Engagement rituals
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The ceremony of engagement has now taken form of a much planned out and joyous occasion. Many people believe that engagement rituals were absent in Indian society and have been introduced to India by Britishers

But engagement rituals have been observed in south India. Today this liturgy is gestured throughout India especially in Punjabi as well as Marwadi pre-wedding functions.

This ceremony has several names. It is called Bertunang, Mangini, Mangana and Aashirbad .Since the couple exchange rings during this ceremony therefore it is also called by the name of ring ceremony.

Engagement rituals are very simple. It is mandatory in some religions to call upon a priest or a purohit to recite certain auspicious mantras. After this small praying ceremony, the rings are given to the couple. Girl puts the ring in boy’s ring finger of right hand. The boy puts the ring in the ring finger of left hand of the girl. As the ring finger is biologically directly connected with the veins of the heart, therefore this finger is chosen.

The engagement rituals may varies across the ethnic belt of India. As Bengalis take special care about this tradition and have elaborative engagement décor of banana tree at the entrance of the house and rangoli made of rice power paste , Gujarat keep it simple by giving gifts to the groom and his family of Matli. It consists of sweets and namkeen (salty) snacks. Superficially, both the families exchange gifts in the form of jewelry, fruits and clothing.

The engagement rituals have intense significance in forming a special bond between the would-be couple. The couple gets to meet each other face to face, probably for the first time as they exchange these rings. By doing this they actually promise each other to perform their responsibility and shower affection during every thick and thin of life.

This ceremony where the couple is neither married nor single is full of anticipation.