Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jai mala/ Var Mala Ceremony (the exchange of wedding garlands)

The Var Mala ceremony takes place after the groom arrives at the venue. He waits eagerly on stage for his bride to arrive.

So you’ll get to see Marcus eagerly waiting for the click clack sound of Mitali's boots. What he'll get to hear instead will be a welcoming music that will announce the entry of Mitali and her procession.

The bride's arrival is an exciting time and everyone flocks around to get the first glance of the bride in her finery. Once she gets on stage, which considering the weight of the bridal lehnga (the traditional Indian wedding attire) is no mean task, the couple exchanges garlands.
As you must have realized by now, nothing in an Indian wedding can be done simply. You can't just go for a facial; you need an entire ceremony around it. And the groom can't simply walk into the venue - we need a parade to announce his entry.

Similarly, the couple can’t just put garlands around each other; that would be boring! So instead the simple process of exchanging garlands becomes a show of strength. If the bride is able to put the garland around the groom's neck with ease, that means he will be a meek, obedient husband. And irrespective of what goes on behind closed doors, no groom wants to admit that in public! So friends and family of the groom's side lift him up to make it difficult for the bride to put on the garland. And not to be left behind, the bride's side lifts her up to make sure she gets the garland on.

So when you're at the ceremony, make sure you grab a leg and hoist them up as they struggle to gain the power in the marriage. If only it were so simple in real life!

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