O = Oonjal

Oonjal meaning ‘swing’ in Tamil is a custom unique to the Iyer subsect of Tamilian Brahmins. The bride and groom sit together on the oonjal, which is decorated with flowers and ornaments and rocked gently. As part of this custom, relatives and friends sing auspicious songs, bless them and feed them a mixture of milk, sugar and banana. Water and lit lamps are carried around the swing to keep away demons and ghosts. Elderly ladies throw red and yellow colored rice balls in all directions to ward off evil spirits.

The chains of the swing symbolize the karmic connection with the Almighty and the swinging motion is representative of the highs and lows of life. Through this custom, the couple is showered with blessings so that they are able to bear these ups and downs with equanimity and face the challenges ahead as a single unit and in a steadfast manner. The presence of friends and family members during this ritual signifies their support and help during the couples’ married life.

For more about Tamil Iyer weddings, please click here

Care to share the highs and lows of your special day? Okay I will go first – High was of course during the Eye to Eye ceremony and low was when the groom didnt turn up!

I mean he didn’t turn up on time – quite the same thing in my dictionary. Here I was, up since 4 am, all decked up from top to toe, caked with make-up, dying of hunger and he couldn’t even be bothered to turn up on time? Did he even want to get married to me? How dare he keep me waiting…ahh there he was – at that moment I could have cheerfully murdered him.

His excuse? Traffic jam.

Yeah right.

If there weren’t so many witnesses…

Quite an auspicious beginning wouldn’t you say? 😉

Quote of the day: The one who has been through the ups and downs and still with you is the one you can count on

For more information about the blog please click here and for the readers of Moonshine, here’s Chapter 55


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16 thoughts on “O = Oonjal”

  1. Beautiful thought behind the custom…and it’s fun watching the ritual done too 🙂
    Hahaha!..the high-low of your D-day surely spiced up the post…I am sure you would have ensured that he doesn’t forget that particular traffic jam ever!…no wonder he sneaked in something to munch on even when he was supposed to fast… 😉 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post rocks! Jaymala was undoubtedly the highlight of my wedding where our uncles hoisted us up to exchange the garlands and we aimed at ducking the garlands – till the the uncles (unable to carry our frames any more ) gently nudged us to stop playing games! The low moment was that I lost my wedding ring just after the wedding. This is the first time that I had worn a ring – and this was a diamond ring. I was playfully taking it off and putting it on when it suddenly it flew of my finger to land amidst the cow-dung cakes, scattered rice, mango leaves, copper urns and other assorted merchandise on the mandap. It took a lot of effort by many – enhanced by my fervent prayers – to finally locate it. What a relief!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It all sounds so romantic. But unfortunately the bride and the groom are so busy trying to follow directions and do it right that the real reason is lost and romance is the last thing on their minds. They then proceed to follow a life as husband and wife living up to expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

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