Marriage ceremony among pukhtuns:

In a typical Pukhtun marriage, mother and sisters of a boy goes to girl house and make a choice for him. If they like the girl they propose her for him and if the proposal is accepted by the girl’s parents, then they give greetings to each other and fix the date for engagement.

Engagement 1: The family of boy goes to the girl’s house with their relatives and gifts, in which there are usually sweets, fruits and other gifts for girl and her family. There is a gold engagement ring and money for the girl. When they put on the ring to the girl, her family gives special gifts to boy’s mother, father, sisters, brothers and sisters in laws.

Engagement II: In this type of engagement, girl’s family goes to boy’s home with special gifts for boy along with a special gold ring. When the ring is put on to the boy, then boy’s family gives gifts to the girl’s family members.

Gifts Exchange: Then till the marriage, the bridegroom’s family keeps sending gifts for girl on every special occasion like Eids, Shab e qadar, Shab e Barat and choori etc

Date Fixation for marriage: After a period of one or two years of engagement (depending on individual circumstances) the groom’s family ask for final marriage date. The elders of both discuss suitable date for marriage. There are some months in which usually marriage dates are not given. These are Muharam and Ramzan.
Zbarga month is favorite month for marriages among Pukhtuns. Date fixation ceremony takes place usually one month before marriage day. During this period, both the families do necessary preparation.

Clothes for bride: This is also a special function three or four days before marriage in which the groom family comes to the bride home with clothes which they prepared for the girl and do a little exhibition of all these dresses to the families of both sides. They cut a special suit for bride, which is mostly of Kamkhoab or Banaras sort of dress material. Now the marriage starts and different other function takes place.

Now a days people have even prolonged this mehndi ( Nakreeze) ceremony that it starts a week before. Girl’s aunties, cousins and friends use to bring her individual mehndi and gifts every night to girl, until the main mehndi day by bridegroom family. Finally
Mehndi (Orbal) takes place. On marriage night, groom’s family comes to bride’s home with mehndi and sings special songs with beating drums. They put mehndi on girl’s palm. When they reach girl’s home, a working maid usually called in pushto as (Qasbgara) get some money from boy’s mother and then let them enter. They perform some other small functions with mehndi and then they are giving refreshments in form of tea and now days giving a proper dinner. They get back usually late night, singing, dancing with drums and some usually firing takes place.

Marriage day ( Barat): On this day groom’s family with their relatives and guests, groom’s friends and other people comes for bride’s departure with them. The women and young girls sing songs and dance there with the beating drums and come back after having tea with sweets. But now a days the bride’s family offer a full fledge lunch or dinner to the groom,s family and guests on Rukhsati (Barat).

After that the bride is taken in Doli or decorated car to the home of groom. Boys, young friends, brothers and cousins of the groom open fire in the air with their weapons. Ariel firing is typical among Pukhtuns on every happy occasion.

Nikah: At night after nimaz Isha, Imam sahib comes to Hujra and nikah ceremony takes place. Imam sahib takes special fee from groom’s family, the gathering served with tea and sweets and the air fire is opened to mark the ceremony. At that night dance function takes place in hujra with mangi, sitar and rabab, which is a cultural tradition of pukhtun’s society. But now a day, nikah ceremony takes place before the bride leaves her father’s home.

Dowry: A dowry is usually a substantial transfer of goods and ornaments from the bride family to the bridegroom’s home. A family has to have enough wealth to give dowry to their girls. Usually size of dowry determines the status of the bride’s family and therefore bride’s family tries to give as much dowry as that can, sometimes more then their resources. Dowry is also provided by the groom’s family, which usually consists of ornaments and clothes etc.

Now with the changing patterns and as awareness comes among the people, educated males don’t accept dowry from the bride’s family, as they don’t want to put much burden on bride’s parents. Yet 99% is practicing the tradition of dowry.

Waleema (Reception): On the next day of marriage, groom’s family prepare lunch for their guests and girl’s family also come on that day. The lunches include special traditional dishes. Groom’s friends comes with gifts for him. While the money that a bride gets by the guests is called (Salami).

Makh Kata: After marriage ceremony, the close relatives especially elders comes and see the bride, they give her some money according to their status. It is called Makh Kata.

After four or five days of marriage bride goes to her father’s home. The bridegroom goes to her home and picks her after having
dinner with his in laws.

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