Kerala is a beautiful amalgamation of three kinds of wedding rituals: Nair weddings, Syrian Christian, along with other Indian forms of weddings. It is interesting to see how each wedding is in some way similar to the other but, very different too. The exchange of trays
marks the finalization of the match in case of Nair and other weddings while fixing of the church and taking permission from authorities marks the finalization in case of Christian weddings
. The Christian wedding marks its opening with an oil bath and sweet banana milk that both bride and bridegroom have. The bride then reaches the Church in the car sent by the bridegroom where they exchange their vows. A party before the marriage and visit to the temple to seek blessings opens the marriage ceremonies for the Hindu weddings. For the Hindu weddings, the ceremonies are conducted either at the bride’s home or in a large auditorium. First, the groom is welcomed by the bride’s brother before they sit at the mandap to exchange the vows. It is during the actual ceremony that they tie the Mangalsutra, apply sindoor and perform the rituals that complete the ceremony.
The traditional Hindu wedding is divided between Nair weddings and the normal Hindu weddings. A very typical Hindu wedding is basically very simple in both style and attire. During the marriage, there are few very important rituals and they happen to be common for all kinds of Hindu weddings. The tying of Thaali, the Kanyadanam where the girl’s father gives the bride to the groom, the giving away of clothes and, finally the drinking of sweet milk marks the various rituals of a typical Kerala Hindu wedding. In case of the Christian weddings, exchange of rings marks the completion of the marriage ceremonies. Signing in the marriage register solemnizes the marriage for both kinds of marriages.
Style & Attire
The bride wears the traditional Kerala sari for the wedding. The sari, which is the famous Kerala Kasavu sari, is plain white with a golden border that makes it appear beautiful in every way. Gold is a very integral part of Kerala weddings. The bride wears everything right from a beautiful necklace to waist band to earrings etc. in gold. The mangtikka and everything is also in pure gold. The bride is covered with gold from top to toe. The families are dressed in various traditional saris which are mostly silk. The traditional Hindu weddings would see a lot of gold even on the guests. Men have to wear dhoti and kurta that is made of silk. In case of Christian weddings, the bride wears a beautiful and charming white gown and the groom wears a suit made of white. The serene beauty of Kerala weddings lies in the white colour.
Present Day Scenario & Global Appeal
Modernity has replaced a few rituals here and there in a typical Kerala wedding. Though among the different wedding traditions, Kerela has still maintained the basic crust of ethnicity in the wedding rituals and customs. With a cocktail party to begin the marriage celebrations with, and hiring wedding photographers and decorators to tastefully design the wedding decor and ambiance, weddings in Kerala have come a long way in terms of glamor and style.
The wedding tradition has even captured the hearts of many across the world. Many people living in foreign lands have showcased this tradition in their movies and other cultural arts. In fact, the traditional south sari has also appealed to many, including famous celebrities like Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherjee, who have often been seen flaunting these saris for red carpet events. Though Gold jewelry still exists in this land, there are many other things that have roped modernity into these marriages.
In fact, the modern rituals have roped in web matchmaking too where the brides and grooms search for their matches on the internet. Inter caste marriages have gained massive popularity too in this region. Ring ceremony has been introduced in the Hindu marriages as well. Engagement and temple visit was a part of Nair customs initially that has spread its wings beautifully over other Hindu marriages in Kerala. In fact, hair styles that were too traditional and used to be tied in a bun shape have changed with times. Now brides opt for loose hair styled in different, stylish ways.
Interesting Facts & Comparisons
- The famous Bollywood movie ‘Dil Se portrayed the traditional engagement ceremony of Kerala in the most beautiful manner
- The wedding traditions are divided into Hindu, Nair, Christian and Muslim and, each tradition has some roots that are in sync with the traditional Kerala.
- Kerala is known for the best mix of traditional and unconventional marriages.
- Monsoon weddings are very famous in this region since it is a favorable climate.
- Several people come from different cities, or countries to celebrate their weddings due to Kerala’s splendid natural beauty.