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Wedding » Indian-weddings » Kashmiri-wedding-070122
 
Weddings in the 'Paradise of Earth'
Let's attend a Kashmiri Hindu Pundit  wedding

Kashmiri Hindu Pundit wedding
Though Kashmir is geographically secluded in the valley of hills and snow, the Kashmiri society is close-knit and warm. Though they have a distinct cultural and ethnic entity, they are effervescent, elaborate, yet simple and easy-going. This characteristic trend is reflected in their customs and rituals too. Kashmiri marriages follow an odd number of rituals and most of them are for the sake of enjoyment and hardly follow any orthodox pattern.

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The first step towards a Kashmiri wedding is the matching of the horoscopes or teknis of the prospective bride and groom. There are 2 main sects among the Kashmiri Pundits - the Raija Pundits who follow a non-vegetarian diet and the Shaka Pundits who follow a vegetarian one. In both cases it is the responsibility of the elders of the families to arrange the wedding. The wedding can take place in the morning or in the night.

Livun
An auspicious day is chosen for the livun, the traditional cleansing of the house before a wedding. The bride's family and the boy's family do not necessarily do the livun on the same day. On this day, the floors of the Kashmiri mud houses are cleaned and treated with a mixture of cow dung, mud and water. All the married female members of the family attend the ceremony. This is also the day when the waza or family cook arrives and puts together a mud-and-brick oven called war in the backyard of the house. This is where the traditional meals will be cooked for the wedding ceremonies.

Wanwun
Wanwun or music sessions are held every evening at the houses of the bride and the groom. Relatives and neighbours participate in these sessions.

Maanziraat
The maanziraat  ceremony takes place a week prior to the wedding. It begins with krool khanun, a ceremony that involves decorating the door of the houses of the prospective bride and the groom. In the evening, the bride-to-be follows an elaborate bathing ritual, during which her maternal aunt washes her feet. After the bath, her eldest aunt decorates her hands and feet with maanz  (henna). Maanz is also distributed among the relatives and neighbours. The women invited for this occasion are served a delicious Kashmiri meal prepared by the waza . After dinner, all participate in a lively wanwun or music session.

Devgon
The devgon  is a ceremony that marks the transition of the bride and the groom from brahmacharya ashram  to grihastha ashram . The girl's family and the boy's family in their respective homes observe the ceremony separately. Before participating in the rituals, the relatives of the bride and the groom observe a fast. The purohit  conducts the ceremony in front of a sacred fire. The ornaments and utensils that will be given to the bride by her family are also placed in front of the fire. An essential part of the rituals is the kanishran . This involves bathing the boy / girl with a mixture of water, rice, milk and curd. Flowers are also showered over the boy / girl. They change into a new set of traditional attire following the kanishran . An essential item of the jewellery is the dijaru , an ear ornament, which is the sign of a married Kashmiri woman.

Duribat
This ceremony is held on the day of the devgon . The maternal relatives of the bride / groom attend it. Gifts are exchanged and a traditional vegetarian lunch is served.


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