How a traditional wedding is done in Sri Lanka

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  • Author Regina Tompson
  • Published January 3, 2016
  • Word count 512

Sri Lankans are generally Buddhists, so you will obviously expect a wedding to be conducted according to the Buddhist beliefs and practices. This is not strictly the case as with modernity, the ways weddings are conducted have changed. This is however not the case with a traditional Buddhist wedding.

It all starts when the parents of the man make a proposal to the parents of girl that he wants to marry. They will use an intermediary known as the magul kapuwa. This is usually a comic personality, present in such occasions

Horoscope

For the proposal to see the light of the day, the suitor and the girl of his fancy must be compatible. Horoscope if the horoscope fails to match, then the Wedding proposal is not agreed upon; it aborts. Once they are deemed compatible, details on the amount of the dowry and when it will be paid are deliberated. All this time, the parents of both sides have not met and it only after details on the dowry are settled upon that the parents of the suitor visit the girl’s parents for the first time since the negotiations started.

Exchange of rings

The exchange of rings between the suitor and his bride-to-be takes place after a day is agreed upon. Most of the things that follow are based on the alignment of stars. They guide among other things when the arrangement for the D-day, preparation for the sweet meats to the reception for those who will attend the ceremony.

The wedding

Weddings take different perspectives in Sri Lanka. For a more affluent family, it will be marked by a beautiful ceremony being conducted in a posh hotel. Old habits die hard as the old age habit of the traditional ceremony involves throwing confetti at a shiny limousine with an old shoe trailing it!

How the ceremony venue looks like

The venue of the wedding ceremony is marked by use of marquees made of corrugated iron, adorned with bunting. Bunting refers to woven fabric which is light in weight. Inside the erected structure is a part known as the poruwa, which generally looks like a pulpit. It is designed in such way to showcase the artistic prowess of the Sri Lankan craft smiths.

The food

Food is important in any given event, no less the Wedding among the Sri Lankans. You will be served with unsweetened rice pudding known as kiribath, coconuts, heaves of betel, fried mushrooms known as kevum. The latter mushrooms are made from rice and treacle. There are important people in the event known as either the washerman or washerwoman, who are given most these food items and items as a way of thanking them.

The arrival of the bridegroom

The arrival of the bridegroom is marked by dancing and beating of drums. It is the responsibility of the brother to the bride to wash the feet of his future brother-in-law. In return, the bridegroom hands the brother to his bride a ring, which is dipped in a basin of water. The bride arrivals follow thereafter, in style.

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