The Remarkable Ritual of Vidaai
If we as humans have learned anything since the dawn of civilization, it is that come what may, weddings will continue to happen no matter what. And different people from different cultures have some traditions typical to their norm. From beating the groom’s feet with dead fish in Korea, to offering Spoons of Love in Whales, it’s safe to say we’ve seen a large number of strange traditions.
And it is, but obvious, that we Indians have a plethora of such unusual traditions as well. But one such ritual that often succeeds in garnering looks of confusion from Non-Indians, is the Vidaai ceremony. Specifically, when the brides cry.
What does Vidaai mean?
The Hindi word Vidaai, (or Bidaai) literally translates to “sending-off” or “farewell”, where the bride’s family and friends gather around the lucky girl and send her off to her new home. Elders often shower blessings upon the newly wedded couple and the gathering wishes them a happy married life. After bidding adieu, she leaves off with her husband and steps into her new life. Interestingly, the entire concept of Vidaai started when during primitive times, young girls were given off to Nobles and Royals as “presents.”
The bittersweet moment
The day of the wedding is considered to be one of the happiest moments of a person’s life. Naturally, one is expected to have a great time and enjoy the beginning of a new chapter in his/her life.
But ironically, this is also the time when radiant brides shed tears of liquid crystal as they indulge in the reminiscence of their childhood and younger years with their dear family. It is seldom when you will find an Indian bride not tearing up at the edge of her wedding pandal, clinging on to her dear ones. Even in the modern age of smartphones and online connectivity, there is a force greater than that to the naked eye which makes the bride feel a surplus of emotions as she is not ready to leave her old life behind just yet. In several parts of India, crying during the Vidaai is considered a mandatory, auspicious ritual, which is said to bring the new couple lots of good luck and love. Crying during the
Vidaai, signifies a bond shared between the bride and her family, and that she is not ready to leave her old life behind just yet. No matter what day and age may we be in, every girl who has ever dreamt of being a bride would feel a sense of inner evolution from that of being a girl, to a woman. It is also a time for the groom to realize the duties bestowed upon him by his wife’s family with full trust and belief. Vidaai is a time of securing the seal of unification created by the act of marriage. It is the time for two families to recognize each other’s presence in the truest of senses, and live together in peaceful synergy.