Indian arrange marriage system did not allow the bride and groom to meet prior to their weddings.Hence many Indian weddings games evolved to break the ice between the newly wedded couple. These games are practiced till now in many of the marriages to create a sense of unity and understanding between the couples and the members of two families. The Indian Marriages are a delightful series of ceremonies that continue for weeks. These celebrations, fun and games continue to make a wedding something to cherish and remember always. Indian weddings are the liveliest knot tying events worldwide. The fun and games right through the wedding endear the bride’s friends and relatives to their counterparts.These games have some or the other interesting rituals attached to them. The funny and light-hearted games help to unite the two families.
Here are some of the games:
HIDING THE GROOM’S SHOES
The groom always removes his shoes before sitting down for the wedding ceremony at the Mandap as a matter of reverence for the chants.The groom’s friends guard the groom’s shoes because bride’s sisters,female friends and relatives hide the groom’s shoes and demand the groom a lump sum amount of money. The shoes are normally “allowed” to be stolen for the sake of good humor. These shoes are given back to groom after some good matured bargaining when the groom agrees to pay a price to get them back. This game is generally for younger crowd and it breaks the ice between both sides and is accompanied by lots of laughter and leg pulling. Though initially this game was practiced in north India but now it is played in many other states also. Many grooms have started getting gifts like gold ring, earrings, anklets for their sis-in-law.
FIND THE RING
The game of ‘Finding the ring’ is commonly played among almost all cultures in India. A gold ring is placed in a large bowl of milk or colored water filled with rose petals and the bride and groom both asked to search the gold ring in the bowl. Whoever gets the ring first is the winner. It is believed that the person who gets hold of the ring first rules the relationship and if both find the ring in equal number, it is believed that there will be a sense of balance in understanding and decision making between the married couple.This game is organized after the wedding is over and seeks to make the bride more comfortable in her new home.
GAANTH KHOL – UNTIE THE KNOT
One hand each of the bride and groom are knotted together by a string. A sacred red thread around one of the brides wrists and likewise on one of the grooms wrists. When the game begins, the bride has to untie the thread tied around the groom’s wrist and the groom has to do the same for the bride but with only One hand. Both have to work together to release this in the presence of a large crowd of relatives. Whoever wins is believed to have the upper hand in the household decision making
This is the game played after the wedding has been completed. It is fun game for the couple but enjoyed a lot by audience. The couple sits facing in opposite directions with a pillow between them while one of the relatives ask the bride and groom with questions one at a time. Responses by both are only allowed by nodding the heads in yes or no direction.The questions are hilarious like “Will you pamper like a child if your partner gets angry” or “will your rule over him/her”. This game gets the brides mind off her parents as the first few days after a wedding can be quite depressing. Lots of laughter in this game as some of the questions are targeted at members of the family. According to score newly wedded couple are given ranking.
This game is played on completion of the wedding ceremony once the bride arrives with the groom to his house. The grooms sisters block the brides’ entry at the door to the house and insist to bride to bow her head to covered heap at the doorstep. The bride dutifully bows her head in respect to the family and after which it is uncovered to show a heap of shoes or pile of old footwear. This game is fun filled with giggles and attempts the cheer the bride and liven her up and bride get number of friends in the process.
FINDING THE GROOM”S NAME
This game is played by the bride and groom after the wedding. The bride traditionally gets the groom’s initial written in intricate pattern in her palm with Mehandi. The groom has to find out the letter from his wife’s hand and give her gift. This game gives the reason to groom to hold the bride’s hand and allow shy bride to feel the warmth of her husband’s love. This game was developed basically for the bride and the groom to get playful and comfortable with each other especially in the case of an arranged marriage.
The few other games in different tradition and culture are like kaleera ceremony in a Punjabi wedding where the bride shakes the kaleerein over the heads of all the young girls at the wedding and whoever receives a part of the kaleerein is believed to be getting married next. Kissing game –It is generally played in south India. In this game groom is asked to hold the betel leaf in his mouth and then bride has to bite off the other half in front of the entire wedding party. It builds a anticipation among the married couples.Rasogulla eating competition is held between the two families in Bengali weddings. The family that eats the maximum number of rasogulla wins the game. In Parsi wedding, the groom is made to immerse the hand in water and not allowed to take it out until he gives gift to the bride’s sister.
Fun and games at the wedding makes the Indian wedding colorful and vibrant.