Diversity in culture is one of the most exciting things about UK Tamil matrimony. Tamils have already conquered the world in a way that they were able to survive the different places all over the world, but is still rooted in one nation – Tamil. And even though some people, for example, those living in the UK, have adapted the UK life, they still turn to their culture for guidance. This makes a UK Tamil matrimony an exciting journey.
An important tradition in Tamil matrimony is the colors and the Mehndi tattoo for the brides. In the western culture the glamour of the clothes should reflect the past, the future and the present, including their family ties. Cohesively, UK Tamil matrimony is a mixture both traditions. And we can classify them as something old, something new, and something borrowed.
The words, “something old, something new, something borrowed (and something blue)” is a famous line in the poem, “Something Old” and this tells about the things that the bride must wear during the matrimony for luck. Tamil also believed in symbols as such that bless not just the bride, but the couple as a whole (and their marriage). Here are some of these things:
UK Tamil Matrimony focuses on the tradition to create a successful marriage. Part of that something old tradition that every bride must do is:
- Mangala Snanam (purifying bath) – the use of Haldi and Kumkum (and other oils) before the purifying bath. This “something old” tradition is not only for the bride, but also for the groom as well. And it is done as a preparation on the day itself.
- Gauri Puja – The bride must now offer her prayers to the Goddess Gauri as a symbol of her purity.
- Mehendi Ceremony – The bride’s hands and feet are intricately patterned with a paste. This symbolizes strength in marriage and takes up to four hours to complete.
- Nalangu Ceremony – Usually done the night before the wedding day, and is part of the beautification of the bride. It involves three trays which contain different things. The Arathi completes the cleansing ceremony. And the bride gives tokens to the ladies who helped her.
- Nichayathartham (engagement) – a very important ritual that symbolizes the acceptance of the bride to the groom’s family. They offer new things to the bride – this includes new saree, jewelry and other gifts.
- Use of veil – Jewelries are still the first option for Tamils, but veils are peeping its way as a substitute and to conceal the beauty of the bride.
Tamil traditions stayed intact, but some of the symbols changed. This is perhaps due to their adaptation to the UK traditions, hence the UK Tamil matrimony traditions evolved. Examples of which are:
- The use of wedding rings or engagement rings – Although Mangalsutra is still followed by the other couples, others already use wedding rings as a symbol of their union. This is perhaps some women are having difficulty working while wearing their Mangalsutra.
- Pre-wedding photography – Tamils are known for their simplicity of matrimonies and richness in preparation. But nowadays, the couples want to keep the memories by having photos before the matrimony – not just during and after.