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Saturday, August 29, 2009

A modern Tamil Brahmin wedding

This event took place a couple of weeks back. The location was the Green Meadows Resort at Palavakkam in Chennai. This place is a heritage Kerala Ayurveda resort on the East Coast Road. Since this was a family event, most of us turned up with enough reason as this offered the opportunity of getting together with family after what had been a long while.

The reason for the title of this post comes from the fact that we, the family, hail from an orthodox Tamil Brahmin cult of society. Most of the auspicious and important events are celebrated in the most orthodox and traditional fashion. The ante gets upped during weddings and they can get as traditional as they can be.

Having said this, I was surprised when most of the traditional aspects of a Tamil Brahmin wedding were either skipped or replaced with modern or if I may say Western props. There was no jaanavasam (inviting the groom to the wedding) or called the Baaraat in North Indian weddings or any of the hymns and pujas associated with it. Instead, it was replaced with an informal dance programme, which I am fine with as it allows all the guests to participate and have a good time. The killer prop addition was the inclusion of a cocktail bar. Now, for all those of you who understand brahminism, alcohol is a taboo in the life of a Brahmin, rest alone, a wedding, where rituals and rites are performed and gods are invited through hymns and chants to bless the to-be-weds.  

On the day of the wedding, many traditional components, if I may, like kaasi yatra, unjal (swing), the traditional games, etc. were excluded. But, the other traditional aspects like the seven pheras, thaali (mangalsutra), traditional attire, garlands, traditional music were not excluded. Such a wedding doesn't irk me as I am also a person from the same generation, but it makes me think as to whether we are slowly losing a grip on our culture. 

I have read a fair bit on Brahminism and the reasons various processes are followed in traditional events and it makes perfect sense to me as each of these traditions have a certain deep-rooted meaning to it. But, at the end of the day, it boils down to the wishes of the couple who are getting married and I guess we should respect their decision.

Which brings me back to my question...Are we losing a grip on our rich culture? 

Overall, a great and a well-organized event and it provided the opportunity for me to meet with most of my family members and catch up on the latest happenings and musings in the family.
Having said the entire above post, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are entirely my own and is not aimed to be offensive in any kind.

All pictures have been removed from this post as the concerned couple in this wedding sought privacy.



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