Elegant Baduga Wedding

Badugas are natives of the majestic hills of the Nilgiris. Their weddings symbolize their down-to-earth qualities of being simple yet elegant and meaningful. They are taught to enjoy all that life has to offer in simple terms. The main aspects of their wedding is that there is no dowry in any form. Why is this a major highlight? It is because in the Indian culture, the dowry can make or break a marriage. Families have been greatly disturbed by this social evil. But no.. Badugas are happy with what they have. There is no posh or elaborate ceremonies. There are only simple act of coming together to celebrate love and commitment.

For a baduga, a wedding is a family affair. And by family,I mean the entire village where the bride and groom are associated. The entire villages come together to celebrate the noble union. They do not marry within the same village because it clashes with their basic principle of brotherhood. Villagers from the same village are considered as brothers and do not entertain any thoughts of marriage. 
There are three ceremonies in a baduga wedding -
-The engagement
-The pre-wedding ceremony
-The wedding 

The engagement ceremony is where all the relatives of the bride and groom get together and officially announce the betrothal. The wedding date is fixed on the engagement day. The pre-wedding ceremony is essentially a ceremony of the bride's family. The most striking feature of the wedding is the dance and the food. Traditional foods are prepared and enjoyed with gusto. Dance is a very integral part of the baduga culture. Starting from kids to aged elders, it is uniformly enjoyed and considered a matter of pride. Elders from the groom's family come to the bride's house on the pre-wedding day to accompany the bride to the temple or mandap(where the wedding is to be held the next day.) A holy chain called 'ungaramani' is presented to the bride as a welcome symbol by her new family. On the wedding day, the entire family of the bride accompanied by select few of the groom's relatives travel to the venue amidst singing and dancing. Occasional chants of 'Haw Haw' grace the ceremony. It is the holy chant of badugas which is sung during happy and sad occasions. The mangal sutra is tied making the whole process a witness to the glorious life awaiting the blessed couple. The bride is asked to perform simple duties like carrying water and eating along with her new family to further strengthen the ties. the wedding comes to an end with an elaborate lunch. Altogether the wedding is a fulfilling step towards getting acquainted with new relations and a better and happy life.


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