Kashmir is a heavenly place and is the crown of India. It is the land of beautiful valleys, lakes and mountain peaks. The people of Kashmir have resemblance with the societies of north India rather than with other Himalayan people. The population in this region is stratified due to religion and caste system and has lot of diversity. But main residents are Kashmiri Pundits and Muslims and both have different flavors of festivities in their weddings. This article gives a brief about the marriage outfits, worn in the weddings of Kahsmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims.
Kashmiri Pundit: They are Hindu Brahmins and worship Lord Vishnu and are popularly known as Vaishnavs. Though most of their population lives outside Kashmir, they still practice same wedding rituals and customs with traditional wedding customs and dresses for brides and grooms.
Bridal Wear: Kashmiri bride has to wear an elaborate wedding outfit with lots of colors and glitz. A head gear known as Kalpush is an extensive cap folded three or four times and lined either with silk or cotton from the inside, is worn by the Kashmiri Pundit bride. Then the white color cloth over kalpush is wrapped in three to four layers, which is known as zoojh. After which, a glace paper is stitched over zoojh and this entire head wear is known as tarang.
The bridal wear consists of suit, saree or lehnga which has to be red in color and if not red then the pink tone shades and yellow shades are worn by the Kashmiri bride. A lot of golden thread work known as zari work is blended with kashmiri embroidery which looks spectacular on the bride. Dupatta is put over the head wear tarang which enhances the look of the Kashmiri Pundit bride.
The jewelry holds lot of meaning for a Kashmiri pundit bride. They wear heavy gold jewelry around neck, gold bangles on the hands, paayal and toe ring in the foot and a special ornament known as dejharoo is worn. Dejharoo is a pair of gold pendants hanging on a gold chain through the holes in the ear lobes. It holds the similar significance in kashmiri pundits as a mangalsutra does among Hindus. A waist band is also an important bridal wear which is two meter long and a half a meter wide.
Grooms: The Kashmiri groom wears a traditional dress, known as pheran on the day of his wedding. He wears a waist band along with it which is very broad and long. A sword is attached to the waist band and one of the male relative ties a turban known as Gordastar on the head of the groom. But, the traditions are changing these days, with more number of youngster’s preferring to wear kurta pyjama, achkan, or formal suits in their marriage. The Kashmiri Pundit groom is supposed to wear traditionally embroidered shoes known as paazar. The whole look is glamorized by putting ruby bead or some other precious stone bead chain around his neck.
Kashmiri Muslim: Majority of the population in Kashmir is of Muslims and they celebrate their wedding by performing every ritual with utter religiosity. The women are very beautiful with European rosiness behind the eastern tan. The brides wear beautifully embroidered pheran, a traditional dress for Kashmiri women along with an elaborate head wear known as Kasaba. It is a cloth available in various colors and held tight by silver pins and trinklets. It is decorated with gold embroidery and embellishments of silver pendants hanging on the forehead. In jewelry, the brides wear heavy bunches of silver jewelry which shines and whose beauty can even be noticed by a person from distance. The jewelry also, includes heavy jhoomar style earrings which are supported by thick silver chain, necklace, bracelets and paayal around the ankle. The Kashmiri Muslim groom on the other hand, wears a pheran along with a broad belt. He wears a Muslim cap on his wedding day which shows devotion towards his religion.
The wedding attire of the bride and the groom plays a significant role in making the marriage ceremony more memorable and cherishable. The Kashmiri brides and grooms have the most unusual marriage attires which showcases their culture with utmost simplicity without over-glamorizing it which adds on to the beauty and the feel of their marriage.