Berhampur, March 6 (LocalWire): The residents of Nilanchala Sahi were treated to a unique wedding ceremony here on Monday night. Accompanied with traditional pomp and fanfare, the marriage of two clay dolls were solemnised and people were later invited to a grand reception.
Women with the help of other residents observed Kandhei Bahaghara, where two lacquered dolls were married off in a traditional Odia wedding ceremony. Priests chanted slokas and followed all Vedic rituals of a Hindu marriage ceremony.
‘Odia tradition is rich in its culture and newlyweds here are gifted a pair of lac dolls, since lac is symbolic of a happy married life,’ said Hrusikesh Panigrahy, programming head of All India Radio. He said the unique tradition was still in practice in several areas of the state, including Balasore and Puri districts.
‘Besides the entertainment factor on the occasion of Maha Sivaratri, the unique marriage is organised to keep alive the tradition of weddings,’ said Geetanjali Patra, who acted as the mother of the doll bride. ‘We are trying to follow all the rituals typical to Odia marriage,’ said Krishna Achary, the doll groom’s mother.
The dolls are dressed up as bride and groom and a procession reaches the bride’s home where the relatives of the bride welcome them. Several people are also invited to a lavish feast.
‘We are performing the Kandhei Bahaghara for the last seven years, a tradition that was started by women in the villages to create awareness against dowry. We will try to keep alive this tradition in future also, said Patra.
‘We were fascinated with the show and it made me nostalgic as I remembered observing Kandhei bahaghara in my childhood,’ said a 60-year old man.