Monthly Archives: July 2018

Manglorean marriage customs and traditions – Maain Mudi Shivnchen & Opsun Divnchen

STEP 14 and STEP 15

MAAIN MUDI SHIVNCHEN and OPSUN DIVNCHEN

These customs though important, are short ceremonies perfomed at the wedding reception either before dinner or at the end of the wedding, as this is mainly performed between the very close members of the family.

STEP 14 – MAAIN MUDI SHIVNCHEN – Mother-in-law presenting a ring to her son-in-law, the groom

Then:

After the wedding dinner was concluded, the mudi shivnchen ceremony was performed.  The bridegroom was made to stand in the matov and the bride’s mother presented him with a ring as a sign that she is his mother-in-law and henceforth he had to address her as “mai’ mother.  The elder women of the bride’s family her aunts’ i.e. sisters, sisters-in-law and cousins of her mother were addressed by the groom as fagor mai and any distantly related woman could become his fagor mai if she presented him with a ring. More importantly the woman were expected to give their blessings to the groom as his fagor mai.

Now:

As I have seen for my son’s wedding, the bridegroom is made to stand in a prominent place in the reception hall and his mal dedho stands next to him with a handkerchief held open in both hands.  The mother-in-law will bless the groom and present him with the ring.  The other fagor mais  i.e. the brides aunts, etc. will come forward to bless the groom and put some cash into the handkerchief held by the mal dedho (bestman).  This money goes to the bestmen who celebrate later with the money collected.

The following song is appropriately sung or played for the Mudi Shivnchen ceremony.

  • Bhaglyar Kityak Ubo Voretha….

 

The following video of Maxim and Melita’s wedding (Youtube) depicts the customs in detail and in a very clear format, thanks to the MC who has done a great job in explaining each step clearly and the videographer who has captured the important and solemn moments.

 

STEP 15 – OPSUN DIVNCHEN – The solemn transferment of the bride to the bridegrooms family

Then:

Once the presentation of rings was completed (at the bride’s house) the bridegroom takes the bride to his house in procession  with the band playing.   Relatives of the bride also accompany the bride. When the procession reaches the matov the Laudate is sung.  Then the solemn opsun divnchen ceremony is performed and here the bridegroom is not present.

The father of the bride or an older Uncle alongwith his closest relatives steps forward and takes the hand of his daughter and presents her formally to the bridegroom’s father and his family with the typical proclamation as follows (which is in english the konkani translation of which is in the above video :-

“Up to this time we have loved  this girl.  Today we hand her over to you in the hope that you will love her in the same measure”.

The bridegrooms father or an elder Uncle, takes the hand of the bride while giving an appropriate reply which is something like :

“We are happy to receive your daughter and will love her and take care of her even more than you have given her and will look after her just as our own daughter”.

The bride usually breaks into tears upon the realisation that she must now part from her near and dear ones in earnest. The women break into the parting song which brings everyone present to tears.

  • Sovo Sovo Surngarone (Opsun ditana song) ….

 

The bridegrooms mother then takes the bride by the hand and leads her into the house, accompanied by other women. While the bride steps over the threshold she must do so with her right foot.

Now:

Various Opsun Divnche scenes above.

In the wedding hall, after the Mudi Shivnchi ceremony the bride and groom are blessed by their parents and all elders of the family.  Then the bride is brought forward and the Opsun Divnchen ceremony takes place as detailed above with the bride and her family breaking into tears.

  • Rodonaka Baye ….

 

The laudate is sung at the end of the ceremony.

After the ceremony the bride is led away from her family and seated and given milk to drink by her mother-in-law.  This marks the end of the wedding ceremony.

  • Tambde Roza

 

When the bride reaches the bridegrooms house she is carried over the threshold by her husband.

melrish-0768 opsun to husband

YENI SAMMAN

In earlier times when weddings lasted for 8 to 10 days, the yeni samman i.e. the  brides mothers’ dinner and the grooms mothers dinner took place after the porthapon and both the mothers gifted each other a saree. But since the duration of the weddings are now curtailed to 3 to 4 days, skipping the yeni dinners, the yeni saree is exchanged at the porthapon or at the wedding reception.

Yeni kapad MaiNMai

Yeni Kappad – My mother (L) and my mother-in-law (R)

The yeni saree gift exchange which was at the reception for my wedding 37 years ago.

 

Previous Post: Weddng reception – Kazara Jevon                  Next Post:  Porthapon

 

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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Marriage customs and traditions – Wedding Reception

STEP 13 

WEDDING PARTY/RECEPTION – (Kazara Jevon)

Then:

After the nuptial blessing, both parties proceed to the brides house for the wedding lunch and/or dinner.  When the wedding party (Voran) arrives, the bride’s yejmani offers the traditional customary udak-pan-pod welcome to the bridegroom’s party  by saying ‘dev boren korum gorcha yejmanak’ (God bless the master of the house). The yejmani replies by saying ‘dev borem korum’ (God bless).  The yejmani then offers the general and symbolic udak-pan-pod to the rest of the wedding party by declaring ‘sankdank pan-pod, udak ailem’ (everybody receive water and panpod). The bridegroom’s party replies ‘pavlem dev borem korum’ (We received, God bless you).  The bridegroom’s party is received with great honour and invited to sit down in the matov.

Sado

The bridal clothes (sado),  jewellery and flowers abolim and jasmine all tied into a bundle in red silk cloth and carried by a younger unmarried sister or relative of the bridegroom, are brought to the bride’s house in procession lead by the groom’s mother.  The grooms’ mother who did not accompany the party to church  now joins the procession accompanied by a few distinguished women relatives to the playing of the  band and the sado, jewellery, etc. would be exhibited to the guests in the matov.

Crackers are fired as the procession enters the matov, while the band plays and at the entrance the people sing the psalm Laudate Dominum.

All along voviyos are sung by the bride’s party with witty replies in voviyos by the grooms party. The bride is led to a private room and surrounded by women singing voviyos and dressed into the wedding attire i.e. the sado and for the first time the end of the sari is thrown over her shoulder known as worl.  The mother-in-law has the first right to dress the bride. However, if she is a widow this right falls on the yejman (bridegrooms paternal aunt) who also tie the pirduk (mangalsutra or kariamani) around the bride’s neck.

The bride is adorned in the abolim and mallige flowers which is done in a specific manner and the strings of the flowers are wound around her head to completely cover the hair and the ends of the strings are left to hang down to the waist.  Lastly the string of abolims is wound around the jasmine flowers.

The bride is then led to the matov in her bridal finery and invited to take a seat to the left of the bridegroom which is called sovyar bosovnchem (seating at the assembly) and the women once again gather around the bridal pair singing voviyos.  The yejmani then announces the ayar (presenting gifts to the bridal couple). When the elders present the ayar (gifts and money) they also bless the couple.  The bride is presented with a sari dharma sado by her parents, which ranks second to the sado and is also very expensive.  The parents of the bride also present saris and clothes to elder married sisters and elders of the family and this is done in a solemn manner.

After the gifts presentation, dinner is served and the bridegroom’s party is given first preference.  Dinner is served on banana leaves (used to also be served on betel leaves) and guests are seated on long rows of mats.   A particular pattern was followed, first a little water is sprinkled on the leaf to clean it, then a little salt was served, then Roce food on banana leafpickle followed by different vegetarian dishes and then non-vegetarian dishes, wealthy people served sanna-mas and finally  with vorn.  The meal was concluded with a sweet called soji made of wheat flour and jaggery. Dinner was started with the prayer ‘Hail Holy Queen’ and also said at the conclusion of dinner.

 

Now:

Once the nuptial blessing is done, the bridal entourage proceeds for a photo shoot, etc.  Other guests proceed to the reception venue.

 

When the bridal troupe arrives, they enter in  procession to the playing of music and bursting of crackers led by a Master of Ceremonies. The wedding cake is cut, champagne is popped and toasts are raised.

Guests are seated and snacks are served, then the wedding march which all guests look forward to participating. The bride and groom then have their first dance as husband and wife. Dancing continues through the night or upto  time-limit restrictions.

After the first dance, the bride is led by the grooms’ younger sister and family for melrish-7851 sado dressingchanging into the sado and the custom as stated above stands even today but the mangalsutra ‘pirduk’ is put around the neck of the bride by the groom.  Today, the groom also changes his attire into a typical Indian wear.  The following song is appropriate when the sado dressed bride and the groom make their re-entry:

  • Mai’n muntha thu shegunachi sunn….

 

Buffet Dinner is served at an appropriate time, preceded by a short prayer and the Grace before Meals, by a member of clergy if present or any chosen person.  The ayar ceremony follows with the guests lining up to wish and bless the bridal couple and the finale, chairing of the couple!

Raoul wedd chairing the couple

 

N.B.: According to Monoj Saldanha in his book “Amche Alconz”, konkani speaking people migrated to South Goa from the Saraswat Valley in North India during 1000 BC, due to the drying up of the Saraswati river.  The people were predominantly Gouda Saraswat Bahmins, Aryans by descent and Brahmins in identity.  Even when these people converted to christianity due to the Goa Inquisition of 1560 and the subsequent conversions in 1570 and 1683, hindu traditions and culture still continued e.g. for the nuptials the white gown or saree is used by the bride in the church and the wedding ring/band is exchanged, but in the reception the bride changes into the sado (red silk saree) and karimani (black bead chain).  

Francis Buchanan in his book “Journey through the Southern parts of Canara”, writes in 1807 that the konkanies are in flourishing circumstances and he saw some of the marriage processions passing by on the 21st of January, 1807, which were attended by exceedingly well dressed people and very handsome girls.

The ayar procedure in fomer days: The groom’s elder sister’s husband sat with a clean brass plate to receive the gifts (ayar).  In those days it was common to gift a rupee or half a rupee on the plate. When the coin fell on the plate it made a sound. Another man sat nearby to write down the name of the person giving the gift and the amount. When the clinking of the coin falling on the plate was heard, he would ask in Tulu ‘av yerl’ which means ‘who is he’?  The yejmani would tell him loudly the persons’ name and the brother-in-law announced the amount to the writer.

In later times the ‘av yerl’ was modified and is now known as ‘a-yar’.  The relatives and friends gift atleast one rupee in an enveope with their names on.  The mal-dhedo (first best man) keeps an account of the amount.  

Previous Post: Resper, Nuptials                          Next Post: Mai’n Mudi Shivnchi & Opsun

References: Severine Silva and Stephen Fuchs & Victor D’sa, S.V.D.: The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India. Manoj Saldanha: Amche Alconz, Our surnames. Francis Buchanan: Journey through the Southern parts of  Canara

 

 

 

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