Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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Marriage

Marriage is celebrated in Punjab still with great gusto. Until a few decades ago a marriage celebration meant a long chain of ceremonies and rituals but now it has become a comparatively simple affair. Nevertheless marriage still means rituals and festivity. 

Generally a girl has no say in the choice of her husband. Formerly it was the Parohat (priest) or Nai (barber)  of the family who negotiated with the boy's family on behalf of the girl's family, or vice versa. If what he fixed up met with the approval of the girl's parents the matters were finalised. This procedure is still followed by some orthodox families, but the more advanced ones almost always take the girl's consent before making a commitment. 

Choice of a bride or bridegroom

 
Of the various considerations that influence the choice of a bride or bridegroom, caste and clan are the most important. Normally out of the caste marriages are not allowed. The Khatris marry their daughters into Khatri families only, but its is very interesting that they do not mind taking a bride from another caste, like the Aroras. There is a system of social graduation in accordance with which certain Khatri tribes refuse to inter-marry, except  in a certain specified few of their fellow tribes, such as Dhaighare, Charzati, Khukhrian, Bahri etc. Thus, for instance, a Dhaighara( literally, two and a half  houses) Khatri marries only in one of three castes-Kapurs, Khannas, and Mehras or Malhotras. 

The Jats are also very particular about their got (clans) and do not marry into the gots of the parents and grand parents on both sides. The villages of the Punjab are exogamous units and marry their children in villages which are near about. "Each village is said to have a traditional set of villages to which its girls regularly go in marriage and another set from which it regularly receives wives".


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