Wedding: Chirag + Nancy | Day 2 of 3 - Mameru and Garba Ceremony | White Rabbit Studios | Huntsville, AL Wedding Photography

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I blogged about the Pithi ceremony the other day, and now here's information about Chirag and Nancy's Mameru and Garba ceremonies that took place later in the evening!

"The custom of 'mameru' originated centuries ago when there were no legal rights existing for daughters. It was customary for the parents to start making provisions for their daughter by gifting her with things on occasions like 'rakshabandhan' or 'bhaibheej'. These gifts accumulated as 'streedhan' (daughter's wealth).

When the girl grows up and gets married, the 'mama' or maternal uncle comes with the 'mameru' consisting of clothes, jewellery and other gifts items including the traditional 'paanetar' (silk wedding sari - usually white with red border) and 'choodo' (ivory bangle - now replaced with acrylic or plastic). The 'mameru' ceremony takes place one day before the wedding."

As you may expect, Nancy and Chirag's wedding had a slightly different variation on the Mameru, which featured Chirag at the center of the activities.

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The Mameru ceremony was followed by the Garba. Garba is a form of Indian dance that has roots in the Gujarat region (the ancient Indus Valley), "is more similar to Western folk dance than to the presentational style of Indian classical dances such as bharatanatyam and odissi" (thank you, Wikipedia! ;D).

"The name garba comes from the Sanskrit term Garba ("womb") and Deep ("a small earthenware lamp"). Many traditional garbas are performed around a central lit lamp. The circular and spiral figures of Garba have similarities to other spiritual dances. Traditionally it is performed during the nine-day Hindu festival Navarātrī (Gujarātī નવરાત્રી Nava = 9, rātrī = nights). Either the lamp (the Garba Deep) or else an image of the Goddess Amba is placed in the middle of concentric rings as an object of veneration.

People dance around the center as if they are horse racing, bending sideways at every step, their arms making sweeping gestures, each movement ending in a clap.
The Dandiya Raas dance

Modern garba is also heavily influenced by raas (Gujarātī: ડાંડીયા Ḍānḍīyā), a dance traditionally performed by men. The merger of these two dances has formed the high-energy dance that is seen today.

Both men and women usually wear colorful costumes while performing garba and dandiya. The girls and the women wear ghaghra choli, a three-piece dress with choli on the top and ghaghra as bottom, made of cotton with beads, shells, mirrors, sitars, and embroidery work, mati, jhumkas, necklaces, bindi, bajubandh, chudas and kangans, kamarbandh, payal, and mojiris and dupatta tucked in the Gujarati manner. Boys and men wear kafni pyjamas with a kediyu - a short round kurta - above the knees and pagadi on the head with bandhini dupatta, kada, and mojiris."

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