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The Syrian Christians of Kerala follow a marvellous amalgamation of rituals from both Hindu and Christian practices. The Syrian style of Christian matrimony have variations to how things are done both while the couple is being betrothed as well as when the wedding is celebrated.

The roots of these rituals you may find in practice in certain sects of Keralite Hindus as well as Christians. Keralite matrimony is complex when it comes to the various customs observed but it is no doubt an affair that is accosted by historicity and simple elegance. Keralite weddings happen to be the simplest weddings with minimal ceremonies. If you’re a Syrian Christian bride or groom looking to get a grip of how your wedding will progress or you are someone who intends to plan such a wedding, these are the key rituals that you need to keep in mind.



Betrothal or othukalyanam
The bride’s family initiates the proposition and then a simple ceremony is observed that marks the beginning of the alliance and serves as formal consent between both wedding parties. Elders of the family exchange a letter of promise, this is called kuriyezuthu maaral.

Then a sum for dowry, as prevalent among Syrian Christians is exchanged wrapped in a white cloth on a plantain leaf. The third Sunday since is the engagement or the manasamatham.

The wedding feat
After the proclamation of the banns (important in keralite Christian matrimony) by the respective parishes, for the groom, a barber is called home to shave off his beard and then he is asked to have the ceremonial bath. At the bride’s house, a henna ceremony is performed much like the other communities. After which, they are both offered palchoru (sweetened rice) as part of a custom called madhuramvekkal.

The wedding day
After offering stuthi (praise) to God and elders, the bride and groom leave for the church. The bride in a white silk saree or gown and the groom in a suit enter the Church. Before the ceremony commences, the bride’s sister places a cake at the altar which is then taken by the bridal party, called ayani vaykuka.

The bride amd groom then clasp their right hands as sign of consent. The groom’s sister places the thaali on a loose silk strand from the mantrakodi (the saree given by the groom to the bride) which the groom then ties around the bride’s neck. The bride is blessed with the mantrakodi, by the priest.

Church registers are signed by both parties.

Post wedding
Syrian Christian matrimony then observes the natuvilli. The maternal uncle of the groom takes the church umbrella and proclaims, “nada nadaye nada nada”. The couple then heads for their reception in a hall where palum pazhavum kodukkal (offering mil, banana) is organised.

Sounds extremely unique and fun, doesn’t it? Well, it is! There is a lot of teasing and some families even have dances such as the margamkali prior to the weddings. Also, a sumptuous spread no doubt awaits you after the whole affair.
 

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Wonderful scriptures God is above everything. Really great information about Kerala wedding. I also went to some Christian wedding. Only one thing I did not like is the long, boring speech by the priest.:smile2:

Thanks @dainamartin for sharing such a great information.
 

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I had an ex-girlfriend who's family was Syrian Orthodox.

Interesting religion from the way they described it. Too bad it didn't take with her. It didn't keep her from running around on me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi @bandit.45

Sorry to know that it didn't work out with your Syrian girlfriend. But, if you are interested in arrange marriages, you check out some matrimonial sites such as www.shaadi.com and find the perfect match.

All the best!
 
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