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An ode to the wedding songs in Punjabi Wedding

Punjab is the state of festiveness. It is said that punjabis can groove to the beats of dhol even if there is no occasion. As such, when there is a shaadi in the house, it given them a reason to sing and dance. In Punjab, there are different genres of songs when it comes to marriage songs. There are categories divided on the basis of moods and situations.
Some of the most popular categories include:

Gharouli de Geet: These are happy songs that are sung when the pitcher is filled for bride/bridegroom's bath on the day of the wedding.
Sehra: As the Hindu priest ties the sehra (flower veil) on the forehead of the groom while chanting sacred mantras, the close family members sing sehra songs to pep up the environment.

Suhag: A fairly popular category of wedding songs, the suhag songs are sung by the bride herself as she praises her of her life. Some of these wedding songs also reveal her anticipation of the approaching life in her husband's home. In some households, bride friends and cousins also sing these songs on her behalf.

Jaggo: Jaggo songs are sung a night prior to the wedding. These songs are sung as a celebrative way to invite the neighbours to the wedding.

South Indian Melodies

Laali: These are songs of praise for the bride and the groom who are seated on a swing in a ceremonial manner and are rocked back and forth. The back and fro motion of the swing in the ritual signifies the waves in the sea of life while the chains represent the eternal karmic link with god. Their movement on the swing depicts that the couple is together in body and mind that they would together cross the ocean of life.

Nalangu: During this ritual, the new bride sings and calls her husband to spend time with her. These songs fill the atmosphere with a sense of merriment. The time signifies the breaking of ice between the bride and the groom as there are several other playful activities that take place, subsequently. While family members break papads on the couple's heads toward off evil, the bride anoints husband's body with sandalwood and sings to him. The female relatives poke fun at the couple and the in-laws while singing songs.

Bengali Verses

A part from the customary ululation and blowing of the conch to invite the guests and announce that there is a wedding in the house, A Bengali wedding also witnesses women singing beautiful
melodies. While the shenai is being played in the background, it is the ladies of the family who take the centre stage when it comes to bringing alive the entire wedding venue with their rhythmic recital of wedding verses.

Sindhi Rhythms

A Sindhi version of mehendi ki raat or sangeet , ladas form a very integral part of a Sindhi wedding. Ladas are sung in the groom's family to commence the wedding celebration in the house. The ladies from the neighbourhood are duly invited by the groom's family to together celebrate the night of song and dance. Usually these songs are sung to the beats of dholki or a plain metal plate with a spoon. These are informal gatherings where the relatives and the friends enjoy and have a good time prior to the wedding. It is like a prelude to what is coming next.

Rajasthani Beats

During Sangeet ceremony, ladies from the groom's side of the family make the bride sit on a chowki and surround her. Thereafter, they playfully sing traditional wedding songs to her. Unlike olden days, these days, the groom is also present and therefore, the bride and groom are both made to sit together as the family members happily sing and dance in joy. Another time when the wedding songs are sung is during the Bhaat ceremony. During Bhaat , the maternal uncle of the bride is supposed to get her ornaments, wedding outfits , cash and other precious items that she cherishes for the rest of her life. As in other cultures and communities, the mama of the bride plays a huge role.

Adding a Zing of Culture

A part from the pre-wedding ceremonies that are replete with the sounds of traditional wedding tunes and lyrics, these days marriages are also witnessing a sort of rebound that seem incomplete without these rhythms and libretto. Live performances usually have the popular singers belting out hit numbers some originals, some legendary wedding songs that set the mood for the evening and get the guests tapping to these numbers. Traditional wedding songs are those symphonies that have bouts of emotions hidden behind, that bring people together to celebrate and have fun and that which any Indian marriage is not complete without.

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