung on a strong cotton string and hung at the entrance of the home. This string of mango leaves is known as the “bhandawar”. Multani Mitti or white clay soaked in water and mixed with different colours, is used to paint floral designs called “krool” on the entrance wall to mark the auspicious occasion.
Badia Ceremony:”Acceptance of the alliance between both the families” Badias’ are small, sun-dried salted cakes with holes in the center. These are made out of’urad dal’ (lentil) flour, mustard seed oil and spices like coriander, ‘jaivitri’, ‘saunf’ (aniseed), nutmeg etc. Silver coins are placed in the holes of these ‘badias’ and the bride’s family, as an acceptance of the wedding between the two families then sends them across to the groom’s house.Shagun: “Delicacy fed to all the guests “For the Shagun ceremony the Vaza or cook, prepares a porridge made from rice and finely chopped intestines of the goat. This special delicacy is fed to all the guests and relatives. During the ‘Shagun’, ‘badias’ are cooked once again. The lady who prepares the dough for the ‘badias’ has a special task – in a terracotta dish she places the rice, ‘badias’, salt and money and holds this on her shoulder while she kneads the dough for the ‘badias’. This spread of rice, ‘badias’, salt and money is known as the “ZUNG”. The Zung is then given away to the poor and needy as a gesture of goodwill.Mehenzeraat: “Beautification of the bride or the henna ceremony “The ceremony of applying henna on the bride and the groom is always performed in the night. In earlier times the henna was applied only on the palms and the nails of the bride, with a mere blob dabbed on the feet. These days however, intricate patterns are created by professional ‘mehendiwallis’ all over the palms, forearms and on the feet right up to the ankles. The feast after the henna ceremony is a gala and grand dinner with several dishes made of sheep or goat meat. The Kashmiris consider chicken meat as taboo. No meat other than that of a goat or a sheep is served.
Phoolon ka gehn: “The bride is decorated with jewellery made from flowers.”The first formal acceptance of the confirmation of the wedding is sent from the groom’s family to the bride’s home in the form of jewellery made entirely from flowers. Fresh red roses and jasmine flowers are used to create necklaces, earrings, the ‘tikka’, braids for the bride’s hair, anklets, waist bands, also known as “tagadis”, arm bands or “bazubands”, and a special thumb ring called ‘arsi”. The “arsi” has a small mirror embedded in it to enablethe bride to look at herself.Devgun: “Ritual baths for the bride and groom”
This ritual is held simultaneously in the homes of the bride and the groom. Six unmarried girls tie ‘curds’ or yogurt in a muslin cloth and hold it over the heads of the bride and the groom and pour water through this to bathe them. Sanzvaru: “Decorating the bride” This is typically an evening function where the groom’s family sends a carved wooden chest containing a pashmina shawl and cosmetics for the bride. ‘Sanz’ means decorative and ‘varu’ means ‘things’. The wooden chest is wrapped with a heavily embroidered satin or velvet cloth with the words “Sada Suhagan” (wishes for the bride to live a long and happy married life) embroidered on it.Seherabandi:”Tying of the groom’s traditional headdress” The groom’s brother-in-law ties the traditional ‘pagadi’ or headdress and the ‘sehra’ or floral veil for the groom. The ‘pagadi’ is stitched form ‘banarsi silk’ fabric. During the tying of the ‘pagadi’ and ‘sehra’ the groom is made to stand on the entrance of the home where colourful designs have been made on the floor – this is known as the ‘Veghu’. All the elders of the family shower coins on to the ‘veghu’ after having taken them around the groom’s head a few times. This is done to keep away the ‘evil eye’ from the groom!Baraat: “Arrival of the groom and his family” The bride is adorned with all the jewellery given to her by her parents. They also present her with an ensemble called the ‘pucca panch daan’, literally translated, means 5 of everything: e.g. 5 bangles, 5 sets of earrings, 5 necklace sets and a ‘tagadi’ or waistband. A ‘veghu’ is created in the bride’s home and her maternal uncle or ‘mama’ carries her up to it. The groom arrives in a decorated car (horses do not form a part of Kashmiri weddings) up to the ‘veghu’ and is welcomed with the sprinkling of rose water. The couple is then escorted to partake of the grand vegetarian feast, hosted by the bride’s family. The groom eats on a silver plate and after that, the bride is fed from the same plate. The bride’s parents usually fast during this occasion. Lagan: “The actual wedding ceremony “After the gala vegetarian meal, the Guru performs the wedding ritual around the sacred fire. The couple takes the ‘pheras’ or seven steps around the fire, after which they are made to sit facing each other under a pashmina shawl. This is the Lagan same shawl, which was sent to the bride’s home by the groom’s family for the ‘Sanzvaru’ ceremony. They can now view each other in a silver mirror. The wedding ritual is very long and sometimes lasts the whole night! Midway during the ritual the couple is allowed to rest for about a half hour.Posh Puja: “Blessing the couple with flowers “
‘Posh’ means flower in Kashmiri. The morning after the wedding ritual, the couple is made to stand up to receive blessings from all the relatives. Members from the groom’s family stand near the bride and members from the bride’s family stand next to the groom. The couple is then blessed by one and all with the showering of rose petals.Bidaai: “Bridal send off “The bride stands on the ‘veghu’ and takes a few coins in her hands, which she throws over the top of her head. She is now ready to be escorted to her new home. Dahi bhaat: “Arrival of the bride in her new marital home “On arrival at the marital home the couple is made to sit on large, sturdy, upturned baskets and feed each other sweet rice and curd. At this point, the ‘Dejeharooh’ is removed and the bride is adorned with silver tassels or ‘Atahroo’, signifying that she is now a married lady.Garasun: “Bringing the bride back to her parents home for a day “
The bride’s brother and sister come to the marital home and escort the bride back to her parent’s home for one day. This ritual is known as the ‘garasun’. The bride wears all the jewellery given to her by her in-laws and proceeds to her parent’s home. The bride’s family prepares a lavish spread of non-vegetarian delicacies for the relatives from both homes. After the grand meal, the bride and groom return to the marital home, carrying with them all the gifts presented to the bride by her parents.
Kashmiri Shia Muslim
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