The one thing that unites the entire family is a wedding. Tamil weddings are not just about the finger-licking food or bright colours, it’s about the elegance, the simplicity and the week-long rituals performed in it’s most purest form. Although the rituals vary from that of a Brahmin-Tamil family to a non-Brahmin-Tamil family, one thing that remains common is their love for gold!
Gold jewellery is a part of their everyday life. From kids to teenagers, married women to elders, everyone is seen wearing gold ornament in one way or the other. Tamil Nadu happens to be India’s largest gold jewellery market. Gold is not only a part of their everyday attire but it is also an important element in their wedding rituals. The most important of them is Thaali Kattu, tying of the gold necklace.
After the bride and groom have taken seven sacred steps together around the holy fire, which is a common ritual in almost every Hindu wedding, the next ritual that is performed by them is the Thaali Kattu. The groom gifts the bride her wedding dress ‘Koorai’, which is a nine-yard long Kanjeevaram saree and a golden necklace ‘Thaali’. Both the Koorai and the Thaali are placed on a tray and all the members of the family give their blessings to each of the items.
The bride then goes on to change into the Koorai given to him by the groom and returns with a garland in her hand to place it around the groom. He then ties the Thaali around the bride’s neck, which signifies her change in status from a single girl to a married woman. After this ritual, the groom and the bride are pronounced as husband and wife by the priest. The married couple then places garlands around each other while their traditional wedding song is played in the background.
Tamils weddings and gold share a bond stronger than fries and ketchup! From the bride to the long-distant Aunt, everyone is laden with gold in each and every ceremony. And not only the women, men too wear golden chains or bracelets. It is their most precious possession and is often passed on from one generation to another. In a report by World Gold Council’s survey ‘India’s gold market: evolution and innovation’ it was found that, on an average, a Tamil bride is seen wearing approximately 300 grams of gold jewellery on her wedding day!
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Happy Wedding ☺