Wedding Rituals and Art

The fast approaching modernism is giving way to old fashioned customs and rituals, which is not such a bad thing thing. However, progress and modernism doesn’t encourage people to have double standards or be confused about their identities. When a family decides to do a traditional customary wedding, they should really do it from their heart like they actually believe in it. So the wedding rituals, mantras and all activities around it becomes extremely important and as a photographer I try to capture as many rituals as possible.

In different weddings, I see different interesting rituals. Some time they appear funny, sometime poignant. In Bengali wedding, the Shbho Drishti is a very sweet and fun ritual where the Bride and Bridegroom for the first time are supposed to see each other. In earlier days this was the first time the couple saw each other. The bridegroom stands at a certain place near the wedding mandap, the bride is carried on a wooden plank by her brothers and brought near the bridegroom. Then they take seven rounds around the bridegroom and finally stop making the couple face each other. The bride is required to keep her face covered by beetle leaf and should only remove it slowly when asked and then look at the bridegroom’s eyes. Shubho Drishti literally meaning, ‘auspicious look.’ I have seen many modern brides, even though having a love marriage still somehow feeling shy during this ritual, while her friends and family tease and cheer the couple insisting to look deep in each others eyes. The ritual marks the beginning of a Bengali wedding ceremony and always fills the environment with joy and positivity.

Along with rituals there are some unique wedding accessories that are used by various families as per their individual customs and traditions. A Suhaag pitara among Biharis, a Sree, topor, jamai baron dala are some of the accessories in a Bengali wedding. Below are some of the unique rituals I have observed.

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