An Oriya Wedding is a simple and straightforward affair very much in keeping with the culture of the people of the state of Orissa. In an Oriya Matrimony the father of the bride plays an important role in the various ceremonies conducted during the wedding.
Nirbandh: Most marriages have their beginnings in this ritual. This is the ceremony which marks the engagement of the couple. The fathers of both the bride and the groom take an oath that they will wed their children. It takes place at the bride’s place. This is considered as a commitment for both sides to proceed with the marriage arrangements. Usually there is an exchange of gifts between both families for the bride and bridegroom. Interestingly, the bride and the groom themselves do not participate in this ritual.
Jwain Nimantrana: The Jwain, or son-in-law, is given a very respectable place in an Oriya Matrimony. Like many Indian customs this ritual is also performed according to “Oriya Sanskriti”. The father of the bride along with other important persons from the family go to groom’s house with “Sweekar” and invites the groom to the wedding. As per the customs in an Oriyan wedding, no female member should accompany the father of the bride for this invite.
Haatha ghanti is another ritual performed during the wedding wherein the father of the bride has an important role to play. In this ceremony the bride and groom offer puffed rice to the holy fire. The bride and groom sit in front of each other and the bride’s father keeps the hands of his daughter over the hands of the groom. The bride’s father puts puffed rice on their hands and then gives away his daughter to the groom.
Kanyadaan is a customary ritual performed in most Hindu marriages. This is the ceremony in which the father of the bride gives away his daughter to the groom and asks him to take care of her. This is a very touching ceremony reducing many to tears. As part of Kanyadaan the couple takes seven rounds around the sacred fire which symbolizes as a witness to the marriage. Kanyadaan is believed to be the greatest Daan in the Hindu religion. After this ritual the bride considers herself to be a member of her husband’s family.
Nandimukha: In every wedding the blessings of the forefathers are always sought. In an Oriya Matrimony this is a customary ritual where the father of the bride, along with other elders, pays tribute to the deceased ancestors through an elaborate pooja, requesting their holy spirits to bless the couple to-be.
The rituals in an Oriya Matrimony bear resemblance to the Hindu marriage ceremony but are different in many aspects. Oriya people believe in simple living, and this can be seen in the way their marriages are conducted. The father of the bride plays a poignant role in the wedding and has to perform certain rituals.