About Bunts

Bunts Wedding Rituals

A B C of a typical Bunts Wedding

Based on the original article & has already been published in Pune Bunts' Sangha Magazine 2011 by Navanitha B Shetty

Bunt Weddings are a relatively simple but joyful affair. It may be noted that there are some differences in the wedding rituals depending on which place the ceremony is held. Given here is a general description of a typical bunt wedding sans bhatru/ bhatji.

Bunt wedding procedure

When the bride’s family organizes the wedding ceremony, she comes to the wedding hall first - 30 minutes before the Dhare.

Bride arrives at the venue
  1. Pouring water to the Bride’s feet before she enters the wedding venue - bride’s sister In Law ( Bride’s brother’s wife)
  2. Aarti at the venue entrance – Brides brother’s wife/ sister in law, Father’s sister , maternal uncle’s wife ( mami ) and other sumangalis (married women with husbands) will do aarti and put haldi-kumkum.
  3. The bride is escorted to the mantap by her brother’s wife or father’s sister or maternal uncle’s wife. ( mami )
  4. Bride to be seated on the stage – on the left side of the mantap.

Bride groom arrives at the mantap
  1. Pouring water to the Bridegroom’s feet before he enters the wedding venue - bride’s brother.
  2. Aarti at the venue entrance – Brides brother’s wife/ sister in law, Father’s sister , maternal uncle’s wife ( mami ) and other sumangalis (married women with husbands) will do aarti and put haldi-kumkum.
  3. The bridegroom is escorted to the mantap by – bride’s brother.
  4. Bridegroom to be seated on the stage – on the right side of the mantap.

When both the bride and the bride groom enter the venue after the aarti
The Shehnai, trumpet (Kombu) and tabla is played during the grand entrance of the bride and the groom for the wedding ceremony.

Purifying the mantap by sprinkling Theertha & giving it to the bride and bridegroom by the head of the bride’s family.

Installation of Ganesha
A banana leaf is kept on a low stool /mane. A heap of rice is spread on the leaf. A chembu with holy water is kept in the centre of the rice and decorated with coconut flower and a coconut on top. This is known as kalasha. A small sanadige decorated with flowers is lit next to the kalasha. Garland and Mangalsutra should be kept next to the ganesha.

Presentation of Poo Sere
Presenting the bride with Poo Sere that is sari, flowers, jewellery along with beauty aids like silver arasina box and kumkum box, comb and a small mirror from the groom’s side to the bride - By the groom’s mother and her close relatives.

Bride and groom to be taken three rounds around the installed Ganapati by the groom’s sister and brother in law. Then the bride and the groom take their seats. Groom to be seated on the left chair and the bride on the right side of the bridegroom.

Exchange of garlands
First the bride has to garland the groom. Next the groom has to garland the bride. The bride and groom put Akshata before they garland each other. Akshata is given to all those who are present at the mantap to bless the couple. (Akshata = rice grains which is blessed and mixed with arasina & kum kuma)

Taking blessings for the kalasha (daare da chembu) by the bride’s parents. The right hand of the father should be at the top of the kalasha. The bride’s mother has to take the blessings of the elders by touching their feet.

Parents of the bride and groom seek blessings and permission of the audience to carry on with the wedding.

Muhurta / Daare
Grooms left palm, then his right palm, and then bride’s left palm then her right palm to be held on top of one another. Gold coin (sovereign or nanya) is placed on bride’s right palm. The moment the bride is handed over to the groom Bride’s parents ceremonially pour water from the Dareda chembu /gindi three times into the bridal couple’s palm ( called dhare )Signifying that she is now his. A silver plate / Harivana are held under the palms to collect the water poured from the chembu by the groom’s parents. The bride and groom are made to hold the 'chambu' and sit down and rise three times in quick succession. This is known as the ‘dhareyeruna’ later, the collected water is poured in a coconut tree or any fruit giving plant.

Akshata to be given to the family members who are present at the mantap to bless the couple.

After the daare the bridal couple will exchange their seats. Bride will sit on the left hand side of the groom.

Kariyamani / Mangalasutra
Bride’s mother will take the Kariyamani to the elderly sumangalis of the family for blessings and hand it to the groom’s mother. She will then give it to the groom for tying. The couple will stand while performing this act. Akshata is distributed to the relatives present at the mantap to bless the couple.

Arati
Five or seven ladies (balikas or sumangalis) perform arati to the couple while they remain seated. The arati song can be sung or played in the background. Arati is always done clockwise. One or three ladies apply thilak to both the bridal couple. 16. Installed Ganapati to be removed.

Akshata plate to be kept in the center of the mantap in front of the bridal couple by the eldest sumangali of the bride’s family.

Request the audience to bless the couple with Akshata.

Dompa jappunu
The couple are led from the stage, the groom by his brother in law and the bride by the groom’s sister and taken out of the venue pray to the Sun God (surya darshan) and made to re-enter. While re-entering water is poured to the feet of the bridegroom by the bride’s brother and the bride’s by the bridegroom’s sister. The bridegroom has to give present for washing his feet to the brother in law (bride’s brother) normally gold sovereign or cash is given.

After re –entrance
After re- entering they are made to sit in the hall (not in the mantap) they are served with tender coconut water. The bride's mother will give tender coconut to the groom and he has to drink little and give little to his wife (signifying a commitment to share everything). The groom’s mother will give the bride a gold memento as a gift.

Post-Wedding Rituals
All the women from girl's family will give the bride's hand to the boy's mother /Ponnu Vocchidu Korpunu or an elder member of his family. During this, they sing a song or speak words of praise for the girl and how they have brought her up like a princess. The boy's side will say they will accept her as their daughter not as their daughter-in-law. Handing over the bride to the groom’s family marks the tearful farewell of the bride from her paternal home for her husband's house.

Bridal couple will take blessings of their elders by touching their feet
The exit from the place of wedding takes place at an appointed time, according to the muhurta. The bride, after receiving aashirwada or blessings of the parents and the elders present, takes her leave. The bride is accompanied by her brother who stays at the groom’s house for the night and returns home the next day.