Weddings in the eastern side of India are set by matchmakers called Ghotoks and the celebrations continue for many days. Packed with religious beliefs and customs, a traditional Bengali wedding is all about the culture and art and literature prevalent in the state of Bengal. These weddings are huge affairs with warm people, good music and fantastic folk dances leaving no stone unturned to make them unforgettable events.
The merry and vivacious Bengali matrimony celebrations are incredibly traditional ceremonies that are popular across the globe. Let us take a closer look at some of the traditional art forms that have forever been a part of these elaborate affairs.
When it comes to the traditional music Bengalis share the perspectives of adopting melodious tunes and rich harmonies. Music is generally divided into three separate types being the classical type, folk songs and modern hymns. Out of these, classical music is most played at weddings with both vocal and instrumental sounds. They are rooted in fantastic tunes by Ustad Alauddin Khan and Ustad Ayet Ali Khan who are famous names.
These singers are well known internationally for their stellar lyrics and specially chosen for nuptial occasions. Right from the beginning of rituals with the Aiburo Bhaat to the last Oshtomongola ritual, weddings are quite incomplete without classical instrumental music and folk songs.
Types of Musical Instruments Used to Create Melodies
Traditional country musical instruments include a Mandira that is essentially metal bawls used as and Khanjani, Sharinda or even the use of a Banshi meaning a bamboo flute. Also used is a Dhole, Ektara and Dotara for harmonies played during folk songs.
Folk Dance as a Part of Ceremonies
A lot of classical forms of Bangladeshi dance are popular and dominate the sub-continent. These include folk and tribal as well as Middle Eastern styles that are very common in traditional weddings. From these tribal dances some of the most popular ones are the Monipuri and Santal styles. It is not uncommon for rural girls to dance to these styles without any rules or regulations. These dances not only add a lot of fun and frolic but they deepen the rich traditions that are maintained by the community at such an auspicious time.
Bangla songs such as jari and shari are presented at several weddings and performed by males and females alike. Women draped bengali style saree and men wearing the dhoti kurta dance in merriment at a Bengali wedding making it a memorable one.
Various Artists for Wedding Songs
Bengali weddings are sure to have Rabindra Sangeet as well as Nazrul Sangeet for it is their precious heritage. Ceremonies are also supplemented by modern music along with contemporary patterns that have an inclination toward the west. However, classics by Hasan Raja, Romesh Shill and the spiritual lyrics of Lalan Shah are also popular. Bhatiali and Murshidi are also folk songs that are played with Jari, Shari as a part of the celebration.
Alpana or Rangoli Art
Alpana or Alpona is a derivative of the Sanskrit word Alimpan meaning colourful designs. It an old Indian Folk Art that is an ancient practice women use to decorate the floors of their houses. A large alpana or rangoli is usually made at the scene of the mandap for the wedding. It is essentially a mixture of cooked rice paste. Older ladies as well as young children participate in the drawing of these, as they enhance the level of fun for the auspicious occasion.
Moreover, an Alpana is also done for the Vridhi ceremony that is a pre-nuptial ritual. On the rangoli a ghot with amra pallab is placed for the puja. These Rangolis are meant to mark a joyful and holy start for the newlyweds for they enclose motifs that suggest untainted and auspicious thoughts.
The Evolving Style of Bengali Weddings
The best part about Bengali weddings is that they keep innovating and incorporating new trends to their ceremonies. Along with all the traditional rituals people also add modern elements of music, dance as well as sangeet and bachelor parties to their celebration. Every as aspect of these weddings sees innovations after a while even the attire of the bride and the groom incorporates new designs and art styles with designer saris available these days.
Since many Bengalis have settled in many a foreign country, the traditions and customs have been adopted by them wherever they live. The distinct style of these nuptials is well known to everyone for they hold a deep significance and meaning for young couples of the community who are about to start a life together.