Mangalorean Marriage Customs and Traditions – Engagement Mudi


Engagement Mudi

While, “finalising of the “Sairik” is the formal acceptance of the promise made by the bride’s father to the groom’s father that he will give his daughter in marriage; the Engagement or the Ring ceremony i.e. “Mudi” is a mutual promise of later marriage and is a solemn and religious ritual. The Engagment may take place months, weeks or days ahead of the marriage. In some cases the engagement period may also last for a year or more.


Engagement “Mudi”


The bridegroom would go to the girl’s house with his parents and close relatives on the engagement day. The priest would bless the engagement ring in the church or in the bride’s house and the bridegroom would put the ring “mudi” on the bride’s left ring finger symbolizing his claim on her.

He then presents some gifts like rosary, handkerchiefs, prayer book, perfume, cosmetics, etc. to the bride.

The bride then shows the gifts to all the guests. After the engagement the groom takes the bride to his house to acquaint her with his relatives and to show her his property. When such an engagement breaks, the mudi has to be returned to the bridegroom but the presents are not returned.


Engagements are optional but more formal if it must take place. Invitations are sent mostly through social media. The ceremony takes place either at the house of the bride or at a party venue officiated by a priest who blesses the mudi (rings) followed by cake cutting, raising of the toast.


Gifts given to the bride are jewellery and saree which the bride changes into during the function and sometimes the boy also changes his attire.  March-past, dancing, dinner, etc. in short a mini-wedding! Guests would be only close family and friends and all expenses are borne by the brides’ family.

My son Raoul’s engagement was at a hotel venue hosted by my daughter-in-law Charmaine’s parents and officiated by Rev. Fr. Jerome Pinto, Charmaine’s maternal grandfather’s brother.



The gorgeous engagement cake was made by my sister Zenia “”.

Nowadays engagement function is optional and replaced with a formal “proposal” especially in love-marriages where the boy throws a surprise for the girl (with just the two of them) and “proposes” with a ring (usually diamond!) at an exotic location, etc.

My son Rohan opted for the western style of proposing and took my daughter-in-law Valencia to Dubai to the Burj Al Arab’s “Atmosphere” restaurant on the 123rd floor to pop the question!



CIVIL Marriage or registered marriage is now compulsory effective 12 April 2012. This registered marriage is an important proof of marriage and also gives it a legal status. Civil marriage can be registered at a Marriage Court any time before or after the formal wedding.

Previous post: Finalising the Sairik                                 Next post: Reading of Banns

References: Severine Silva and Stephen Fuchs & Victor D’sa, S.V.D.: The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India




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