Turmeric Patoleo Leaves


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.


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)


(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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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 



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.


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.



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



Raoul charm putting rings


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.


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) and drinking milk as stated above, the groups then proceed for the resper which is usually at the brides’s 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 coordianted 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 incuded digging of graves for bruials. 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 religous 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.

Previous Post: Roce                                                                 Next Post: Wedding Reception

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.

Marriage customs and traditions – Nuptials Program

Wedding Nuptials program booklets

Raoul Charm wedding booklet


Sample Wording for a Catholic Wedding Program

Read on for a helpful Catholic wedding program template.

Religious elements or traditions can enrich a wedding ceremony, but determining what to include in the program to reflect your beliefs as a couple can be difficult. Use this sample program as a guide to get you started. Then add your own spin to make your day truly personal. Below is some helpful sample wording for a traditional Catholic wedding program.

Front Cover – Design and colors as per your choice and wedding color scheme

A Celebration of Marriage

Bride’s name
Groom’s name


Name of Church
City, State

Inside Page 1



Parents of the Bride

Parents of the Groom

Matron of Honor

Best Man


Ring Bearer

Flower Girl




Inside Page 2


“Name of Song,” Composer
Bride’s Processional
“Name of Song,” Composer

Liturgy of the Word

Opening Prayer

First Reading—Book of the Bible Chapter: Verse, reader’s name 

Responsorial Psalm: Name of Psalm, reader’s name

Second Reading—Book of the Bible Chapter: Verse, reader’s name

Gospel Acclamation—Book of the Bible Chapter: Verse, reader’s name


Inside Page 3

Sacrament of Marriage

Exchange of Vows

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

Unity Candle
“Name of Song,” Singer’s name

Prayer of the Faithful
reader’s name

Response: Lord Hear Our Prayer

Presentation of the Gifts

Liturgy of the Eucharist
Eucharistic Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Nuptial Blessing
Sign of Peace

“Name of song,” Singer’s name

Final Blessing

“Name of Song,” Composer

Note for Back Cover (Optional)

Thanks so much to all of our family and friends for your love and generosity. We are so grateful all of you were able to join us and share in our special day.

Bride’s name and Groom’s name


P.S.: Number of pages may differ according to the readings, hymns, etc.

Reference The Knot

Mangalorean marriage customs and traditions – Roce


Roce stage2

Roce stage and Pan-Pod Udak

Roce is a beautiful  ceremony preceding the nuptials, symbolizing purification of the body of the young bride/groom to cleanse her/him and make them pure in the eyes of God as they are about to enter into the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.   After the anointing she/he is led to take a ritual bath to end their bachelorhood or spinstership in preparation for the most important event of his/her life – The Wedding.

Roce is sort of an emotional ceremony and is held only once in a life time.  A person re-marrying, for whatever reasons, will not hold this ceremony.  So it is a unique ceremony and should be respected.  After this ceremony the bride/groom are not supposed to leave the house except for the nuptials.


On the eve of the wedding an important ceremony is performed at the bride and groom’s house respectively, called the ‘roce’– oil bath or anointing and with this the wedding ceremonies actually begin. This ceremony signifies the mother’s love for her son/daughter.  Guests were warmly welcomed at the entrance to the matov with pan-pod and udak. Guests who are in the habit of eating pan-pod take the plate in their hands and chew some pan-pod.

Traditional dress worn by bride is a skirt and blouse (called ‘Kirgi bhaju’) and changes into skirt blouse for the roce application. The groom (voreth or novro) wore a loin cloth called ‘pudvem’ or a half pant or a ‘lungi’ and the upper body may or may not be covered with a half sleeved singlet and the dhedes wore the same.

The yejmani accounces the roce. Yejmani can be the parents or any elder family member, but not widows or widower. The male is yejmani and female is yejman.

The bride/groom with their dedhiyo (bridesmaid)/dhedes (groomsmen) sit on a low stool monoi or a bench surrounded by the guests. The yejman enters with two plates vatli, one containing coconut oil and one coconut juice. She puts a sign of the cross with oil on the forehead of bridegroom, puts oil on the head rubs it in and puts oil in the ears.  Then proceeds to apply the coconut juice all over the body and softly rubs it in. The bridesmaids and groomsmen are also anointed likewise.  In earlier days only the women applied roce to the bride/groom.

This anointing is done accompanied by singing of the voviyos  by women, the procedure being one women leads the song while the rest of the women say ‘voi’ voi’ (yes, yes) at the end of each verse and then repeat the last verse.  These wedding songs voviyos express the genuine enterprising nature of the manglorean Christians, their high ideals, respect for elders, their deep faith in God invoking the blessing of God on the couple.  It was not uncommon for two senior women to sing the voviyos in competition with each other, one praising the bride and the other the groom.

When the anointing comes to an end the bride/groom are led by the mother to the bath for their last ‘bachelor’s bath’ avnkarponachem nan-navnche.  The mother and god-mother, elder aunts would symbolically bathe the bride/groom by pouring the first few mugs of water on them.

The roce ceremony is an impressive and ritual purification rite by which the bride and groom embarks on a new state of life i.e. saunskar.  The blessings of God are invoked and their dead ancestors remembered.

The roce banquet consists of steamed rice,  polov of ash-pumpkin (kuvalo),  chone sukke black-gram curry,  lonche pickles, kele sukke curry of raw bananas and vorn sweet dessert. Those who can afford serve muton-polov. In some communities the main dish of the roce meal consists of fish curry.

The meal began when the bride/groom finished their bath and had taken their seat of honor in the matov. The MC or Garcho Yejmani says a few words while raising a toast for a bright future to the bride/groom.  This is called boliki magchi – wishing good health to all present in the matov. At the end of the yejmani’s short speech everyone says ‘dev borem korum’ – ‘May God Bless you’ and the meal begins.  Usually children, women and people coming from long distance would eat first (poili pankti).  When people sitting at the last turn (kadechi pankti) finish their meal the laudate is sung. That night there is great merry-making, singing and joking in the matov which continues through the night.  Those in charge of cooking, keep themselves busy killing the pig, slicing onions, etc. for the wedding banquet.


The Roce ceremony is held two or three days before the wedding.   In the cities,  roce may be held at home if there is sufficient place in the compound or a building terrace where a wedding matov/pandal is erected or in a private hall.

The day would begin  by mass being offered for the departed souls of the family Gharchin almaun.  The close family members then gather for lunch at the bride/bridegrooms home to prepare for the evening roce ceremony like extracting roce.  The vojem gifts are made.

The coconuts used should be in odd number, three, five, seven, etc. depending on how much roce is required which would depend on the number of guests expected at the function.  The scraping of the coconuts are done by the elder sisters, sister-in-law, maushis, etc. and extraction of the roce although required to be squeezed by hand only,  maybe ground in the mixer and extracted by placing the coconut paste in a cloth and squeezed if a large quantity of roce is required.

The roce plates are also in odd number 3, 5, 7 etc. depending on the number of women who will be given the honor by the yejman of carrying the roce plates.  Elder sister-in-law, God mother, aunts, etc. are given the honor but not widows and spinsters.



As the concept of matov and rashyo is seldom followed various traditional kitchen items are displayed near the stage on the roce day, as shown in the kazara matov post.

The event is conducted by a professional Master of Ceremonies who will make the required announcements to give a proper format to the event. Food is catered and music is hired so that there is great entertainment for the function.


When the anointing comes to an end the bride/groom are led by the mother to the bath for their last ‘bachelor’s bath’ avnkarponachem nan-navnche.  The mother and god-mother, elder aunts would symbolically bathe the bride/groom by pouring the first few mugs of water on them.

The roce ceremony today is similar to the earlier custom and by far many of the rituals are followed even if only symbolically, like the stage decorations, vojem procession, traditional costumes, singing of voviyos or recorded voviyos.  Symbolic cutting of theRoce Kuwalo cutting kuvalo by the bappu and extracting coconut juice is also symbolically performed at the begining of the formal roce function.

The traditional roce menu is served but in addition mutton, pork, chicken etc. are also included depending on individual choice and/or financial status of the host.  The meal is served buffet style instead of the traditional banana leaf meal.

shankarapura-malligeNo mangalorean roce function or for that matter any wedding function is complete without the Mangalore Mallige Jasmine flowers.  As with all preparations it is ensured that an order for the flowers is made well in time. The Altar is also decorated with jasmine flowers and after reserving for the bride to adorn her hair after her ritual roce bath, the remaining flowers are distributed to women of the family, relatives and friends.

A typical roce ceremony would go along the following lines::-

  1. Keep the Roce plates at the alter
  2. Welcome
  3. Prayer at the alter
  4. Bible reading
  5. If priest or nun is present or a senior person, can give short commentary over the bible reading and the Roce program.
  6. Make bride/bride groom to stand at a prominent place and all senior people come in a line and give blessings.
  7. Make the people involved in Roce to sit at the bench provided in a Matov. (If it is bride then bride along with her sisters or cousins or dedhiyos. If it is bridegroom then along with him his brothers/cousins or dedhes)
  8. Applying the Roce
  9. Take the Novro/Vokol and give them a bath.
  10. Dedho/Dedhios too will go for bath.
  11. Dinner

and Laudate

Then music, dancing and merry-making!

Enjoy this wedding song…


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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


Mangalorean marriage customs and traditions – Laudate Psalm


The Laudate Psalm (Psalm 116(117) – a song sung in Praising God is one of the most sung by Mangalorean Catholics at all weddings and related functions and all auspicious functions.  It is  traditionally sung in Latin.

The below psalm/hymn is recited at the end or after the first round of serving meals at the Roce and at the wedding after the Opsun Divnchem ceremony is concluded.

Laudate Dominum

Laudáte Dóminum omnes gentes
omnes populi; Quóniam confirmáta est
súper nos misericordia eius
et véritas Domini mánet in æternum (2)

[At this point all rise and mark themselves
with the Sign of the Cross
as they sing the Glory Be]

Glória Pátri et Filio et Spiritui Sáncto.
Sicut érat in pricipio et nunc et semper
et in sáecula sáeculorum Amen.

Laudáte Dóminum omnes gentes
omnes populi; Quóniam confirmáta est
súper nos misericordia eius
et véritas Domini mánet in æternum (2)


Laudate – Translation in english

O Praise the Lord, all nations, Praise Him, all people. For he has bestowed His mercy upon us. And the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to he Holy Spirit. As it was in the begining, is now,  and forever, and for generations of generations.  AMEN


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