Bunt Marriages

The Bunt community of South Kanara is neither tied to any religious custom nor bound by any Vedic ritual, but their marriages are elaborate and lavish.

Bunt marriages are almost always arranged by the parents. Once the alliance is fixed the family decides what to give the bride in terms of wealth.

Once this is confirmed, the astrologer picks an auspicious date for the wedding and invitations are sent out. Close family and friends are expected to attend the wedding regardless of the distance separating them! It is not unusual for almost a hundred guests to travel all the way from the USA for a Bunt wedding in Bangalore or Mangalore!

The Bunts’ wedding is relatively simple with fewer rituals. During the olden days, the ‘Gandharva Vivaham’ was in vogue; as soon as garlands were exchanged between the couple, the wedding got over. The contemporary version has accepted few additions. Escorted by her paternal aunt, the bride enters the wedding hall after observing ‘Thulasi Pooja’. Then, settled in a decorated seat, she accepts the “V” shaped wedding ring, ornaments and assorted gifts.

Dressed in formal attire with a ‘Petas’ or Turban, the bride’s parents pour water on a new gold coin placed in a plate and give away their daughter.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Nischitartham: The Engagement ceremony

The men folk from the bride's family proceed to the groom's house carrying a silver platter laden with betel leaves, betel nuts and flowers. An elder from the family is assigned the task of introducing the two families to each other. This visit is a mere formality to confirm the date and time of the forthcoming wedding. The exchange of betel leaves and nuts is a confirmation of the alliance and the elders are a witness to it.

These days the 'nischitartham' might even be a more elaborate occasion, where the bride and groom exchange diamond engagement rings and the family follows this up by hosting a lavish party for close friends and relatives.

No comments:

Post a Comment