The Kamma community belonging to the state of Andhra Pradesh is a true standout among the other Dravidian races. The interesting spiritual origin of the community, the repercussions of this cultural history onto their marital practices and the sheer beauty of seeing the bride and the groom unite in holy matrimony make Kamma weddings a much sought after ceremony of the state.
Like in any other Telugu matrimony celebration, the main event of the Kamma wedding is the tying of the mangalasutra around the neck of the bride. This event marks the official start of the couple’s life together as the husband and wife. Following this, the parents of the bride join the hands of their daughter along with the members of her new family. This ritual which marks a very emotional scene is the concluding part of wedding customs in the mandapam. The post wedding rituals are completed in the house of the groom as follows.
The welcoming of the bride into the groom’s family is called Griha Pravesh. The bride enters the groom’s house for the very first time. She places her right foot into the house first and is welcomed by the groom’s mother by performing an Aarati. Close relatives of the groom are also present during the ceremony. This ritual is performed during an auspicious time as the people of the Kamma community believe that the entering of the bride denotes the beginning of prosperity and wealth to the family.
Venkateswara Deeparadhana and Satyanarayan Vratam
Most families of the Kamma community are implicit believers of Lord Venkateshwara and hence perform special pujas to the deity during all special occasions. The first puja performed by the bride in her new home is called the Satyanarayan Vratam during which the bride and the groom fast through the day. It usually takes place a day or two after the bride arrives at her in-law’s place. The couple break the fast after seeing the moon and together perform the Aarati for the gods. This puja can be performed on any day except the new moon day.
Uniting the Knot
The threads of the mangalasutra are tied together with gold and black beads in between the two“coin-like” structures and slipped into a golden casing. This ritual is performed on the 16th day after the wedding and is usually performed by the mother or the paternal aunt of the groom. The bride wears new clothes and performs a special puja before the ritual. Elders of the family offer their blessings to the newly-wed couple. The mangalasutra is considered a symbol of commitment, implicit love for the husband and a prayer to God for his long life.
With this ritual, the wedding celebrations in a Telugu matrimony come to an end. Telugu weddings are colourful, meaningful and a warm treat to the guests. Telugu marriages these days combine the brevity of modern life but still ensure that the goodness of old traditions is infused into every part of the wedding.