As India is a land of diverse culture and ethnicity, there is a vast difference between cities and rural areas when it comes to observing various celebrations. You will see that wedding is given a paramount importance in people’s social life. Marriage is not only a legal bonding between and man and a woman, it is an auspicious occasion, which brings the families of the two, closer. The ceremony often takes the shape of a festive occasion that is observed with pomp and gaiety, in the Indian subcontinent. This is the reason why wedding is often celebrated lavishly and elaborately. Nonetheless, you will see a contrast in the ways in which the wedding rituals are observed in the rural and the urban areas of the country.
Few days back, I had availed leave for attending my brother’s wedding ceremony. My brother decided to get married in our native place as he is fond of wedding celebration of that land. Just like urban areas of India, wedding is an elaborate affair in the rural parts of the country too. The rituals before, during and after wedding are conducted with special attention to the nuances of the same. Depending upon their belief, people in villages organize a number of ‘riwaaz’ (customs) before the wedding. After the marriage, they conduct certain rituals to ensure that the newlywed couple leads a prospered life forever. If you go deep into the rural areas of the country, you will witness huge differences in the same rituals, because people in the villages are very particular in following the customs that are native to their community.
Unlike cities, in Indian villages, the role of wedding planners is played by the family members of the bride and the groom. The expenses of wedding are generally borne by the bride’s parents, while the groom’s family arranges the reception party. Since the system of joint families is still prevalent in the villages, the arrangements for a wedding are conducted very smoothly. It is a joint effort of the family members, relatives and close friends, when it comes to organizing a wedding. All the people involved in the preparations for the wedding ensure that everything is conducted smoothly, before, during and after the ceremony. Even, masalas for chef and cleaning of the rice are done by the family members unlike in cities where we just have to reach the venue on time.
Depending upon the financial status, the grandeur of the wedding ceremony varies. For instance, if the families of the prospective bride and the groom are not financially well settled, they would restrict the wedding to a short and crisp affair, inviting only the relatives and close friends. On the other hand, if it is the wedding of a renowned person of the village, who is financially well settled, then the wedding would be just like a festival for the village, wherein every villager is invited to mark his/her presence and grace the occasion. In general, weddings in villages are celebrated with pomp and gaiety, which is no less to those witnessed in urban parts of the country. Relatives who live away from the village, arrive one week before the wedding ceremony and stay one week post wedding.
Till sometime back, people in villages were strictly against love marriages. They strongly believed that two people should not tie the knot without taking the consent of elder family members and relatives. Due to this perception, arranged marriage is customary in villages. With the passage of time, people living even in the interiors of rural India are not so strictly against the concept of love marriage and hence, if persuaded, they would not hesitate to come forward and solemnize the wedding of the two loving souls. Therefore, the perception of wedding in the rural India has changed drastically.