Grooms attire is no less than a bride. The bridegroom in a Bengali community wears a silk dhoti and kurta. The groom drapes a silk cloth around his body known as jor, while performing the marriage rituals. The end of this cloth is tied to the anchal of the brides sari during the marriage ceremony.
And last but not the least, the traditional paper hat topor that grooms wears during the ceremony is also a year long tradition which Bengali people followed throughout these years. This symbolism has been used in much Bengali film starting from Satyajit Rays Apur Sansar to Riturporno Gosh, Noakadubi Bengali marriage has been come as a metaphor to the society. The traditional Bengali marriage is considered as an extension to Bengali culture and society, the history as a whole and bridal costume often becomes a mirror of the society. Bengali bride also wears a tika on her head as it is treated as Goddess Lakshmi. The Hands and feet of the bride are adorned with red liquid known as alta, which is sign of prosperity and also defines the marital status of a woman. When it comes to jewelry, a Bengali community can easily give run over all other communities for their money.
A Bengali bride is adorned with different kinds of jewelries, like, kaanpasha (hand-crafted delicate gold ornament that adorns the entire ear), Hathphool (an ornament comprising of five rings interconnected by thin golden chains), Nath (the large gold loop nose ring connected by a slender gold chain to the Kaan), Chik (gold choker studded with diamonds or other jewels worn around the neck), Panchnari (A necklace with five or punch layers of precious stone), Sapta Lahari (similar to Panch but has seven layers instead) and Hansuli (another traditional necklace of Bengal).
But the most interesting thing is the gradual mix of contemporary styles that has come into the costumes of a traditional Bengali wedding. Now a days the modern Bengali bride often shift from Benarshi to some other sari with the changing times well known designer have come up with many experiments with bridal costumes and jewelries.
Now a days with the changing scenario it is also important to mix past with the present but to keep hold the age long tradition is another important aspect of this beautiful Bengali culture. The traditional Bengali wedding is a marriage of period of epochs where yesterday marks the aurora of tomorrow.
About the Author:
Mr. Adwiata Roy is the Director at the International Hair & Make-up School, New Delhi.