Marriage is one of the conspicuous celebrations for any community. Marriage brings together two different souls to unite and be the better half of each other. However, it not just connects two people but also ties the knots between their families and relatives.
Marriages in Bunts Sangha community are immensely vibrant, colorful and bright with different customs and traditions; it’s like a small festival for the Bunts.
It all starts with a small meeting called as ponnu thoopune between both the families along with the boy and girl. Once they accept each other they move ahead with Kundli or jathaka matching custom. Marriage is all about compatibility, connectivity and adjustment between each other and the families; and once these are found to be positive the dowry or token dowry is fixed between the families.
All these informal meetings are done by the males of both the families. And finally when the formal meeting day arrives the boy gets invited to the girl’s house for a sammana meal along with his father, grandfather and brother. Further, they move a step ahead and decide the marriage date, venue and the date for dowry payment.
Engagement is the base of any marriage and in Bunts community the boy and girl exchange veelya, also a part of dowry can be given during this function.
Few days like Ugadi, Anatha chathurdashi, vijaya dashami, Abhijin muhurtha (noon time) and godhuli lagna (evening) are considered to be the auspicious days for wedding. Moreover many Bunts consider that Thursdays and Fridays are more propitious over Tuesdays.
The grand day for the bride and groom finally turn up and the dompa and mantapa, where the weeding will take place, is decorated pleasantly with banana plants, flowers, and mango leaves. When dibbana arrives at the weeding venue the other family welcomes them with flowers, kumkuma, akshathe, kurdi neer, and panneeru. After dibbana the bride and groom take a ceremonial bath with the aromatic turmeric water.
Now the beautiful bride in sari and charming groom in kacche/shetty-kacche are all ready for marriage. As the bride and groom come in the dompa they exchange the garlands.
Dharegindi(a round silver vessel) is filled with water and tulasi leaves. The mouth of the gindi is covered with jackfruit leaves, mango leaves, and a coconut. The maternal uncle and the parents of the bride take the dharegindi to the assembled elders for their blessing. In this ritual, the bride's hand is placed over the groom's hand. The dhare water is poured over their hands three times by the maternal uncle of the bride. A plate is held below their hands to collect the water. The groom and the bride are now the wedded husband and wife. Following this, the groom ties the karimani to the bride.
A homa is performed by a priest in the mantapa.The bride walks seven steps with the groom (saptapadi). This is then followed by someother small and important customs like aarathi, singing songs, putting akshateon on the couple, dompa-jappune, bonda ceremony and lastly giving money and gifts to the couple.
Finally the moment of kuruntu popune arrives when the bride leaves with her newly wedded husband to enjoy the awaiting exquisite better half of her life.