Friday, April 5, 2013

Trend of Engagement Ceremony

I never got the big deal about the Engagement  Rings  it is not that I don’t appreciate  sparkle and  bling...
Because trust me I do it is just that I never quiet understand how one object could be such a defining function of a marriage from the way some girls going  about  it, you  would think the ring is ever more important than the –hubby- to-beJ.
 Though most of the people believe that  this trend of- ‘Engagement ceremony’ came from the west  but if you look deep into the Indian traditions the engagement ceremonies exist in one form or the other in different communities of India from a long time.,One of the most important pre-wedding rituals amongst them is the Engagement  Ritual.

An engagement ring is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married.  Engagement rings are traditionally worn only by women.

 It is known as ring ceremony, Aashirwad and  Mangni in different Indian communities.One of the most the engagement ceremony is the ceremony that restores - the fact from the family ancestors, which means they bestow good luck and blessings on the bride and bridegroom.

In some families the sagai ceremony is clubbed with the engagement itself. This is another pre- wedding ceremony, which strengthens the bond  between the both families. In sagai, the bride is given jewelry, clothes, make-up kit and baby toys  by the mother of the groom.A havan is also performed at times.

 On the other hand, the groom is put tilak and given gifts by the family of the bride. A havan is also performed at times. Here also a lot of gifts such as fruits, sweets, clothes are exchanged between the two.However,the essence of all these ceremonies is the same.Besides quiet often ,the date of te marriage is also decided and confirmed at these ceremonies.These ceremonies thus,conclude with the blessings of the elderly and the Almighty. 

Different Kinds of Engagement Ceremony

Christian Engagement

It is usually a small formal party. The church priest is invited to preside over and bless the couple. The date and venue for the marriage is formally announced to all present. The couple exchange rings and cut cake .Wedding preparations usually start after the engagement ceremony.

Gujarati Engagement

The Gujarati engagement is called as “sagai” or in some parts as the ‘gol dhana’ which literally means jaggery and coriander seeds referring to the practice of distributing a small amount of jaggery mixed with coriander seeds during the ceremony. The bride’s family presents the grooms family with a steel container filled with sweets and gifts and is called as the ‘matli’.

North Indian Ceremony

The engagement ceremony of north India is very different from the south. The engagement ceremony is performed soon after the marriage is finalized  The ritual of applying Tilak, followed by the exchange of rings by the bride and groom. Baskets of fruits, dry fruits, sweets etc. are exchanged between the two families. The bride is also gifted with a dress and jewelry by the groom’s family.

Muslim Engagement

The Muslim engagement ritual is usually with a ring exchange between the future bride and groom. The grooms’ family then presents the girl with a dress and jewellery.

 Different regions have different rituals.According to their community and family rituals.Generally the bride's family is organizing the place (their house) or some banquet hall.The family and relative of bride  and bride groom  gather for the forth coming wedding ceremony.Both then families exchange exchange sweets and good wishes.

A formal ring ceremony is then done to solemnize the engagement ceremony.A prospective bride and groom are introduced to each other's family. 

 A  lunch,dinner(depending up on the time of function)or high tea is organizing for that event.The engagement ceremony in South India is more like a commitment between both the families .The most important ritual is south Indian engagement function is the exchange of Traditional Plate
'Engagement plate' which consists of coconut, flowers, turmeric, beetle nuts  beetle leaves and sweets.

 What gets to me even more about the engagement ring is that most people think there is only one way to go,the Solitaire.

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