India is a land of diverse culture with many different communities living in every parts of the country and for every community Weddings are considered to be the most important and memorable part of one life. It brings lots of sentiments and joy to every member of the family. The new couple is going to begin a new life living back all her memories way back at her maternal house and enter a whole new life with her partner. Like every festivals, Weddings are celebrated with full enthusiasm in every community in India. Generally the families celebrate and declare the union of the couple with grate pomp and show to make it a memorable one. Indian weddings are known for their colorful event, which is mixed up with traditions and customs. Each and every community celebrate their wedding in their own style and for all these occasion one thing which matters most is the Look.
Say for example, how it would be if Rafal Nadal took the center court in a blue jeans and tee-shirt to play the final of Australian Open. How would it be if Manmohon Singh takes his office in his most comfortable sleeping suit? Many a time we forget but the truth is look matters a lot. Every one of us is dressed for the occasion at times consciously and at times not so consciously and sometime we are forced to. But at the end of the day it matters a lot what we actually wears.
A costume gives an in-depth view of certain culture, a period, a society; it also goes far beyond fashion and this is exactly the main reason why dress plays an important role in an occasion. And when we are taking about occasion wedding is perhaps the most important occasion in everybodys life. So it needless to say that dress plays an important role in wedding.
The Bengali community celebrates their wedding with full enthusiasm like every other festival; the rituals of the wedding are very simple and traditional. A Bengali bride represents the true femininity and beauty. The wedding attire of a Bengali bride is very attractive and looks spectacular in its traditional wedding trousseau. A Bengali marriage is not just an exhibition of richness and grandeur it equips much more to the tradition. A bride make-up and jewelry and costume are actually the reflection of the bride herself and her family.
The hair of the bride is usually tied with bun and covered with a veil. The mukut (crown) is placed on her head and is pinned to the veil. The bride must sit with the gaach kouto and kajal lata for the wedding ceremonies. And not to forget the most synonymous of the Bengali wedding the red benarasi sari and with this she not only looks spectacular in the traditional Bengali attire but also she represent himself as the symbol of goodness and strength.
Grooms attire is no less than a bride. The bridegroom in a Bengali community wears a silk dhoti and kurta. The groom drapes a silk cloth around his body known as jor, while performing the marriage rituals. The end of this cloth is tied to the anchal of the brides sari during the marriage ceremony.
And last but not the least, the traditional paper hat topor that grooms wears during the ceremony is also a year long tradition which Bengali people followed throughout these years. This symbolism has been used in much Bengali film starting from Satyajit Rays Apur Sansar to Riturporno Gosh, Noakadubi Bengali marriage has been come as a metaphor to the society. The traditional Bengali marriage is considered as an extension to Bengali culture and society, the history as a whole and bridal costume often becomes a mirror of the society. Bengali bride also wears a tika on her head as it is treated as Goddess Lakshmi. The Hands and feet of the bride are adorned with red liquid known as alta, which is sign of prosperity and also defines the marital status of a woman. When it comes to jewelry, a Bengali community can easily give run over all other communities for their money.
A Bengali bride is adorned with different kinds of jewelries, like, kaanpasha (hand-crafted delicate gold ornament that adorns the entire ear), Hathphool (an ornament comprising of five rings interconnected by thin golden chains), Nath (the large gold loop nose ring connected by a slender gold chain to the Kaan), Chik (gold choker studded with diamonds or other jewels worn around the neck), Panchnari (A necklace with five or punch layers of precious stone), Sapta Lahari (similar to Panch but has seven layers instead) and Hansuli (another traditional necklace of Bengal).
But the most interesting thing is the gradual mix of contemporary styles that has come into the costumes of a traditional Bengali wedding. Now a days the modern Bengali bride often shift from Benarshi to some other sari with the changing times well known designer have come up with many experiments with bridal costumes and jewelries.
Now a days with the changing scenario it is also important to mix past with the present but to keep hold the age long tradition is another important aspect of this beautiful Bengali culture. The traditional Bengali wedding is a marriage of period of epochs where yesterday marks the aurora of tomorrow.
About the Author:
Mr. Adwiata Roy is the Director at the International Hair & Make-up School, New Delhi.