They say 'marriages are made in heaven'. I dont know how fun they are. But I guess Coorgi marriages are more fun than that. Each step in the wedding is fun for all. The bride, the groom, the family, the guests, everyone has their own share of fun in the wedding. i had the privilage of attending one such wedding yesterday. And needless to say had a very good time at the wedding.
We took the 21:10 BNG MCR bus to Mercara on 22nd night. As not expected we reached madikeri much before 5. We reached our designated accomodation as arranged by our host. Caught up some sleep (not lost sleep, were ready for the wedding and went to 'Cauvery hall' for the ceremony. believe me every thing here is named after Cauvery/Coorg. We saw atleast 10 shops with those names on them. We were briefed by the bride about the various customs. But still were very much fascinated to see those in execution.
I dont know how, but as soon as we entered the premises of the hall, we get a call from the bride to come to her room to see her 'decorated'. She was looking very beautiful, dressed in the traditional Coorgi attire. Traditional Coorgi Attire for women includes wearing a sari ina distinctive fashion with pleats at the back. Traditional attire for men includes wering a wraparound called 'Kupya'.
Many specialities to be noted about the wedding. They dont accept any priests to perform their weedings. it is always the elders who get together to do the wedding. Usage of slokas and vedic chants is also not present. we actually missed when the wedding happened as it happens as soon as the bride and groom enter the wedding mantap. Soon the crowd gathers to wish the couple. Followed by a fight between the girls maternal uncles son fighting with her father in law that I want to marry this girl. i wont let U take her away. This is a part enjoyed by the entire family fighting with the father in-law. A bargain is to be stuck between these 2 before the father in law can actually take the girl. Even we enjoyed this part thoughh we could not understand kodava.
Now is the time for lunch. After lunch is the part where the bride has to go to the wedding mantap from the entrance to the wedding hall from the road with a pot on top of another, a distance of 25 meters. This is the part enjoyed by everyone as they dont allow the girl to reach the wedding mantap by dancing in front of her as she carries 2 pots on her head with water. People of all age enjoy this. Boys, girls, adoloscents both male and female, old people and family and friends every one dances in front of her preventing her from joining her husband on the stage. She took 3.5hrs to complete the distance. this is where liquor flows, unlimited. Everyone is drunk in the first one hour of this dance. This is accompanied by music from the local band set. At one point one of her relatives had taken over the drums.
Overall fun filled day at the wedding. kodavas enjoy their weddings a lot. They dont do it with much pomp, but do with with a lot of glory. Everyone enjoyes it. Wedding starts at 10 in the morning and goes on till 9 in the night, each moment filled with fun. It is one of the fun to be weddings I remember. Actually the best fun filled wedding. Thats why I said Marriages may be made in heaven, but they will be fun if made in Kodagu.
Some photos will follow as a fotoblog.