Re: Traditional Yakobaya Wedding Ceremony
- Thomas George, Abu Dhabi wrote: "In my experience I have never witnessed a ceremony like this and I am sure many of you would also share the same feelings after watching the link."
There are similar traditions in "Orthodox / Jacobite community in North Kerala " Ethirelppu and Madhuram Veppu " for the groom and bride at their own house on the evening of the day before marriage. Clergies are also attending this ceremony.
Jaison Jacob , Calicut
- This wedding was of a couple from Central Travancore and not from North Kerala. People do say that such traditions like bathing, cutting hair of groom, adachu thura pattu etc were part of the whole Nazrani tradition, but these are being observed only by Knas for at least last 150 years. As Thomas George doubted, the scenes in the video are purely Event management setup, participants don't know the songs even.
Abraham Oommen K
--- In IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com, Ronnie Daniel, Toronto <IndianOrthodox@...> wrote:
> Thomas George, Abu Dhabi wrote: "In my experience I have never witnessed a ceremony like this and I am sure many of you would also share the same feelings after watching the link."
> There were similar traditions in "Knanaya community" bathing the groom before marriage. Now it seems it is extended to the bride too.
- Dear All,
The “Jacobite Wedding” telecast on Manorama News Channel had presented what were at best a concoction and a far cry from reality. There were a few surprises too. For instance, the wedding that was touted as ‘Jacobite Wedding’ was actually solemnized in an Orthodox church (Parumala) by the Head of Malankara Orthodox Church! No less! May be the TV anchor was trying her hand at unity between Orthodox and Jacobite Churches! While the anchor can be excused for her poor understanding of the ground realities, and perhaps for not doing enough homework, the same cannot be said about the TV channel. Surely, they knew very well how incongruous it would appear if HH The Catholicos is seen as officiating a ‘Jacobite Wedding.” Unless there was some deliberate mischief at play here.
As for the wedding-eve events shown in the programme, the less said about it the better. I for one have not seen such practices all my life. As I understand, they are not prevalent in the vast majority of Orthodox families. May be they exist in an enclave or two in a particular North Malabar district. Being so, it did not qualify to be projected as the ‘common’ practices associated with the average Orthodox / Jacobite weddings. After all, the Channel programme was supposed to show-case the commonly prevalent practices associated with the weddings of various communities in India. May be, again, the TV Anchor wanted to add some spice to the programme by showing young girls in modern attire, including the bride, performing cinematic dance to the tune of “ kizhakku pookkum murikkinellaam…’’ from the recent Malayalam flick, ‘Anwar’. In how many Orthodox/Jacobite families are such ‘item numbers’ and leg-shaking performed? If the TV anchor or the channel feels that this is the latest trend in the Jacobite/Orthodox communities, I am sorry to say, they are sadly mistaken. I am sure the respectable Malayala Manorama would not like to be associated with such crude portrayals.
With due apologies to the family of the bride featured in the programme, I would earnestly request the MOC to prescribe some dress code for solemn occasions inside the church, including weddings. The wedding dress of the bride who stands before the venerable priests for nearly two hours, particularly before church fathers like the Holy Catholicos, needs to serve the purpose of covering rather than revealing. After all, these are ‘koodasas’ being solemnized inside a holy church. Also, they are marriages taking place in Kerala and so it would look more natural and ‘genuine’ if the bride and groom are dressed in the traditional way. They have all the liberty later to dress in whatever way they like at the venue of the formal Reception/Banquet.
We have witnessed occasional weddings in our churches in Kerala where the brides belonged to European or other racial stocks. There were a couple of such weddings in my parish in Cochin in the last two years. One bride was from Ireland and another from the US. In all such cases, the ‘foreign’ brides were seen wearing the traditional Indian Sari for the wedding. They could very well have dressed up like Princess Diana or the Duchess of Kent if they wanted to, but preferred to have a true Indian Orthodox wedding instead. Surely, there is some value system at work here.
We should take a leaf from our Hindu brethren in this respect in that they adhere to the native dress during wedding ceremonies. Unfortunately, for many Kerala Christians, aping the West seems to be their credo.
While still on the dress code, let me now refer to a pastoral letter issued by the authorities of St.Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of Ernakulam-Angamaly Arch Diocese (Syrian Catholic) last week. The circular was meant for compulsory reading in all the family units of the Parish. It stipulates that people attending various church services should dress themselves appropriately to suit the solemnity and sanctity of the church. The dress code forbids the wearing of short/tight dresses or those likely to expose body parts. Women should compulsorily wear head-dress while receiving HQ. Boys should not wear low-waist pants. Dresses carrying pictures of the skull, buffalo head, or other such motifs, or displaying writings with provocative/double-meanings are also forbidden. The circular says that its issuance was necessitated due to the growing tendency among the people to dress inappropriately while attending church services.
Well, honestly, the situation in Orthodox churches is no better. Young boys coming to church wearing t-shirts with provocative or irreverent slogans emblazoned across them, some in trousers having 20 or more pockets (the more the merrier seems to be motto), girls wearing tight or kinky dresses are not uncommon, particularly in towns and cities. But most of our clergy are hesitant to speak up against it for fear of inviting the wrath of the laity of this so-called ‘democratic’ Church. Some are just not bothered. Some look the other way, while some do not want to spoil their cozy/plum postings by taking up such issues. There are also those who are engaged in a popularity game by trying to be on the right side of the parishioners even if there are aberrations or transgressions.
But there are exceptions too. HG Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of Mumbai, while solemnizing a marriage in Cochin recently interrupted the ceremony to sternly admonish a section of the gathering sitting around and chitchatting. He reminded everyone present that marriage ceremony was a ‘koodasa’ and a solemn occasion and every one should respect its sanctity. It was not a time for revelry or gossiping, he said. The inappropriate behaviour was tantamount to giving a slap to the couple, H.G. added without mincing any words. No doubt, order and decorum prevailed thereafter.
It is high time the Sabha leadership came out with a code of conduct and dress code for people while attending church services, particularly during weddings. No doubt there will be a few critics who would decry the step accusing the Church of issuing ‘fatwas’ from time to time. They made fun of the MOC for initiating a campaign against alcohol and drug abuse last year. But the Church should not shy away or abdicate its moral duty.
PV Mathew, Edappally, Cochin