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Mais Recipes Corrections

Mai’s Recipes Book – CORRECTIONSMais Recipes the book

“VORN”-   Page 159

Dear friends ,

We would like to bring to the attention of all “Mais Recipes” patrons, specifically those who have purchased/received the new print edition of the book during the past two and a half to three years;

Due to a printing error the ‘Manni’ recipe is also printed for the ‘Vorn’ recipe.

The correct vorn recipe is given herebelow and we request you to kindly replace page 159 of Mai’s Recipes with this page.

You may also access the recipe with step-by-step procedure online, following this link :

https://cooklikececilia.com/vorn

We would like to thank Gwen Soeiro, for bringing this to our notice.

Thank you for your understanding and for your kind and continued patronage!

**********************************************************************************

CAKES & PUDDINGS   – Page 159

VORN

136 vorn[3]

Vorn

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup moong dal
  • ½ kg. jaggery
  • 1 large coconut
  • 1 cup cashewnuts
  • 6 cardamoms, powdered
  • Salt to taste

Method 

  1. Wash rice and soak in cold water for atleast an hour. Grind to a fine paste.
  2. Grate coconut, grind and extract 2 cups thick milk and 2 to 3 cups thin milk.
  3. Wash the dal and boil alongwith salt and the thin coconut milk, adding some more water, if necessary, till cooked.   Remove scum.
  4. Add jaggery and cardamom powder and simmer till the jaggery is dissolved.
  5. Reduce heat and add the rice paste gradually, stirring all the time to prevent lumps forming.
  6. Cook till the mixture thickens and starts bubbling.
  7. Add the thick coconut milk and cashewnuts and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Serve warm or cold.

*************************************************************************************Additional minor corrections –

A few other corrections which we have noted and would be opportune to state in this post:-

  • Page 86 – Mutton curry with coconut milk –   Method – Substitute the word chicken with mutton
  • Page 167 – Nivol –  Method – Line 3, Grind with the onion and garlic to a paste

To get your copy of this invaluable Mais Recipe book, do check out this link:

Mai’s Recipes Contact details

Do write to us with your comments, clarifications and queries.

 

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Mangalorean marriage customs and traditions – Conclusion

Marriage traditions – Conclusion

Mangalorean_Catholic_wedding_costumes

Mangalorean bride and groom

Marriage preparation from match-making to Porthapon consists of sixteen steps.  From finalizing the alliance/proposal to the marriage itself would require a minimum of six months for all church formalities, etc to be completed.  Even a civil marriage would require a minimum of one month from registration.

After the Porthapon etc. have taken place, personal invitations for lunch/dinner by close family and friends follow so that the bride can visit the home of the grooms family and friends and vice versa.  Thus the marriage celebrations are enjoyed for several days.  However, these personal invitations are now few and far between and gradually diminishing due to the fast paced lives that all lead.  In villages however, these customs would still be followed.

To state some of the rituals followed in earlier days, it is important to remember that (according to old records) most of the Mangalorean Catholic immigrants in 1683, were from the Bardes district of Goa.  The Konkani speaking Christians used the word kazar for marriage which is a portuguese word.  In South Canara (Mangalore) the Konkani Hindus as well as the Christians use the word vordik, which is probably derived from the sanskrit vri which means ‘to select’ and from the root vri are derived several words connected with marriage; bridegroom voreth, bride vokol, wedding invitation voulik, wedding party voran, female wedding guest vouli, male wedding guest voulo, wedding song vovi (plural: voviyo) and wedding procession is called vor.

The terms from the root vri were most likely imported by the Shenvi Brahmins of Bardes District in Goa who after their conversion were forced to emigrate into South Canara. Thus the marriage rites have many similarities with the marriage rites of the Shenvi Brahmins in Goa.

The ancient Shenvi marriages lasted nine days.  First day – Simant puja, worship at the boundary of village to drive away evil spirits.  Second day – The essential hindu rite of taking seven steps around the sacred fire. The Dravidian rite consisted in pouring water on the joined hands.  Third day – The bridal couple stayed at the bride’s house being feasted.  Fourth dayChouthandan, at night the bride was given to the bridegroom and they left for the bridegroom’s house.  Fifth day – At noon the bridal couple returns to the bride’s house. This was called panch parthana and the bridal couple stayed at the bride’s house.  Sixth day – The couple remained at the bride’s house.  Seventh day – Dinner (gaun jevan) was given at bride’s house.  Eigth day – At noon the couple returned to bridegroom’s house and a big dinner (gaun jevan) is held at bridegroom’s house.  Ninth day – The couple remained at bridegroom’s house.  Tenth day – The wedding ceremonies come to an end and the leave-taking (vasana) ceremony took place.

The Christians, after conversion, continued many of the ancient Hindu customs with some modifications like instead of a Brahmin priest blessing and sacrifices to various Gods, the blessing of the nuptials were performed in the church.  For the Porthapon and after a day’s stay at the bride’s house, the couple visit the bride’s house again a week later and again on the 30th day.  Also the newly wedded are invited by the bride’s family for all feast-days for a period of one year, the chief feasts being the parish feast, feast of St.John the Baptist, Infant Jesus (Minin Jesus) feast and Nativity of our Lady (Monthi Fest).  Apart from the official invitations, the bridegroom was as a rule not expected to visit his in-laws uninvited and if he visits in case of necessity he had to be accompanied by his father or another male relative and his mother does not accompany him, but a year after the wedding the bridegrooms’ mother is formally invited for dinner.  Similarly, the bride’s mother is also invited by the bridegroom’s mother and this dinner is called Yenicho samman’.

However as recent as 50 to 60 years ago, my Uncle Mark Oliveira (whose advice we invariably take for any marriage function) confirms that according to mangalorean customs and traditions wedding celebrations lasted 8 days and started one or two days before roce ceremony when all the required things (vojem) were brought by daijis (Uncle and Aunts, etc.) and cooked by wadegar (sector incharge) and their troop. Lawad (gurkar) will be the head of all the functions. Every function would take place in the afternoon due to transport problem and people had to walk for 10-12 miles to reach bride/grooms house.

Accordingly:-

  1. First Day – A day or two before the wedding the vojem ceremonies
  2. Second dayRoce ceremony
  3. Third dayNuptials/Church ceremony followed by  wedding reception (Lunch) at brides house.
  4. Fourth dayPorthapon Bride’s house
  5. Fifth day – Lunch at grooms house
  6. Sixth day – Lunch (Samman Jevan) at bride’s house
  7. Seventh day – Yeni samman for bride’s mother at groom’s house.
  8. Eighth day – Yeni samman for groom’s mother at bride’s house

Thus the community was used to elaborate marriage festivities especially in the rural areas and towns.

However, towards the close of the 19th century (as stated in the book “Catholics in the 19th Century”) efforts were made to trim down the festivities and bring reforms according to changing times as education was spreading.  The elaborate festivities were considered to be one of the reasons for poverty among the lower sections and one of the speakers in the Eucharistic Congress held in 1938 in Mangalore, gave a call to end ostentation in catholic weddings and festivities.

Present day wedding festivities go on for three or maximum four days.  Nonetheless, celebrations are still very elaborate and thoroughly enjoyable and full of emotions and sentiments if performed in the traditional manner in keeping with the culture and customs of the Mangalorean catholic community.  These marriage customs clearly manifest a mixture of the rich and impressive original rituals of our Hindu forefathers with the new Christian concepts expressed in a modern and Western style.

Previous Post : Porthapon                                                           Marriage customs & traditions

References: Severine Silva and Stephen Fuchs & Victor D’sa, S.V.D.: The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India. Catholics in the 19th Century.

 

 

Mangalorean Marriage Customs and Traditions – Porthapon

STEP 16

Porthapon – Return Dinner

ghumat-or-ghumott-the-traditional-percussion-musical-instrument-of-goa-india-made-using-leather-membrane-and-earthern-pot-P8NT9M

Ghumat

Then:

The following day of the wedding the newly wedded couple return in the afternoon to the bride’s house which is called porthapon, from porthen apone, “calling again”.  The bridegroom is accompanied by twelve of his friends and the father by four close relatives.  A grand dinner is served at the bride’s house with great entertainment by singing and playing music with the ghumat**. The bridal pair is served heaps of food which they would never be able to eat but they have to put morsels of food into each other’s mouth.  When everyone has finished their meal the guests sitting last for the meal sing the laudate at the end of the meal.

The next day the bridal couple returns to the bridegrooms house for a dinner for the bride’s family and this way there is continuous visiting and re-visiting between the two homes. The following day the two again proceed to the bride’s house  and this time stay for four days which gave rise to the term choundisacho novro the ‘four-day bridegroom’. During these four days the couple is feasted by relatives and the bridegroom is given oil bath daily assisted by his own companions and the bride’s sisters.  Extra special care is taken to ensure the bridegroom does not leave before the end of the four days.

Now:

Today since the wedding functions are curtailed due to time constraints, only the next day dinner is celebrated amongst close relatives and friends of the bridal party.  The bride’s parents would enquire from the groom’s parents the number of guests who would attend or specify the number of guests they can bring. The grooms family may or may not have the return dinner, but nowadays it is common for the Porthapon to be held jointly by both families and the function is held at a party hall.  On my wedding the porthapon was at my parents’ house.

As tradition dictates two male relatives (like brides brother and an uncle) would go to the bridegrooms’ house to personally bring the bridal couple for the dinner. In the past the bridesmaids would accompany the bride to the bridegrooms house after the reception and stay there and then come along with them to the porthapon.

porthapon Fancy costume

Fancy dress costumes – Indicative

 

They would all then proceed in procession and the brides relatives would come forward at a convenient location to meet the party and welcome them in song and dance to the playing of the Ghumat.  The brides’ guests would dress in fancy costumes to add to the fun and entertainment quotient of the function and the men would usually dress as women.

The bride wears her Dharma Sado, saree given by her parents.   At her mother’s house she changes into the Maipano, saree gifted by her mother and flowers are put in hair.

The grooms mother would take along some gifts of fruit and/or sweets which she gifts to the mother of the bride/Yejman. The brides mother in turn would do the same.

Raoul charm porthapon

 

My younger son got married in Goa and so we did not have the sado ceremony at the reception.  Instead my daughter-in-law wore the sado for the porthapon which was at her parents house.  Upon reaching there she changed into the red dress (Goan sado) give by her mother.

Rohan Wedd portapon

Dancing and singing to DJ music and Ghumat continue through the night.  At the Porthapon it is customary for the senior members and close members of both families to be introduced to each other and the occasion enables the two new families to get acquainted with each other.

 

Formal functions may be conduted by a professional MC and DJ. After prayers when dinner is announced, the bridal couple is served first and their plates are piled with food, although they are not expected to finish it, but are expected to put a morsel of food in each others mouth.

The bride and groom usually stay at  bride’s house for the night, but this custom may or may not be followed nowadays. At the end of the function,  the bride’s suitcase with her personal belongings is carried to her new home by the Mal Dhedo.

 

** A brief of the Instrument Ghumat:
The ghumat is a membranophone percussion instrument from Goa and Karnataka. It is an earthen vessel, in the shape of a pot, having both sides open. On the bigger opening a drum membrane is tied taut around it. In the old days, it was mounted by a membrane made of the skin of the monitor lizard. Now, with the banning of the use of the skin of the lizard, more innovative methods are used. One of the membranes now used are synthetic membranes made from artificial materials. The sounds of the ghumat are manipulated by the opening and closing of the smaller hole with the palm of the one hand while the membrane around the larger opening is delicately struck with the other hand to produce the sound. (Ref: The live music project)

Previous Post: Mai’n Mudi Shivnchi & Opsun

Next Post: Conclusion

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

 

 

Turmeric Patoleo Leaves

Turmeric

Turmeric Rhizomes and leaves

Turmeric plants are grown from the turmeric root (rhizomes) and are harvested for their leaves and the tumeric rhizomes.  Rhizomes are used for plantation.  Turmeric rhizomeIt grows best indoors in cold temperatures. In temperate climates it can be planted in the garden but preferably in shaded areas like under a large tree which would provide the required shade to the turmeric plants as they don’t flourish well in direct sunlight.

 

Turmeric is different from Ginger.  Although they look alike and have common characteristics, they are different in their properties, effects, colors, flavors and benefits.

ginger

Fresh Ginger & Ginger Powder

Fresh Turmeric, Dried Turmeric and Turmeric powder or haldi powder

Ginger Plants

Turmeric Plants & Leaves

Turmeric rhizomes can be purchased from any Asian grocery stores and the plants take 7 to 10 months from planting to harvest and are usually planted in July and harvested in April.  The best season to plant turmeric in sub-tropic and cold zones is in spring or summer when temperatures are above 54 degF or 12 degC. In tropical regions it can be grown throughout the year.

 

turmeric leaves

Charlotte Regional Farmers Market – Peanutbutterrunner.com

 

trmeric leaves sale12janTVLpongaGU937RHGU3jpgjpg

Sale of turmeric plants in the market for Pongal – The Hindu

In countries where turmeric leaves are not available in the market it is a good idea to plant your own and enjoy the benefits of this wonderful plant.  The World Wide Web is awash with tips and step by step procedure on growing your own turmeric plant so I shall leave it at that.  Secondly, as I have personally not yet grown my own plants I shall refrain from preaching on this subject. But, yes I have purchased turmeric leaves from Goa Mapusa market and kept the leaves neatly wrapped in newspaper in the freezer and used them for a couple of years.  Trust me, when thawed the leaves were as fresh and as fragrant as if fresh from the market.  So for those resident outside India, I would urge you to pick up your stock on your visit to India (when they are in season) and bring it back and freeze until required. I thank my friend Mrs. Margaret D’Cruz for this valuable tip.

Turmeric leaves are a cooling herb and a sattvic food which promotes clear thinking and calm thoughts. The leaves also known as haldi and manjal leaves, contain curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant.

It can be used in various preparations to add flavor but commonly used as a wrapper for steamed dishes.  The famous and much revered haldikolyanche Patoleo  as it is called in konkani

Patoleos (22)

Patholis

(also called patholis or pathoyos) and kadubu in Kannada, especially in the western coast of India during religious months and festivals, are made by steaming a paste of rice with a coconut jaggery filling wrapped in the turmeric leaf.  When heated the leaf imparts a delicious aroma to the dish and it’s fragrance is immensely satisfying.

August 15 (Independence Day in India) happens to coincide with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (a Holy day of obligation) and Patoleos are a significant item prepared by Mangalorean and Goan catholics on this day.  East Indians call it Pan Mori or East Indian leaf cakes. It is also prepared on St, John’s feast (Sao Joao fest) and Konsachem fest (harvest festival).  Ediyos, steamed in jackfruit leaves were also prepared on August 15, by my mother.

Konkani hindus prepare patoleos on the second Sunday of Sharavan or Nag Panchami and on Hartalika, the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi.  Salt-free patoleos, are offered to Godess Parvati, who the legends say had a strong craving for these sweets during pregnancy.

It is important to procure genuine turmeric/haldi leaves for the patholis.  Duplicate or fake leaves are available in plenty in the market and it is difficult to tell the difference. Patholis made with duplicate leaves have an overpowering aroma and give a bitter taste to the patholis.  Although difficult to distinguish from appearance, genuine leaves must have a fragrant aroma and to determine this just pinch a piece from the tip of the leaf, it should smell aromatic and fragrant.

Several types of leaves are available for steaming, grilling food. Some of these are Banana leaves, Teak leaves, Bay leaves, Fig leaves, Maple leaves, Corn husks, etc.  Champa flower leaves are also used for steaming food.

 

 

Be creative and make do with what is available and enjoy rather than omitting  your traditional foods altogether!

 

Ref: Wikipedia, Turmeric for health.com,

Picture credits: smallgreenthings.com.au, peanutbutterrunner.com, livestrong.com

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Marriage customs and traditions – Nuptials

STEP 12

THE NUPTIAL BLESSING (Resper)

Raoul charm putting rings

Then:

The most important aspect of a wedding is the Sacrament of Marriage received at the Nuptial Blessing Resper.

On the morning after the roce ceremony the marriage was blessed in the church and this took place either in the bridegrooms or the brides parish.

The Sacristan of St.Lawrence Church Moodubelle gives blessings to his grandaughter Salvador_Barboza Circa 1975

Upon getting ready in the traditional wedding attire the bride/bridegroom kneel in front of the altar for blessing from parents and elders.

The wedding procession then proceeds to the church in an open car, bullock-cart or on foot, in separate processions accompanied by playing of bands and bursting of crackers.

Wedding procession indicative

Bullock cart procession indicative

While proceeding on foot in procession wide red umbrellas were used over the head of the bride and groom held by the bestman (dhedo) or bridesmaid (dhedi). The first best man is called mal dehedo and first bridesmaid mal dhedi. Usually the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom did not accompany the procession.

The Bride wore the kirgi baju (dress of the unmarried) and the groom wore a dhoti (short loin cloth) and a shawl over his shoulders and a red handkerchief on his head which was later improved to the todop (white loincloth with a red and gold hem), a kutav (shirt with gold buttons and a coat), shawl, red kerchief in hand and urmal (long white piece of cloth with golden hem tied around the head like a turban) and the umbrella. The bride was dressed in the proper bridal attire only after the resper. The feet of the bride and groom were sprinkled with water before leaving home.

The bridegroom waits for the bride in case his party reached early and both, holding hands, proceed to the centre of the church. The parish priest blessed the nuptials during a High mass assisted by deacon miron or mirniam* and sub-deacon. There are instances when the marriage party has reached the church but the parish priest was absent as priests were very few then and also had to attend urgent sick calls far from the church. The wedding party then used to wait many hours and then return home without a church wedding and continue with the wedding celebrations and the nuptial blessing and sacrament of marriage was bestowed on the bridal couple one or two days later.

Now:

Raoul wedding bands

The nuptials are usually in the afternoon/early evening two or three days after the roce ceremony. The bride and groom dress in their modern wedding attire i.e. white gown/saree worn by the bride and black tuxedo or suit by the bridegroom. Bestmen and bridesmaids are several in number now and generally relatives and friends of the couple.

Photo and video sessions are elaborate today and once the dressing is done, prayers and blessing is given by parents and elders and good wishes also by the younger relatives and friends. A glass full of milk is also sometimes given to the bride/groom by the mother/yejman, to drink before stepping out of the house. After sprinkling the melrish-8602 pouring water on the feetbrides/grooms feet with water (usually done by brother of bride/sister of groom) and drinking milk as stated above, the groups then proceed for the resper which is usually at the brides church but can be at the bridegrooms church as per convenience. The bridegroom first proceeds to the church and then sends the car for the bride. The relatives follow by private cars/transport or if close by, on foot to the church.

Raoul charm bestman welcome

The bride is greeted outside the church by the mal dhedo with a kiss and presented the bridal bouquet.

rlp wedd bless2

The couple is received at the church entrance by the Priest and then led into the church, the bride accompanied by her father and the groom by his mother. The bridesmaid, bestmen, page-boys and flower-girls precede the priest. The nuptials usually take place at an high mass reserved exclusively for the marriage. The Union is blessed by the Bishop or Parish Priest or if a priest is a relative of the family then he would be given the honor of blessing the nuptials where the rings, the wedding bands (resperachi mudi) are exchanged and the Sacrament of Marriage is received by the bride and groom, in the presence of two witnesses one from the brides side and one from the grooms side.

The program for the nuptial mass, which is printed on color coordinated booklets is prepared with great care and family members take pride in partaking in the nuptial program where certain tasks or duties like readings, choir singing, offertory, etc. are assigned to the family. The selection of readings, hymns, etc. must be discussed and agreed with the parish priest, so also the program. For instance the lighting of the unity candles may be allowed by some churches and may not be acceptable to others. The church pews are decorated and it must be borne in mind that the altar too must be decorated with fresh flowers for the occasion which many a times is overlooked.

The sado, karimani, jewellery, red glass bangles alongwith the aboli (Crossandra infundibuliformis or firecracker flowers) and mangalore mallige flowers (jasmine flowers) which the bride will be adorned with at the reception are carried to the church by the bridegrooms family so that they can be blessed at the nuptials. All the articles are placed in two trays, one for the saree and ornaments and other for the flowers and wrapped in a red satin or velvet cloth. The honor of dressing the bride at the reception is given to the yejman. If the yejman is the mother of the groom she may give this honor to an elder aunt, bappu’s (elder brother of father of groom) wife i.e. the daijis who are also considered as yejmani and yejman and she is handed over charge of the sado and ornaments from the house to church to the reception venue.

At the end of the mass, the bride and groom and the witnesses are invited by the Parish Priest to sign the marriage register thereby concluding the Sacrament** of marriage and sealing the contract, which in catholicism understands marriage as a contract by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership for their whole life.


*The miron or mirniam discharges many of the duties at the church which traditionally were performed by Gurkar, Luvad or Chamador. In early times Junta was the assembly of all catholic households in a village. The elected officials were (i) Gurkars (tulu pre-christian term) (headman). Gurkars were also called Budvont which is of pure Goan origin (Silva II-101). (ii) Luvad (portuguese term) (assistant headman) and (iii) Chamador (crier) in portuguese means to call. The Gurkar had to help the Parish Priest in various ways and communicate to the people orders, admonitions and advice of the parish priest and keep the parish priest informed of happenings in the village. The Luvad helped the Gurkar and in his absence performed Gurkar duties. The Chamador’s duty was to call the people Junta for the meetings to inform about deaths and duties also included digging of graves for burials. The three were important officers and were supreme in the social life of the community in the village and considered as ‘first’ parishioners of the parish. They had honor at religious functions and these offices were usually hereditary as eldest son would be selected when father died or resigned.
**Catholic marriages come under the purview of Canon Law and the Civil Law of the country in which a catholic lives. In India, Catholic marriages are regulated by the Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872 that accords the Parish Priest the status of marriage registrar. Catholicism considers marriage as a Sacrament only when both the partners are catholics. When one of the partners is not a catholic it is a mixed-marriage and recognised as a contract but not as a sacrament. Besides, a catholic marriage must be contracted in public in the presence of a Bishop or Parish Priest and with 2 witnesses. A catholic marriage has two essential properties, Unity – which rules out polygamy and thereby fidelity in a marriage; and Indissolubility – which rules out divorce. Hence a catholic marriage comes to an end only when a partner dies. Marriages are ‘annulled’ i.e. declared invalid and this must be established and a decision given by a court according to canon law. However a decree of divorce does not mean nullity. Divorce implies the existence of a marriage while nullity does not. A partner re-marrying after a divorce is considered as adultery (for both partners i.e. the divorcee and the one marrying a divorcee), if the spouse of the divorcee is living and the marriage has not been annulled.

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References: Severine Silva and Stephen Fuchs & Victor D’sa, S.V.D.: The Marriage Customs of the Christians in South Canara, India, Konkani Roman Catholics of Dakshina Kannada Chapter III.

 

 

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