Panzer Magazine - Indian Music
Asian marriages, unlike British ones, are far complex and are replete with a number of fascinating traditions and customs. There is a wide array of rituals performed and followed before the marriage day, on the marriage day, and after the wedding ceremony is over. It is these rituals, which add gaiety and colour to such weddings. No doubt, music and entertainment also play an important role in such marriages. More often than not, people often hire the services of marriage event management companies. However, they generally hire the services of these companies for managing the decoration of the venue, taking care of the catering, printing invitation cards and mailing them to the invitees. Traditional asian wedding music, replete with wind musical instruments such as shehnaai, and percussion instruments like tabla, and dhol play an intricate part in these weddings too.
Different ceremonies held over a week
Asian weddings are exciting, glittery, traditional, and colourful affairs. Some of the pre wedding ceremonies include sagaai, sangeet and mehndi enhance the beauty of the occasion and leave an everlasting memory in the mind of the attendees.
Sagai is the equivalent of engagement. The main purpose behind the organization of the sagai ceremony or sagai in India is to finalise the date of marriage. The groom and the bride exchange rings during this ceremony. The spirit of Indian traditions and customs is evident through this function. It is also known as magni, sagan, chunni chadana, or aashirwaad, depending on the religion of the bride and groom.
This ceremony involves music, singing, dancing and music. It traditionally takes place a couple of days before the mehndi ceremony. Previously, only women used to attend this ceremony. However, it is now common for the groom and the bride to dance together to the tune of Bollywood music in such ceremony. Male and female guests from both the bride and the groom participate in sangeet ceremony.
The mehndi ceremony normally takes place a day or two prior to the actual wedding and this function takes place at the bride's home. As a part of this ceremony, the hand and feet of the bride to be are decorated with intricate mehendi (temporary henna tattoos) designs. The hands and feet of close female relatives too are adorned with henna paste.
The actual marriage ceremony takes place a day after the mehndi ceremony. It constitutes of different functions like the jaimala (the groom and the bride exchange garlands), havan (the couple invoke "agni" or the "God of fire" to witness their commitment to each other), kanyadaan (the bride's father places her hand on the hand of the groom and requests him to accept his daughter as a life partner).
The Asian wedding music adds to the cheerful atmosphere. On many occasions, the father of the groom hires the services of traditional musicians who play marriage related tunes on the shehnai, accompanied to the beats of the table. The trend is changing rapidly with the groom's father hiring Bollywood singers and actors to sing and dance during the occasion. As you can see Asian wedding music forms an integral part of Asian marriages, right from the sangeet function to the actual wedding.