Sunday, December 29, 2013

mooh dikhai ki rasam

mooh dikhai ki rasam

Indian weddings are elaborate affairs full of pomp and splendour. The laughter, the songs and dances, the aroma of rich food that fills the air, the taste of a salty tear on a quivering lip, the warmth of affectionate smiles and tight embraces around you. Finally it's time to take the hand of the man you love and accept his family as your own and be accepted in turn.

The bride goes to her new home and is welcomed by the entire family. The family now indulges in a series of games and post-wedding rituals, amidst much laughter to make the new member feel comfortable. One such ritual is the Mooh dikhai ki rasam.

Literally translated, mooh dikhai means 'show your face', but this is a ritual, which helps to introduce the newly wed to members of her husband's family! Each member of the groom's family comes in turn to make an acquaintance with the new bride and shower her with gifts. The mother-in-law showers her with jewellery, clothes and money. The other close relatives of the family also offer her gifts and money.

The history
The ceremony is performed in slightly different ways across the country depending on the customs of that particular region. The most common way of performing the ceremony has the bride sitting with her face covered by a veil. The relatives come one by one to lift the veil, viewing the bride for the first time after the wedding and showering her with gifts. In olden times particularly this custom was very important because most of the womenfolk would not attend the wedding. The baraat generally travelled to the bride's village for the wedding. Because the travel was on foot or by horse, womenfolk generally stayed back. When the baraat came back with the new bride, the mooh dikhaicustom gave all the women a chance to meet the new member.

Traditionally, the Indian bride has to cover her face with her bridal veil or Ghoonghat. The mothers-in-law (and other ladies from the groom’s family) lift up this veil and offer gifts to the brides for ‘showing their faces’ thus welcoming them into the family. This ceremony is also held in Muslim, Gujrathi and Rajput weddings. Modern grooms may also offer the brides expensive gifts in the form of jewelry on the ‘first night’ after she has lifted her bridal veil.


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