Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant's Mameru: What is the Gujarati ceremony? All about vibrant Indian pre-wedding rituals - Hindustan Times
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Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant's Mameru: What is the Gujarati ceremony? All about vibrant Indian pre-wedding rituals

ByAadrika Sominder
Jul 04, 2024 03:08 PM IST

On July 3, the Ambanis celebrated Radhika Merchant's Mameru at Antilia. Read about other pre-wedding rituals across India, beyond the sangeet and mehendi.

Anant Ambani, son of Reliance moguls Mukesh and Nita Ambani is all set to tie the knot with Radhika Merchant, daughter of business tycoon, Viren and Shaila Merchant on July 12. But before the lavish wedding, the happy couple celebrated with a vibrant pre-wedding ceremony traditionally called Mosalu.

Nita Ambani, Mukesh and Radhika all look resplendent as they celebrate at Antilia.
Nita Ambani, Mukesh and Radhika all look resplendent as they celebrate at Antilia.

Similar to the Mosalu, most Indian wedding rituals are usually inclusive of pre-wedding festivities. From Punjab's Chunni Ceremony to Rajasthan's Bhaat Nyotna, here's everything you need to know before you plan your own big fat Indian wedding of the year!

Gujarati Mosalu-Mameru

The Gujarati Mosalu is a traditional ceremony where the groom's mother's family blesses the happy couple with gifts and offerings. In this case, Nita Ambani's family including her mother Purnima Dalal and Mamta Dalal presented the Radhika Merchant with gifts that included clothes, jewellery and sweets.

These gifts, also known as Mameru symbolised their blessings and affection towards the bride and her family. The tradition is a way for the maternal side of the groom's family to show their love and support for the bride.

Donned in a gorgeous orange and pink bandhani lehenga custom-made by Manish Malhotra, Radhika Merchant paired it with her mom's own jewellery from her mameru ceremony.

Punjabi Chunni Chadan Ceremony

This ceremony, usually performed after the groom is given shagan by the bride's family, involves covering the head of the bride with a red scarf or chunni. The ritual is symbolic of the bride's responsibility to uphold the honour of the groom's family. Gifts are exchanged and the groom marks her head with sindoor as a sign of lifelong commitment. All of this is followed by song and dance!

The chunni's are red, to symbolise auspiciousness.
The chunni's are red, to symbolise auspiciousness.

Maharashtrian Sakhar Puda

Sakhar means sugar and puda means a packet or box. In the Sakhar Puda, the groom's parents give a packet of sugar to the bride and the bride's parents return this gesture with a coconut and coin to signify their agreement to the marriage. The groom's family also give a few gifts to the bride which include sarees, bangles and jewellery.

Marathi brides usually wear green bangles.
Marathi brides usually wear green bangles.

Telugu Nischitartham Ceremony

This is a pre-wedding ritual where the families of the bride and groom meet to match the couple's horoscopes; the aim is to figure out the most auspicious date for the wedding to commence. In essence, this event is the start of the wedding planning. The couple is then blessed by elders from both sides of the family and gifts are exchanged including jewellery.

A western astrology charts showcasing planetary positions.
A western astrology charts showcasing planetary positions.

Assam Juran Diya-Tel Diya

The very first wedding rituals, these ceremonies take place 1-2 days before the wedding day. In Juran Diya, the groom's mother visits the bride's house accompanied by an entourage of every female member of the family. She gifts the bride pan and tamul (betel leaves and nuts) along with the traditional gamusa.

The Tel Diya happens next, where the groom's mother puts the pan and tamul on the bride's forehead and bathes her in oil; sindoor is applied on the bride, who is then showered with gifts.

Pan and tamul are a staple at most Assamese functions.
Pan and tamul are a staple at most Assamese functions.

West Bengal Aiburobhat

This pre-wedding ceremony celebrates the groom's final meal as a bachelor and celebrates the day before the wedding with an enormous feast encompassing the couple's favourite foods. The celebration mainly includes a veritable feast that includes but is not limited to rice, dal, bhaja and fish, accompanied by family and close friends.

Fish is often served at Aiburobhat.
Fish is often served at Aiburobhat.

Rajasthan Bhaat Nyotna

In this ceremony, the couple's mothers visit their parental home a few days before the wedding to formally invite their maternal families to attend. They are also invites for Bhaat, a simple north Indian meal to seal the deal. The entire ritual is based on the sentiment of playfully poking the uncles to spend lavishly on their niece/nephew's wedding.

A simple meal include dal, rice, sabzi and roti is most common at these ceremonies.
A simple meal include dal, rice, sabzi and roti is most common at these ceremonies.

Indian pre-wedding rituals are much more than a mehendi and sangeet; their variance showcases the cultural heritage and familial bonds that define our country. Anant and Radhika's Mosalu was simply the first step in bringing these significant cultural events into the mainstream!

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