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उत्तराखंडी ई-पत्रिका

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Symbolism in Garhwali Dhuliarg Wedding Songs

धूळयर्ग के समय का गढ़वाली लोक गीत में प्रतीक प्रयोग


Symbolism in Garhwali Dhuliarg Wedding Songs, Symbolism in Worldwide Wedding Folk Songs and Symbolism in Various Wedding Customs

Bhishma Kukreti

(Abstract: There are four parts in this article. First part defines symbolism in poetry, the second part details about symbols in wedding of various societies all over world , third part opens the studies of symbols in wedding folk songs of various areas and fourth part discusses the symbols used in Garhwali Dhuliarg Wedding folk Song)

Michael Meyer in his scholarly research “ The Online glossary”, , defines symbol in a poetry or song “ A person, object, image, word, or event that evokes a range of additional meaning beyond and usually more abstract than its literal significance. Symbols are educational devices for evoking complex ideas without having to resort to painstaking explanations that would make a story more like an essay than an experience. Conventional symbols have meanings that are widely recognized by a society or culture”

Michael further elaborates the definition of symbols in literature A literary or contextual symbol can be a setting, character, action, object, name, or anything else in a work that maintains its literal significance while suggesting other meanings. Such symbols go beyond conventional symbols; they gain their symbolic meaning within the context of a specific story”.

Wedding in any society of any era is very important aspect for the family and for the society too. Wedding means the preparation for the future journey for the gain of new generation. Therefore, in all the marriage customs, there are symbols in various stages of marriage.

Symbolism in Traditional Chinese Wedding

The traditional dowry includes scissors shaped two butterflies symbolizing joy, warmth and inseparable, vase in dowry is symbolic to peace and , rulers symbolizing large farming fields In dowry, there is a chamber pot filled with fruits (symbol of fertility) and coins ( symbols for prosperity and wealth).

The bridal bed is prepared by a person who has “good luck” or having many children. The fruits on bridal bed as dates on the bridal bed means “soon”, chestnut is symbols of established sons, pomegranates (fertility), lotus seeds (continuous birth),bran (rich son),

The phoenix and dragon styled hair style of bride means the union of a man and woman. The cypress leaves on groom’s cap means for many children and wealth.

Traditional gifts of shoes and bronze mirror are symbolic to togetherness with harmony. Vowing by bride and groom by taking wines and honey is symbolic to “gold of marriage”.

Stepping over a saddle by bride at groom’s house means the sign of peace.

Japanese Engagement Wedding Characters

There are many symbolic items in Japanese engagement as abalone stands for longevity, cuttlefish represents pregnancy, kelp resemblances “child bearing woman” and longevity of union. Japanese exchange m any items engagement ceremony and each item represents some meaning as decorated items by crane (mates for life), tortoise (lays many eggs –capacity for many children), pine (stands for evergreen –prosperity) , bamboo represents integrity and cherry plant is the sign of lifelong happiness

The Japanese engagement outfit also represents new beginning , leaving father being the wife of husband.

In Japanese wedding, the couple hold a rosary (Juju) contain 21 beads. These beads are symbolic to 18 beads for couple, two beads for two families and one bead represents for Buddha. The decoration of food also represents many meanings in Japanese customs.

Symbols in Cambodian Marriage

The items used in Cambodian marriage are deeply rooted in Hindu culture and Buddhist culture. Though Buddhist priest performs the marriage rituals but many items are related to Hindu symbols as soaking of cotton beads tied on couple’s hands by holy water (Ganges of Hindu), The gotrachar in Hindu sytem is same as in Cambodian system . Gotrachar means to digging information about bride and groom by opposite party.

Symbolic Items in Thai Wedding

The family or friends put sesame seeds, rice and coins in between blanket and sheets for bridal bed. These items are symbols of fertility, children, and happy life.

Pine Trees in Norwegian Marriage

In Norwegian marriage, the couple is gifted two pine trees. These trees are grwon on the each door side of couple hose. The pine tree is sign of evergreen and thus sign of fertility .

Same way, in Garhwali tradition pine tree branches are put at four corners of Vedi the marriage place and symbolizing the fertility factor in Garhwali wedding.

Garhwali ‘Sapata’ and Malaysian Meminang

In Malaysia , after the agreement about engagement of bride and groom, a couple of people from groom side visit the bride house , discuss and agree upon the following aspects of engagement

1-The date and time of Meminang ceremony

2- Money to be paid by groom side for arrangement

3-Details of gift items from both sides

4-Exavt date and timing of wedding

5- List of guests (numbers) from groom side.

6-Other important aspects of exchanges of gifts and responsibilities

In old time Garhwali wedding, before a week or two three days before the wedding a wise or experienced person and pundit jee from groom side visit the bride side and this visit is called Sapata. There is one page paper written by pundit jee about wedding ceremonial timing (Nakshtra) which is handed over to pundit jee of bride side. The wise man or experienced person discuss the following aspects of marriage

1-Exact date and timing of wedding as per Nakshtra.

2- Numbers of guests from groom side and arrangement proposals

3- Gifts proposals from both side usually jewelries is discussed

Symbolism in Philippines Marriage

The wedding ceremony in Philippine has social bondage. There are many symbols in Filipino wedding as

1- Principal and secondary sponsors represent the importance of people in the life of bride and groom

2-The participation of aunts, and other old people as principal sponsors represent witnessing , wisdom and support.

2-Wedding coins are symbols of prosperity

3-white Veils by groom and bride: The veil is symbol of purity or presence of God (cloud)

4-Cording ceremony is the symbol of bondage

5-Candle: The candle symbolize the Light of Christ

Symbols in Christian Engagement and Marriage

1- Circle of Ring is the sign of perfection, infinity in love

2-White colour of bride is the the sign or purity

3-throwing rice is symbolic to fertility but this custom came from Indian culture

Irish wedding Symbols

There are Christian wedding custom and regional customs in Irish wedding

1- Hand fasting has some debate as it is symbol of public announcement of betrothal or ‘trial marriage ?

2-The Claddagh ring is symbol of everlasting love and marriage

3-Horseshoe is to stop bad luck

4-Jumping the broom is the symbol of health and home

5-Mead offer is the historical incidents took place for honeymooning in Ireland

A couple of exclusive wedding customs of Italy

1- Cutting the log by double handed saw by bride and groom is the symbol of their partnership in love and marriage

2-Breaking glass and counting the broken pieces by groom and bride represents the years of couple being together after marriage

French Wedding Symbols

There are many symbols in wedding ceremony in urban and rural France

1- Wedding Armoire is known as ‘Hope Chest’

2- Groom’s marriage procession” In villages of France, the groom takes the marriage procession to the bride’s house and take bride towards wedding chapel. In the mean time, the village children block the path of bride –groom by white ribbon and bride has to cut the ribbon. In path, the beggars plaited the hedge grow brier and the bride-groom have to bribe to remove the hurdle. These customs are to teach newlyweds for overcoming hurdle together.

Symbols in Spanish Marriage customs

Though, there are many customs in Spanish marriage and groom presenting 13 coins to bride is important as symbol of unity in earlier age. Today coin offering is the sign of wealth and prosperity

Symbols of Greek Traditional Wedding

In the marriage ceremony the best friend puts on a golden crown or wreaths of orange blossoms on the head of groom and bride. Rest of the day, groom is supposed to be king and bride as queen.

At the reception, dishes are smashed as ‘good Luck” and money is thrown on the musicians .

Traditional Jewish wedding

There are stages, steps and rituals in Jewish wedding and each step has symbolic meaning and those meanings are still relevant in many ways.

Symbols in African Wedding

There are many items required in African ethnic wedding and each item has an importance as far as symbolism in wedding is concerned

1-Broom: The broom is the sign of ‘Cleanliness of Health , Long married life,

2- Bitter Herbs : The painful life may be ahead

3-Four Cowry shells: The symbol of Truthfulness, Prophecy, Life time devotion, Fertility

4-Iron Pot and Spoon: healthy food for building strong married life and family

5-Cinnamon and Honey : Sweet Lovely life and blessing from the Goddess Oshum

6-Pepper: In heated time, family may experience and avert

7- Queens shield and crown: represents honor and pride of family

8- Rain water : represents purification, cool roads, dissolution of problems

9- Sea Salt: Quick healing and preservation of marriage

10-Warrior machete : for protection of sanctity and communities

11- Wheat for fertility, giving life and land

12- Wine is the symbol of mixing of blood of two families.

Symbols in Persian wedding

The custom Sofreh-ye-Aghad is important ceremony takes place at bride’s house or place. The following items and rites represent various aspects of life

1-Mirror – represents fate

2-Candlebars symbolizes brightening the future of bride-grom

3- a Tray of seven multicolored spices and herbs –Poppy Seeds ( for breaking spells and witchcraft), Wild rice (fertility and prosperity, Angelika (purity), Salt (blinding evil’s eyes ),Nigella seeds, Black tea, Frankincense (to burn the evil spirits).

4-Baked and decorated flatbread for prosperity and happiness

5-A basket of eggs, basket of almonds and other fruits in baskets for fertility

6-Basket of pomegranates and appeals for joyful life

7- Rose water for purifying the air and pure life in future

8-Crustalized sugar for sweet life

9-Burning coal sprinkled with wild rue for keeping away the evil’s eye and bringing health

10- cup of gold coins for prosperity

11-A needle and seven strand of seven coloured thread for sewing up mother in law’s lips for bad and unpleasant words.

Symbolism in a Garhwali Wedding

Garhwalis are Hindu , therefore all symbols of Hindu way of wedding exist in Traditional Garhwali wedding . There are a few additions of items and rites or activities in Garhwali wedding as per regional needs .

Symbolism in Wedding Folk Poetry

There have been very less research on comparative study on folk songs specially wedding folk poetry because there is less translation of the folk poetry. However, Louise O Vasvari initiated to compare the wedding folk songs of Garman, Hungary and Spain in her brilliant article,” A Comparative Approach to European folk Poetry and the erotic Wedding Motif”. She states that at one hand the songs are appropriate for the festivities and other hand the folk songs offer warning to young women the sexual and consequently , social dangers always present in their interaction with men. Louise proved that symbolic folk poetry(here erotic wedding songs) does fulfill various motives as creating musical atmosphere in wedding , amusing the people and lastly the wedding song s provide preaching to younger ones. Louise provided tens of words and phrases which are simple words on surface but they represent different meanings . Examples are – dark coloured girl, going to wood, not pulling out snake by mother and brother,

J C B Petropoulus provides tens of examples of symbolism in Greece wedding folk songs or poetry in his book , “Erotism in Ancient and Medieval Greek Poetry” for example, in a folk song, the bride is compared to dove and tortoise dove .

Radost Ivanova briefs the symbolism in Bulgarian wedding and Bulgarian wedding songs his article , “Wedding as a System of Symbols”

Jam Adamowsky , in his brilliant article , “ Semantic and Organization of the Wedding Ritual Space “ provides us various symbols in Polish wedding and symbols in folk poetry or rituals.

Tatyana Zayokowsky briefs the differences and similarities among Ukrainian wedding symbols, Slav wedding customs and Greek wedding customs in his article, “THE BRIDE AS A BIRD, 1. FLIGHT OVER OTHER WORLD”. In this article, he provides various example from folk poetry,

Albert Bayburin, Deyan Aidachich, Aleksandar Loma, Zoya Karanovich, Biljana Sikimich, Ljubinko Radenkovich, Danica Djokich,Irina A. Sedakova, Rachko Popov, Elena S. Uzeneva, Tatyana A. Agapkina, Vitaliy Zaykovskiy provide the detailed knowledge of symbols in Slav wedding and Slav wedding folk songs and other folk songs in a book “Codes of Slav Cultures”. The book is very crucial to study the comparative studies of symbols uses in wedding folk songs in various culture thought the world

V.V Freiberga detailed symbols in folk songs of Lativa in Journal of Baltik Sudies, 1975.

Nikifor Robovsky provide various examples of symbols in folk poems of Macedonian area in his article,” Macedonian Folkloristic Theme “.

Brone Stundzhiene provide analytical study of symbols in Lithuanian folk songs in his brilliant article, “ The Depiction of Trees in Lithuanian folk Songs”

Batya Fonda provides readers about various symbols used in Jewish folk songs in an Internet site . “http://www.jewishfolksongs.com/en/kings-and-queens

Symbolism in Garhwali Wedding Folk songs of Dhuliarg

Dhulyarg is ritual performed by Pundit jee and the parents of bride also perform as per advice of Pundit jee. The women sing the specific folk song for Dhuliarg time as :

धूळयर्ग के समय का गढ़वाली लोक गीत
गई पितैजी ऐ गई पितैजी दिया का कन्या
ऐ गई पितैजी दिया का कन्या

खड़ा रैन्गीं पितैजी खडा रैन्गीं पितैजी दिया का कन्या
खडा रैन्गीं पितैजी दिया का कन्या ए

दे द्यावा पितैजी दे द्यावा पितैजी धूळीअर्ग
दे द्यावा पितैजी धूळइयर्ग ए

धूळीअर्ग धूळीअर्ग पुनिया समान
धूळीअर्ग पुनिया समान ए

को ह्वालो कनियाँ को ह्वालो दिया का कन्या
को ह्वालो दिया का कन्या ए

कें देलू बेटी कें देलू बेटी धूळीअर्ग
कें देलू बेटी धूळीअर्ग ए

को ह्वालो बेटी को ह्वालो बेटी श्री रामचंदर
को ह्वालो बेटी श्री रामचंदर ए

जोंकी होली पितैजी जोंकी होली पितैजी बैजंती माला
जोंकी होली पितैजी बैजंती माला ए

वूं दीण पितैजी वूं दीण पितैजी धूळीअर्ग
वूं दीण पितैजी धूळीअर्ग ए

दे द्यावा पितैजी दे द्यावा पितैजी शंख की पूजा
दे द्यावा पितैजी शंख की पूजा ए

कें देलू बेटी कें देलू बेटी शंख की पूजा
कें देलू बेटी शंख की पूजा ए

जोंकी होली पितैजी जौंकी होली पितैजी राजूं पैर्वाग
जौंकी होली पितैजी राजूं पैर्वाग ए

राजूं पैर्वाग राजूं पैर्वाग पीताम्बर धोती
राजूं पैर्वाग पीताम्बर धोती ए

दे द्यावा पितैजी दे द्यावा पितैजी नर्युळ जनेऊ
दे द्यावा पितैजी नर्युळ जनेऊ ए

जोंकी होली पितैजी जोंकी होली पितैजी पायूँ मा पदम
जोंकी होली पितैजी पायूँ मा पदम ए

वूं दीण पितैजी धूळीअर्ग वूं दीण पितैजी धूळीअर्ग
वूं दीण पितैजी धूळीअर्ग ए

राम जी आई गेन राम जी आई गेन जनकपुरी मा
राम जी आई गेन जनकपुरी मा ए

अयोध्या का लोक अयोध्या का लोक जनकपुरी मा
अयोध्या का लोक जनकपुरी मा ए

जनकपुरी मा जनकपुरी मा धूम मचीन चा
जनकपुरी मा धूम मचीन चा ए

राजा जनक की राजा जनक की कनियाँ कुँवारी
राजा जनक की कनियाँ कुँवारी ए

जनकपुरी मा जनकपुरी मा सीता स्वयम्बर
जनकपुरी मा सीता स्वयम्बर

The girls request the bride's father that marriage party has arrived. The girls ask him to stand at the site of Vedi. Then the girls request the bride's father to pay Dhuliarg (it is again symbolic that to take the soil of foot of groom on the head by bride's father and that means to pay high respect to groom)
the innocent bride's father asks that he does not know to recognize Shri Ramchandra (the groom is symbolic to lord Ram Chandra)
the girls say that the person putting on Baijayanti garland (lord Vishnu or Ramchandra puts on Baijaynti garland) is the groom
Again the girls ask to worship Shankh (the symbol of lord Vishnu) . The bride's father ask the method of recognizing groom. The girls suggest that who is in King's dress he is groom (Here groom is symbol of the king)
Then in symbolic language , motifs the girls tell that the people of Ayodhya (Groom's marriage party) have arrived in Janakpuri (the village of bride) and there is festivity in Janakpuri (in bride's village).
The whole song is in symbolic wordings and depiction
Ref: for Garhwali Folk songs -- Totaram Dhoundiyal, Shailja Thapliyal, Mangal, Dhad Prakasahn Dehradun
Copyright @ Bhishma Kukreti bckukreti@gmail.com .