The Marriage of Cultures

December 1, 2019 at 9:11 pm 8 comments

The dangling string of pearls, the ‘Mundavlya’ , tied horizontally on the bride’s forehead gets entangled with the groom’s ‘Poonal’ as he bends to wipe her temple with his “Angavastram”. The ‘Kolapuri Saaj’, the crafted gold necklace, dazzles in the rays of the morning sun just as the glittering crimson tinged border of the ‘Panchakacham’ the boy is draped with. The three horizontal streaks of ”Vibhuthi”, the hallmark of a ‘TamBram’ male, gels effortlessly with the distinctly Marathi “ Maang Tikka” ,  latched at the centre of the  bride’s hairdo .  The ‘Navari’, bridal trousseau is as exquisitely elegant as the ‘Madisar Pudavai’ worn by the groom’s mother.  The marriage ceremony of the Tamil boy with the Marathi girl was at once unique and colourful, showcasing the intermingling of two divergent cultures, both rich and vibrant in their own ways.

Set in the backdrop of green carpeted hills that’s partially wrapped in the morning mist, the wedding of my nephew was solemn and serene, interspersed with the rituals of both the traditions.  With festoons in hues of gold, lily and strawberry pink, the tastefully decorated floral ‘Mandap’ was delicately subtle yet stately, quite reminiscent of the Maratha regality. The ‘Ganapati Puja’, worshipping the auspicious Lord Ganesha preceded the’ Punyavachan’, the ritual of seeking blessings from the august assembly which was showered in copious measure.  And the ’Antarpat’, the drawing of the curtain in front of the groom was as much fun as it was meaningful  as was the ‘Kanyadaan’ the ritual of offering the girl to the groom. The  “Mangalya Dharanam”, the traditional  knotting of the holy ‘Mangalasutra’ was conducted with the bride dressed up in the typical Tamil Brahmin “Koorai Pudavai”  to the raining of “ Akshadai”, the holy grain, and to the strains of  “Nadaswaram” , the South Indian Shehnai  . As the couple completed the marriage vows, the Gods above and the denizens below lavished their choicest blessings for a life of heavenly togetherness.

The Wedding feast was a thoughtful spread of the finest Marathi cuisine and to the many South Indian “connoisseurs of food” present on the occasion, it was an open invitation to gastronomic indulgence.  And as one relished the dishes one by one, the cravng to tuck in more was palpable and at the end of it all, none felt guilty… after all, it’s a marriage with a difference!

The event concluded with everyone wearing the “ Pagri”, the traditional colourful headgear that added to the bonding and the  bonhomie between two cultures. The “Namaskar” was exchanged with a warm “ Vannakam”.



Entry filed under: Humour. Tags: , , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  December 2, 2019 at 1:05 am

    Good job Narayanan…you have mentioned minute things which i never noticed…thank you..

  • 2. Anonymous  |  December 2, 2019 at 9:15 am


  • 3. Anonymous  |  December 2, 2019 at 3:19 pm


  • 4. Shobha Iyer  |  December 5, 2019 at 1:53 pm


  • 5. Rohini  |  December 5, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Nicely written! This is our speciality, uniqueness, that sets us apart from the rest of the world – so diverse yet so together! A marriage here is not just a marriage of two individuals, but a marriage of two families, two cultures!

  • 6. lathaanandakrishnan  |  December 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Nice to read. Brought memories of my daughter’s wedding in Manipuri style. Our son-in-law is from Imphal and we Soth Indian Iyer. Indeed it was a marriage between two cultures.

    • 7. chapter18  |  December 7, 2019 at 11:09 pm

      Good to know that we have more acceptance now to these fusion of cultures.

  • 8. CoachKanika findingabetteryou  |  August 19, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Stay safe happy healthy and wealthy


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