India is a land of traditions and values, one get to see different colours all around the place, wherever or whichever city he goes into. Rajasthan is one part of the country, which despite of its deserted and hot environments, is full of colours and energetic people. Rajasthani dance is one of the most popular dance forms in the country. The region is majorly divided into two communities called Jains, who are Shravaks and Maheshwari’s, who are Brahman Hindus. They have originated from the vashnava’s community and are spread across all over the northern region of the country.
Maheshwari’s are mainly associated with the business class of the Indian community, they are said to play an important role in the economic and monetary growth of the country. Though their languages and practices differ according to the region or the area they live in, but primarily their language are marwari or rajasthani, and they are said to be instilled with good merchandising and business intelligence and qualities. They are the followers of Lord Shiva.
Though the marriage and other festive rituals are almost same in all the religions and communities of the country, still some differences are observed in the customs and marriage practices followed across India. The marriage rituals in the Maheshwari community are same as of the Hindu marriages, with the difference in the actual marriage called the Mama phere is observed, in which the bride sitting in the lap of her maternal uncle, takes rounds of the groom and the sacred fire. This is a very different custom, which is followed in maheshwari’s, to mark the sanctity of the marriage.
Though Maheshwari’s prefer marrying their children in the same communities, but with the changing times, a large number of inter- caste marriages as a result of love marriages have also been observed. Some of the common marriage rituals practised in Maheshwari culture, which are same as the other Hindu religions are:
Sagaii: It is the formal engagement ceremony before the marriage, where the bride and groom exchanges ring with each other. This is also a formal announcement of the acceptation of the wedding alliance between both the maheshwari families.
Haldi ceremony: Its the ceremony, where the bride and the groom are applied with a paste of turmeric and oil, on their hands, dace and feet in their respective houses. This is to add beauty and glow to the bride and groom, so that they look at their best on the day of marriage. The ingredients of the paste may vary according to the area or community to which the couple belong.
Mehandi ceremony: In this ceremony, heena or mehandi designs are applied on the hands and feet of the bride. The heena is sent by the bride’s would be mother- in- law, and some the married ladies of the house, applies that mehandi to her hand, to do the shagun, rest of the designs are made by professionals. In some cases, the same custom is also practised at the house of the groom, where little mehandi is applied on the groom’s hand, just as a part of shagun.
Baraat: It is the procession of the group of people, who form part of the bride’s side at the Maheshwari wedding, the baraat is headed by a group of bands, hence maintaining the ritual of pop and gaiety in the wedding, which moves towards the venue of the marriage, with the groom sitting on a horse.
Wedding ceremony: This includes all the major rituals performing after which the bride and the groom are tagged with the certificate of a married couple. The process include customs like Jaimala, seven circles around the sacred fire, kanyadan, sindurdan, etc. these rituals vary according to the culture and religion.
After the matrimony, the bride in every culture or community has to leave her maternal house and heads to her new house, the house of her husband, where she lives the rest of her life happily.