Punjabi NRI Sikhs & Matrimonial Traditions
Punjabi NRI Sikhs & Matrimonial Traditions

Punjabi NRI Sikhs & Matrimonial Traditions

30 August, 2020 Swaran Kaur

Over the years, many Punjabi Sikhs have left the Punjab region of India to settle in countries such as UK, Canada, USA, Australia and many other countries in the world in search of better opportunities. Punjabi Sikhs settled outside India are referred to as Punjabi NRI Sikhs.

The First Generation of Punjabi NRI Sikhs

The first generation of Punjabi NRI Sikhs who were settled outside India looked to India to find matrimonial partners for their children. Relatives in India would make recommendations and Punjabi NRI Sikhs in Canada, UK, USA, etc. would travel to India with their son or daughter in search of a good Sikh matrimonial match.

Sometimes the marriage ceremony would take place in India and at other times the potential matrimonial partner would travel to the country of the NRI Sikh bride or NRI Sikh Groom and the marriage ceremony would take place there.

Punjabi NRI Sikh Matrimonial Traditions

As the Punjabi NRI Sikhs originated from Punjab in India, they have taken with them the Punjabi Sikh matrimonial traditions and customs.

A series of traditional events take place in a set order leading up to the wedding day briefly described as follows:

The Roka ( Pre-Engagement )

This is the very first ceremony carried out by the Punjabi NRI Sikhs.

The significance behind this simple ceremony is to declare to relatives and friends that the Sikh Groom and the Sikh Bride are going to be married. It marks the union of two families. It represents the beginning of a relationship between the Groom's and the Bride's families, who will then discuss a wedding date.

Kurmai ( Engagement )

Engagement is the second event. The importance of this ceremony is to announce to relatives and friends that the Sikh Groom and Sikh Bride are officially engaged.

Mehndi ( Henna )

This usually takes place a few days before the day of the wedding. The Sikh Bride's hands and feet are decorated with henna in preparation for the wedding day. The female relatives and friends of both the Sikh Bride and the Sikh Groom will also decorate their hands with henna.

Maiyan, Sangeet & Chura ( Singing of Punjabi Folk Songs & Red Bangles )

This function takes place a couple of days before the wedding day either at the Sikh Groom's and the Sikh Bride's homes or at a function hall. Both the Sikh Groom's and the Sikh Bride's families have this ceremony separately. Relatives and friends attend this and sing Punjabi folk songs.

The Maiyan ceremony involves the female relatives and friends applying a paste made of turmeric powder and mustard oil to the Bride's face, hands and feet. This is done to make the Bride look more beautiful on her wedding day. This ceremony is also carried out by the Groom's family.

The Chura is a set of red bangles gifted by the Bride's maternal uncle. This is the final ceremony before the wedding day.

Wedding Day & Anand Karaj

The Sikh religious marriage ceremony is called Anand Karaj which means the ceremony of bliss.

Following the religious marriage ceremony, there is usually a wedding reception although some couples prefer not to have the wedding reception in which case the marriage ceremony is followed by lunch.

The Doli

At the end of the wedding reception or lunch, it is time for the bride to leave for her husband's home. This ceremony is called The Doli.

The Punjabi NRI Sikhs continue to follow the Punjabi Sikh matrimonial traditions and customs to this day.

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