R = Reception

Alphabetical constraints have forced me to skip a few important and crucial wedding rituals but we will come to them in due course of the challenge 😉

For now, let us talk of the gala reception that is hosted by the groom’s family after the wedding is over. The primary aim is to formally introduce the new bride to their family and friends and also take their blessings before they begin their journey together.  On the day the new bride comes to her in-laws home (and her new home), usually that very evening or the next evening, a reception party is hosted by the groom’s side.  Understandably most of the invitees are friends and relatives of the groom’s side, however, relatives and friends of the bride are also invited to the function.

But before the public event, there are also certain functions and rituals that are undertaken at home as well. For instance, the bride cooks and serves her first meal at her new home. Nowadays this is more of a cursory ritual whereby the bride stirs a pot of kheer (a sweet dish made of milk, sugar and rice) and serves it to her new family.

In Bengalis, this custom is known as Bou-bhaat or literally ‘bride-rice’. In fact, even the evening reception is called as Bou-bhaat. As part of the rituals to welcome the bride to her new home, there is one which includes the groom. In the presence of his close family members, he formally offers her a plate of food and a new saree. He is also required to make a formal public declaration that from this day onwards he promises to take the responsibility of feeding and clothing her.

Many girls of today (well me too!) object to this custom, as they are financially independent and fully capable of self-sustenance. But it must be kept it mind that these customs originated thousands of years ago and in those days such a promise was a much needed reassurance and a source of great support to the girl so far away from her family? But perhaps it can be done away with now.

Wait…what’s the rush? Let’s think this through properly. For those not so ready to take offense, this can be a very entertaining custom. It does much to break the ice and help the bride gel with her new family. The groom is too embarrassed to formally utter the words (well mine was), which invites a lot of hilarity followed by demands of acceptance of greater responsibilities. For instance why take responsibility of just food and clothing, take responsibility for her cosmetics, her jewelry, her outings, her whims her fancies, so on and so forth.

As for me, I only regret that it took me so many years to take his word for it and go for it -I finally dumped everything and took up blogging full time. And boy, am I having a blast tapping away while he toils away 😀

So I for one, am all for tweaking this custom – apart from food and clothing let’s just add two more  to that list – a laptop and an uninterrupted wifi connection. 😉

So, what do you think 🙂

Quote of the day: Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself – Rumi.

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