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Gautam Mitra on Local Customs Kolkata at the Virtual Tourist

October 7, 2011
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A Marwari Marriage in Kolkata

Kolkata (Calcutta) Local Custom Tip by goutammitra

Recently we had the opportunity to attend marriage of Marwari community in Kolkata. Marwaris have very close connection with Kolkata & Bengal, having settled in Bengal from Marwar( Rajasthan) duruing 14th to 16th Century ( Mughal Period). They have contributed a remarkable contribution in developing Bengal’s economy. The Nivetia family of Kolkata headed by Mr.Oma Shankar Nevetia ( A handsome well educated gentleman) , migrated to Kolkata after graduatation from Punjab university in 1959. Then later other members of the family followed. They now have sprawling business of Clearing & Forwarding agency, transportation etc. The Bride, Riddhi is the daughter of Mr. Umakant Nivetia & Mrs. Saroj Nivetia and the Groom, Vijendra, is son of Mr.Bishwanathji Kedia & Mrs. Chandadevi Kedia. The bride, Riddhi is niece of Mr. Oma Shankar Nivetia.

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The Bride and the groom

Marriage in Rajasthani community is just as elaborate as any big affair. Traditions and customs form an important part of all Marwari weddings. The most important factor is that match is fixed and marriages are held only within the community, after veryfying the Gotras( both have to be from different gotras as Hindus consider boys & girls from same Gotras as brother & sister)

The engagement ceremony or the “Sagai” takes place at the house of the groom. This is strictly all male affairs. On this day, the bride’s brother puts “tilak” on the groom’s forehead. A sword, clothes, sweets etc. are given to the groom. “Ganapati Sthapna” and “Grih Shanti” is the second-most important ceremony performed a few days prior to the wedding. An idol of Lord Ganapati is installed and a “havan” is performed. This sthapana is important as all ceremonies commence only after this.

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A few days prior to the wedding the “Haldi (applying of Turmaric/Sandal paste) dastoor” ceremony starts. It consists of the application of turmeric and sandalwood paste to the bride and the groom who cannot leave the house once the Haldi is applied.. This ceremony continues until the day of the wedding. “Mehfils” are an integral part of every Rajasthani wedding. ‘Ladies’ mehfils as well as ‘gents’ mehfils are organised.

One very important ritual among Marwari community is Mehandi( Henna) Ceremony. Mehndi forms an integral part of each and every Marwari ceremony. It is said the longer the colour of the Mehnadi lasts the Bride will get more deep love, respect from Husband & her family.

The traditional dance-‘ghoomar’ is performed in the ladies mehfil, while men have their own parties. The “Janeu” (sacred thread ceremony) is performed a day before the wedding. The custom of Palla Dastoor is typical to the Marwaris. On the day of the wedding or a day prior to it, the groom’s family brings the Palla Dastoor to the bride’s house. It consists of clothes, jewellery and gifts from the groom, which the bride has to wear during the wedding ceremony. A Marwari “barat”, consisting male& female members, which proceeds to the wedding grounds. Dance is an integral part of a Marwari Barat.

As soon as the “Barat” reaches the bride’s house the groom is taken to the ladies section where the bride’s mother receives the groom with the traditional “aarti” and he is then taken to the “mandap”. The Bride is brought to the mandap by the maternal uncle dressed in traditional marwari costum, which is sent to her by the groom’s parents. The “kanyadan ” ceremony is then performed by parents wherein the bride is given to the groom for life. “Saat Phreras” are taken round the scared fire while the pundit chants mantras.

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Reception podium

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For other such tips on Kolkata by Locals and torists visit the following link

A marwari wedding attended by a Begali

Virtual Tourist








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