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Wedding-rituals » Indian-customs » Games-couple-play-050927
Ice breakers for the bahu and her inlaws

Playing games can often be detrimental to a healthy marriage. However, our elders were rather cunning in the games they invented. The Indian arranged marriage system did not allow the bride and groom to meet prior to their wedding. It was rather difficult for a man and wife to be intimate with each other in the first meeting. Hence, many Indian wedding games evolved to help break the ice between the newly weds and between the ' bahu ' and her new family.

These Indian marriage games also helped to lighten the rather serious mood that often descended over weddings. Some light banter, a dash of teasing and a little flirting was a great way to get everyone laughing and celebrating. Till date, most families play Indian wedding games amidst much laughter.

Paise do joote lo Paise do joote lo
Popularized by Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit squabbling over a pair of shoes in the mother of all wedding films, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, this game is for the saalis (bride's sisters) and jijas (sister's husband or groom). When the groom removes his shoes to enter the wedding mandap the bride's sisters steal the shoes and hold them ransom for gifts and money. Only when the demands have been met are the shoes returned. This game has become so popular with families that many grooms make gifts like gold earrings or anklets for their saalis prior to the event. Also, grooms have started carrying an extra pair of shoes to help in negotiations!

Shloka kehna or say the fishpond
This is a popular game amongst Marwari families. The groom gets to impress all the bride's female relatives with his poetic abilities and is given money and gifts in exchange. Just before the bidaai ceremony the groom says a cheeky fishpond that flirts with his mother in law or sisters in law.

A popular Shloka is:

"Ek Shloka, Do shloka, Bol De Hum Das,
Lekin Tabhi Jab Sasu Degi Kiss"
(One fishpond, two fishponds, I can say ten. But only if my mother-in-law gives
me a kiss.)

Juwa or gambling
This is a popular game that decides who will rule the roost. A shallow thaal is filled with milky water and some red color to make it difficult to see inside the water. The groom's sister then tosses a handful of grass, silver coins and a ring into the mixture. The bride and groom have to fish out the ring. Whoever wins is said to be the dominant partner. The game is generally a best of 3 or 7. The silver coins are gifted to the groom's sister in appreciation for playing the game.

Henna my name
The groom's name is secretly hennaed on the bride's hands amidst her wedding mehndi. The groom must find his name on the bride's hand and give her a gift. This is a great wedding night game as it gives the groom a reason to hold his bride's hand and allows the shy bride to enjoy the touch with no embarrassment.


Bite the beeda
Maharashtrians play a game in which the groom naughtily holds a betel leaf or beeda in his mouth or a clove. The bride is expected to bite off the other half and give her husband a kiss in front of the entire wedding party. Often, to build anticipation all married couples play this game before the bride and groom. The husband's tease their wives and do not allow them to bite off the beeda literally making the wives beg for a public kiss. Much hilarity ensues.

Untie the knot
Untying this knot determines how strong the wedding knot will be! The groom's sister ties a thread on the hands of the bride and the groom. The thread or moli is knotted 7 times. Both newly weds take a turn at undoing each other's knots signifying that they will always help the other unknot any and all problems in life.

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