Attending a Tamil Wedding
If you are invited a guest for a Tamil Wedding, this article will help you to understand and respect the wedding ceremony. Tamil speaking people may come from different religions and countries. But most of their marriage ceremonies and functions are nearly same except for the religion they belong to.
If you are attending a Tamil wedding taking place in church, you may wear Tuxedo with dark color. It is most welcomed by your guest. While Tamil Hindu Marriage may take place in Bride's home, Temples, Wedding halls or in Hotels you have many kind of selection for your dress choice.
Nevertheless where the Hindu Tamil marriage takes place in Srilanka, the place will be looked as a holy place from the time of the marriage ceremony stars and till it finishes. In the marriage ceremony, the bride is believed to be as Godess Bharvathi and the Bride groom is believed to be as Lord as Shiva and all the ceremonies are carried out in that imaginary thinking till to the end of the Wedding ceremony.
When someone invites you for their Tamil Hindu marriage, it's better to ask them about the dress code. If the marriage takes place in a Hotel, You can wear a Coat with a Long tie or a Tuxedo suite which ever you like. If you have Indian Sharwani, Kurtha like dress, it will make you to look as a perfect guest at the marriage function. It's not recommended to wear coat or tuxedo suite at the Hindu weddings which are taking place in the Hindu temples as they are attended by other unknown worshipers. Don't go in to the temple with your foot wear or cap.
What are the things to take care in the wedding halls ?
At the entrance you will be offered with holy ash, Sandal wood paste and kumkumam, just touch it with your right hand middle finger and put them in the order on your forehead or walk with that and rub it with your both hands. Sniffing, Tamils don't like sniffing when a Good thing is going to Take place. Ladies hair do, the hair opened in the air is not an accepted one at the wedding halls specially in temples. It Must be done in good style (hair do), if possible with flowers and or beautiful decorations.
No smoking, smoking is not permitted in the Hindu wedding ceremonies. Vegetarian food only will be served in the Hindu Tamil marriages with plenty of vegetable curries for you to select from. Non veg food is strictly not allowed in the Hindu Tamil weddings. So, don't ask for them to be served. Don't reject any short eats or Drinks which is offered to you, just take them and place it next to you if you don't like it..When they bring Saree and the "Thaalee" on a plate to you, Just touch it and Bless it.
They may give you flowers in a try before the Thaalee wearing ceremony, pick little and keep it, when the "Thali" is offered by the bridegroom on the bride's neck you can throw the flowers at the couples along with the other wedding guests. When people start to bless the newly married couple, you too can do that. Take the yellow rice with both hands from the tray and put it on head, shoulder and the knee for both of them. Hold your both palms together in front of your chest and bow your head little forward to greet them. Kissing the Bride is a bad gesture at the wedding ceremony by the male guests.
Don't go to the "manvarai" (Wedding stage) with your foot wear on. It will be little bit of noisy made with the traditional "Melam or thavil" (Drums), this is to prevent bad words going to the ears of the couples, Ignore it. If they offer you Beetle for chewing you can try it, but take care not to add tobacco leaves, as it will make you dizzy, specially for the first time users. If the wedding happens in bride's home, when they are ready to serve food, they will give you a brass "chembu" (Jug) with water, wash your hands and give the "Chembu" to the next guest or just keep next to the water Barrel.
When you leave the wedding hall don't forget to tell your friend who has invited you for the wedding or to his parents and say some good words about the ceremony as how it was beautiful and some good words about the food that you had there.
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