There is a vital importance of the institution of marriage in the Indian culture, where the sanctity and richness of the traditions are well maintained, in any community, whether it is Hindu matrimony or Sindhi matrimony. The nuptial knot is the basic concept of any Indian family or social community in India.
A wedding is not just a union of the couple, but also their families. Wedding is believed to be a communion of the souls of the bride and the groom and the alliance is defines the virtues of faith, trust and loyalty in between the couple. The weddings are celebrated in India with great enthusiasm, and involves months of hard work and indulgence of the family members of both sides.
Relatives as well as the friends of the families of the bride and groom celebrate the wedding occasion with great gaiety and frolic. Similar is the case with Sindhi people, who hail from the Sapt Sindhu, an area of Sindhu River. The Sindhi community is the follower of Sanatani Hinduism, and has its own wedding customs and rituals, which are based on Vedic rites. The Sindhi Matrimony reflects the impact of both Hinduism and Sufism in its culture. The weddings in the Sindhi community are a lavish affair, which include a number of traditional customs and rituals.
Sindhi community has priests known as Mehraj and Guryanni. These priests specialize in matchmaking, and match the horoscopes of prospective brides and grooms within the Sindhi community. Here is a description of the pre-wedding rituals in the Sindhi matrimony.
The Janya is the sacred thread ceremony. In the Sindhi matrimony, the boy wears a yellow thread around his shoulders and waist. The priest or Mehraj reads the guru mantra in the ears of the groom. As per the old traditions, the Janya ceremony should be conducted in adolescence, however, these days, Janya is done a day or two before the marriage.
It is the informal engagement in Sindhi matrimony, where the groom and bride are given coconuts and candid sugar as a symbolic acceptance of the alliance.
Pakki mishri is the formal engagement, which involves exchange of rings between the perspective bride and groom, in the presence of the priest. Ganesh pooja is conducted which is followed by Ardas.
A deity of a stone grinder is installed at the respective homes of both bride and groom, five-six days before the marriage. A priest performs Banwa, a ritual in which the family members apply tilak on the grinder.
In the Lada ceremony, the family of the groom invites the women from neighborhood, and they sing the traditional songs on the beats of dholak.
Tih is conducted a day before the wedding day, when a priest brings some rice, a coconut, nine dates, 21 candied sugar bars of size 2 inches, sugar, some spices and green silk yarn, from girl’s side.
This ritual is performed at the respective houses of the bride and groom, where a priest ties an ankle around the right foot of the groom and the bride. Seven married women pour oil on the head of the groom and the bride. The bride and groom are then supposed to wear a new shoe on their right foot and an earthen lamp with it, and the breaking ensures that it is good omen.
Mehendi and Sangeet
Like other weddings, the Sindhi matrimony also includes a grand ceremony, where the hands and feet of the bride are applied with beautiful patterns of henna. The women of the family and the young girls also apply henna on their hands. The women of the family celebrate the wedding by singing traditional songs, wishing the happy and prosperous married life to the couple.