January , 2019
Social importance of pre- and post-wedding events
12:19 pm

Ellora De

Indian wedding ceremonies continue to reflect the traditional features of various Indian communities. The age-old Indian mantra ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ from Taittriyo Upanishad, which means, “Guests are God,” is the prevailing code. Weddings in India are an elaborate process involving various rituals, customs, and social events.

Pre-wedding ceremonies typical to the north Indian states like sangeet and mehendi have now been largely adapted across India. Western concepts such as bachelor/bachelorette party and bridal shower have also become popular. The essentially Bengali concept of ‘aaiburobhat’ (last meal before being married) is also being followed by many other Indian communities.  

These pre- and post- wedding ceremonies carry huge social importance in this digital era. The new generation brides and grooms are mostly face short of time. Families today are nuclear and weddings provide an excellent opportunity to reconnect with the extended family and friends. Ajanta De, Science Lead of Oakland Chartered High School, California, USA, told BE, “When I got married, I was in the middle of a Ph.D. programme at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA. I only got a few days leave for my wedding in India and could not wait to see my family and friends after two long years. I knew that with a long guest list and innumerable rituals on the day of the wedding, it would be impossible to personally interact with everyone. We carefully planned the guest lists for our pre and post wedding events to maximize the time spent with our loved ones. In hindsight, I realise that the quality time that we spent with our near and loved ones were actually spent during the events that preceded and followed the wedding.”

Oishani Chowdhury, a Sociology graduate student from Miranda House, University of Delhi, informed, “Apart from being the legalisation of love, inheritance, proprietorship and a lot of other things, the rituals and events preceding and following a marriage or a wedding ceremony hold a very important position in almost every culture. One might even say that the events associated with a wedding are a true reflection of the culture that the wedding belongs to. It is true that engagement ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, sangeet, mehendi and similar such events preceding a marriage ceremony in every culture holds a great deal of importance in establishing a decent relationship between the families of the bride and the groom. However, when we look beyond the naïveté of these events and take a different perspective, such events are also aimed to display and establish the financial status of the families involved.”

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