This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.
The morning of the Janti was the most emotional and chaotic day that I think I will ever face. The day was filled with tears, panic and more tears.
Janti is the groom’s wedding procession which goes form his house to the bride’s to bring the bride to the his house. The Janti consisting of the groom’s family members, relatives and friends, sets out for the bride’s home. The Janti is accompanied by a musical band, indulges in dance and merrymaking all along the way. This ceremony is a very joyous event for the groom’s family while it is a bit sad for the bride’s family as she will be leaving her house to start a new life with her husband.
As this ceremony was in the morning for us, I got up early and got ready for the day. I wore a red Dupatta Sari with a green border and a matching shawl around my arms and a red veil covering my head.
I wore my jewellery including the Tilhari and Chura (bangles). My aunty and friends did my hair and make-up. Once everyone was ready, we went to the wedding venue.
In the meantime, in AS’s home, they were getting ready as well and his family performed a Puja with the help of the priest to start the rituals.
Then he asked for the blessing of his parents and left house in a decorated car with all his relatives following him and a band of colourfully dressed musicians, with drums and trumpets, in most cases performing very loud music.
Before AS left his home, two decorated gagree (pitchers) were placed on either side of the main door of the house in which AS put some coins, asking the blessing of the gods before he stepped out of the house.
The procession moved along slowly around the area, a way of letting the community know that the person is getting married.
Once the Janti arrived at the venue, AS and his family were welcomed by my dad and my family.
He was offered a seat on a sofa waiting for me to arrive near the mandap where the wedding ritual would take place. His relatives were seated in the chairs nearby. They were served with cocktails and drinks.
One of my favourite traditions in weddings is that of “Jutta lukaune” or hiding the groom’s shoes. So the tradition starts when the groom sits for the puja, he takes off his shoes. At that point, the bride’s sisters/cousins/bridesmaids/friends steal the shoes and hide them. It is the job of groom’s brothers/cousins to not let the bride’s entourage to steal the shoes, and at the same time the bride’s side has to try their best to get the shoes and hide them. It is not about the money, but the fun that comes along with the tradition.
Before AS could sit in front of the mandap, he had to take off his shoes. I have lots of cousins, so as soon as AS was about to take off his shoe, they jumped in, trying to get his shoes. His brothers tried to make sure, my cousins didn’t get the shoes and there was a Tug of War. The poor shoe was damaged in the process but finally my cousins were able to get one of the shoes while the other was still with AS’s family. It was quite fun to watch.
Once the “war over the shoes” was over, AS sat down next to me.
He was wearing a black suit with a traditional Nepali topi. I was happy looking at him through my veil that we are now goona be together forever. Everything we went through until that moment was worth it to see AS by my side with both our families so happy with our union.
The Puja started with the same two priests as before. There was also one elder from each family (the eldest male of the family) sited next to the priests in front of the Mandap and the Puja went on for an hour. This process is called Kanyadaan where the bride is formally handed over to the groom by her father.
Then it was followed by AS and me sharing food from one plate called “Thaa bu” which had eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, Roti, meat, fish and much more.
After that, the eldest from AS’s family, put Tuuti Bagi (Special marriage anklet which literally means a carriage for the feet) on both my feet indicating I am married into their family. This is a tradition in Newari / Nepali wedding.
Now came the hardest part. It was time to give Supari to each member of my close family and say my good byes. In turn, they would give me some gift or money and take Supari from me. I promised myself I would not cry when I left to go to AS’s house since I don’t want to start a chain reaction with everyone crying after I did. I had seen how much my aunt had cried at her wedding and how everyone in her family started crying too. Therefore, I was keeping strong. This process went for a while, as I had to give Supari to almost 40 people with my parents coming at the end, just before I left my parents’ house forever.
When I was half way through giving Supari I heard my mum sobbing. I was teary-eyed but I hadn’t started crying yet. Hearing her sob, I couldn’t stop but sob. Ohoo it started the chain reaction as I had predicated and most of my cousins and aunts started sobbing. While I was giving Supari to my parents, both of them were crying. It was such an emotional moment. It was as if you were saying “I am leaving you guys”.
And the band didn’t help any by playing the emotional song “Maitighar timro hoina...” which translate to, “The home of your birth is not yours anymore, you go to your husband’s house. Do still come and visit your parents sometime…” or something along those lines. Anyway, it took a few of my relatives to help my mum away from me. I couldn’t stop crying after that.
It was now time for me to leave my parents’ home and go to my husband’s. My brother carried me to the waiting car. He needed to go around the car 3 times before he could put me inside.
In the meantime, there was a big negotiation going on for the shoe (which my cousins had taken) between AS and my cousins. I think he gave them RS 5000 and finally they gave him his shoe back.
Once, AS got his shoes back from my cousins, he joined me in the car but I was still sobbing. I hugged my dad, mum and brother before they closed the door of the car.
Red and gold cloth was put on the top of the car and everyone showered the car with rice, flowers and Sindoor. Inside, AS was consoling me as the band started up with the music and AS’s family said their good byes.
The car we were in was decorated with lots of flowers and with our initials at the back of the car.
I was off to start my new life with my new family!
More on the wedding in the next post.
M from nepaliaustralian
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Go to Part 44