As sorrows and happiness are integral parts of life and without which life becomes tasteless and boring. Likewise, marriages have got a gigantic role in one’s life; they not only bring happiness and joys in the lives of couples who tie the knot, but to their parents, siblings, and kith and kin. Marriages are coming with human beings from prehistoric era that is why their traditions and customs vary from region to region. If we cast a glance over Balochi weddings, we will disclose them quite much different from rest of the cultures, since Balochi weddings have kept their purity and uniqueness even in today’s modern world. They are a symbol of harmony and unity where entire members of the society join the wedding with great love. Now let’s have a short look over the customs of Balochi weddings which bestow them a separate recognition.
Before the start of a Balochi wedding the parents of the boy send a messenger to the parents of the girl where he asks about their will and tell them the follwoing man has sent him as a courier to them in order pop the question for their son whether they accept their request or not . When the parents of the girl accept their request, they tell the courier that on the given date the members of boy’s family should come for the engagement (Zamathi). On the given date the elders of the boy’s family gather and go to the house of the girl where also the elders of the girl’s family are waiting to receive them. When the two sides sit together, firstly, the parents of the girl put forward their demands which are known as dowry. It depends upon the members of the girl whether they demand for gold, cash money or entire spending of the marriage ceremony. After a long discussion when both of the families become satisfied, they select an appropriate date for the wedding ceremony.
Lotokhi begins when both sides complete their preparation of the marriage ceremony. The women of the community gather at the homes of bride and groom, and then they go house to house of the village or town and far relatives to invite women personally for the wedding ceremony. This process almost continues for three to four days. On the other hand, male members of the groom invite the male members of the society; however, bride’s family does not invite men. During the night time of these days, the girls and boys of the community gather at the house of the groom, where they sing different traditional songs and perform traditional dances; on the contrary to groom, in bride’s house only girls perform this tradition which is known by the name of warm up. (Chok)
Jolbandi has come out from two Balochi words “Jull” which means a piece of decorated cloth and “Bandi” means to tie or fasten. On the day of Jullbandi the invited women of the society gather at the house of the groom and take dresses and jewelries of the bride and leave for bride’s home where they are welcomed with sweets by the members of the bride’s community. The women veil the bride with traditional songs and values by fastening the (Jull) at the corner of a room. After veiling the bride, the relatives of the groom return to their homes. Additionally, it was previously known as (Dan Chand) in old Balochi customs where the elderly women of the commune sat together and cleaned the rice of the wedding, but it does not exist in cities now, it might be performed in small towns or villages.
This is the night when the women of the community assemble at the house of the bride and groom and bridesmaid (Sargwap) hennas the hands of the couple separately. When she is hennaing, she also praises the bride and groom by singing different sorts of Balochi traditional songs such as; (Henni han gol gol aan dasth a dayan banoray a bya e gullen dazgwaran ma banora singaran) and collects money which is called (Lat).
Henni Band is celebrated after Dhozoki. Henni Band’s day is very special since all the invited people make sure their presence at the house of the groom and they are offered meal. And at bride’s wedding reception only women are offered feast. At this night once again the women and girls of the community make a huge gathering at the homes of bride and groom. This time around the relatives of the groom keep the henna at their neighbors’ house as a tradition where the entire gathered women of the groom’s house go to neighbor’s house with celebration and bring the henna and as a social norm the honor of that house puts a small amount of money in the henna, after performing this social value the hands and feet of the groom are hennaed by Sargwap, the same night bride is hennaed but with simplicity.
Khorag is celebrated at the evening of Henni Band. This evening the male relatives of the groom and entire women of the commune gather at the house of groom where some of the relatives of the groom adorn him in a separate room after that he is brought out where Sargwap once again sings traditional songs (lai ladday laaday, lai ladday jee o maa jan kanan salonka) and collects money and the women perform traditional dances. Then groom goes to men’s section where male also perform traditional dances known as (Dochapi). On the other hand the women of the community also titivate the bride and perform traditional dances but within the four walls of the room.
This is the night when firstly groom meets bride. Wedlock’s night the elderly men of the commune gather at the home of groom. And a molvi is also called for saying the prayers of the wedlock. After a short while the gathered men leave for bride’s home with groom and there the elderly men of the bride’s commune welcome them with sweets. Once again the father of bride talks of dowry in order to confirm it in front of the present people. Three elderly persons go to bride where she selects one of them as her father of Nikha and two of them become witnesses. And this person comes announces that bride has selected him as the father of Nikha. After this the Molvi says the prayers of the Nikha where the groom swears that he will protect the bride in any kind of difficulty, at the exact time a man fires some shots in the air. The sitting men congratulate the groom. After a short while two of his close relatives arm and arm take him to the room of the bride where a women stands in front of the door (Sargwap) charges him a small amount of money to groom and let him go inside the room.
This day comes after wedlock night. This day the people of groom gather at the home of groom and leave to the house of bride with drummers where the people of bride welcome them openheartedly and serve them food. After a short while groom comes out from the room of bride and once again the women welcome him with traditional songs and dances and Sargwap collects money. This day boys and men also do Dochapi and express happiness and love for newlywed couple. After two or three days the newly married couple comes to their new home and begins a new life.
Baloch, who have a very rich history, is also blessed with a heart touching culture in which you noticed some of them in above mentioned wedding traditions.