INDIAN SIKH WEDDING
it is a great source of wealth to have a cultural minority in your region with a still strong style, tradition and religion that continues to maintain in a foreign country even for those who host it and have the opportunity to get to know another culture. We were lucky to be able to participate in this event, the longest and most original we have ever attended: an Indian Sikh wedding.
BIG FAT INDIAN SIKH WEDDING
The Indian Sikh wedding in India is an event that gathers all families and neighbors and usually takes up to a week, outside of India, by convention, it is reduced to four days. In the first three days the premarital rites take place while the last day is dedicated to the actual celebratory event. During the premarital rites the couple cannot see each other, they will see each other only on the last day, the big day of the Sikh Indian wedding.
PATH, BRIDE’S PRAYER
The first day begins with the Path, the prayer, which can usually be done at the home of the future bride or at the Gurdwara Sahib (the Indian temple, literally “The House of God“). This prayer, named after Sukh Mani Sahib “Prayer of blessing and joy“, marks the beginning of all pre-marital rites and has the function of blessing the whole family and the celebration that is about to begin.
Prayer consists in reading the Holy Book without interruption which usually lasts three days, but outside of India a shorter prayer lasting about three hours is preferred.
At the end of the reading there is the Pogh, or the blessing of all the ceremonies and therefore the beginning of all the other rites.
The beginning of the prayer also marks the arrival of relatives and friends who will be offered a buffet for breakfast. Relatives and family bow in front of the holy book and take tea. The Path begins with the arrival of the Holy Book at the bride’s home; at the end of the prayer the Ardaas takes place (the final moment of the prayer when the priest gets up and humbly asks God to bless everything) through the Parshad, the “host” made with flour, butter, sugar and water. After the prayers, a convivial buffet lunch follows.
During the prayers, regardless of the place, or in any place where the sacred book is present, the head is covered, shoes are removed and alcohol, smoke, meat, fish or eggs are not consumed.
PATH, GROOM’S PRAYER
Also for the future spouse, the prayer, the Path, is celebrated at home. After the prayer, a refreshment is made with all the relatives and friends based on food, obviously Indian.
The Mendhi ceremony follows, in which henna is applied to the hands of women and girls and to the hands and feet of the bride.
In the evening the turmeric ritual begins for the groom. During this ritual, all relatives and friends present put a turmeric-based mask on the future husband. Then the mother jumps over a drawing on the floor made with powder-based colors. At the end, she wets the colors with a little water and collect the colored powder of the drawing with her hands; then, with dirty hands, she leaves his footprints on an external wall of the house for good luck and against the evil eye.
In the late evening, after the turmeric ritual, the Jaggo begins, the feast of the still celibate groom. The Jaggo derives its name from the typical headdress, of the kind of vases, once made of terra cotta, with lights on (once candles were used). Each relative holds it over their head for a few minutes and then passes it on to the others, in the meantime they dance and sing traditional joke songs.
The afternoon begins with the ritual of turmeric for the bride in the same way as for the groom. The rite of turmeric will be followed by the rite of the bracelets in which the uncles and maternal cousins put red bracelets on the bride, which signal that the girl is about to get married. These bracelets will then be worn for a month and a half from the day of the wedding indicating that the bride is no longer single.
At the end of this rite the great party begins, that is the Jaggo with music, dances and typical songs.
SIKH INDIAN WEDDING
The groom’s preparation begins at dawn by washing himself, as a symbol of purification, this rite is also followed by relatives and friends.
Then the turban is applied, a ritual that must be performed flawlessly by an expert. In the process of applying the groom must hold the end of the turban with his teeth. At the end, pins are applied that will keep him immobile for the whole day. Then the groom wears the suit jacket, handmade with great precision.
Finally, the sisters-in-law apply to him the Kajal, the pencil for the eyes, to keep the evil eye away. In the following rite the mother and the cousins put the Kalghi that is the “royal” brooch on the turban.
The bride’s preparations begin early in the morning. At the first light of dawn, the bride has to wash her hair as an act of purification. Then she starts the make-up and the wig. The makeup in particular must make the most of the beauty of the bride. The most important part of the preparation of the bride (a real ritual) is when the veil is applied to the bride’s head.
CROWNS RITUAL IN GURDWARA SAHIB
When families arrive at the Gurdwara Sahib temple, a short prayer is made at the entrance. Before the start of the ritual it is mandatory to take off your shoes and cover your head.
The ceremony of presentation or rite of the crowns follows. In this rite, each relative of the different families introduces himself, exchanges gifts and puts a floral crown around each one neck.
A welcome rite is then given to the groom; he is made to sit on a chair, he is given a necklace, he is given a dried date to eat and money is placed in the Palla (i.e. the shawl that the groom keeps on his shoulder for the whole ceremony).
At the end of the introductions, you enter Gurdwara Sahib, take off your shoes, wash your hands and cover your head.
You go up to the main hall where you kneel and bow your head in front of the sacred book since it is considered a living God so you behave as if you were in front of God himself. We all sit on the ground with our faces turned towards the holy book, kneeling our legs. Men sit on one side and women on the other.
When everyone has arrived, the groom sits in the center of the room in front of the holy book.
The groom’s parents remove the Kalghi and place it in front of the sacred book. Enter the bride. She too will bow and go and sit next to the bridegroom.
CELEBRATION OF THE INDIAN SIKH WEDDING RITUAL
The priest makes a first prayer, during which only the spouses and parents get up. Then the bride and groom and parents sit down and begin the real wedding prayers.
The priest reads the prayer of blessing, then the other priests make a prayer during which the father of the bride gives the Palla (the shawl that the groom has on his shoulders) in the hand of the bride, who, from that moment, for the duration of the rite, it will never be left.
The priests begin to read the 4 prayers each followed by an instrumental moment during which the bride and groom bow and walk around the sacred book, the groom in front and the bride behind him 4 times.
After the 4 rounds, a moment of musical prayer follows, then everyone stands up for the concluding prayer. Once this is finished, the bride and groom’s parents are given sweets to eat. The marriage is registered in the Gurdwara Sahib Registry. Then the groom’s parents give the sweets to the bride and groom.
Everyone gets up, congratulates with the couple and their parents and then goes down for lunch.
After the religious ceremony, the spouses sit on two chairs in the entrance hall of the temple and decorated with floral bouquets. All the relatives take turns congratulating and handing them the envelopes while the group photos are taken.
GROOM’S WELCOM RITUAL AND THROWING RICE
From the Temple we go to the bride’s house for the welcome rite. As soon as they arrive, the groom’s sisters-in-law put a “stop” with a ribbon to not let the groom and his family through until he pays the fee to have the bride.
Once the ritual is completed, the groom and his family can enter in the house for refreshments. The bride’s parents bless the couple, then the bride is greeted and going out she will throw rice back where the mother will collect it in her veil.
The greeting from the family is a very sad and emotional moment marked by tears and hugs between the women of the bride’s family.
The wedding photoshoot was made in the Park of Villa Varda in Brugnera di Pordenone. A location that offers many interesting scenarios and, as the sun goes down, everything is illuminated by a wonderful light full of warmth.
BRIDE’S WELCOME RITUAL
They arrive at the groom’s house for the bride’s welcome followed by the rituals. The mother of the groom welcomes the daughter-in-law dressed in traditional clothes and ready to celebrate the welcome ritual with the new couple.
Before going through the door of the house, the mother of the groom passes a jar of milk over the head of the new couple and at the end she drinks it.
The couple can finally enter the house and follow a ritual in which the youngest brother-in-law of the bride sits in her arms and gives her money; then the mother-in-law gives a cake and gifts to the daughter-in-law and the traditional dances continue with the couple and the bride in the center.
After the rituals of the day for the newlyweds it is time to breathe a sigh of relief. Traditional clothes are changed and party clothes are put on. The bride wears the red Indian dress symbol of love and prosperity.
Upon arrival at the restaurant, guests are greeted with welcome refreshments and the ladies exchange welcome floral wreaths to introduce themselves to the new family.
After the Indian dinner at the La Curcuma Restaurant, the cake is cut and the rings were exchanged which did not take place during the religious ceremony. The spouses also exchange floral crowns: from that moment their new life together begins.
The party marked by typical Indian dances and the first dance of the spouses is a moment of love, lived together with the family that brings tradition and values for the prosperous future of this young couple, united by a strong bond and many projects for their future .
Photo and video: Ideavisual
Floral and planning: Gap Eventi
Make-up: Flavio Muccin
Henné: Sara Abbraccio di Luna
Restaurant: Ristorante Indiano Curcuma
Catering: Johal Indian Restaurant
Cake: Diana La Pasticceria
Newlyweds car: Auto Vintage & More
Wedding rings: Gioielleria Biscontin
Bridal shoes: Sergio Rossi
Evening bride’s dress: Anita Dongre
Dj: Lucky Bagla