Very often, we Indians tend to overlook the shortcomings of our traditions. We are so blinded by them and their centuries-old heritage that education or no period of time has changed our perspective. And even if we do, we tend to forget it, because that's what our culture is built on. Our parents followed the traditions and their parents did so, which makes us wonder if we are right in contradiction with our own traditions. Moreover, when one dares to question or make any change in these traditions, he or she will be threatened by the intense atmosphere of religious intolerance that has grown dangerously over the last few decades. In the midst of all this, Nandini Bhomik, the first female priest in West Bengal, performs weddings without Kanyadaan .
Nandini, a professor of Sanskrit and Priestess, has his own unique way of celebrating weddings that is very different from what we have been following for years. It simplifies the Sanskrit mantras in Bengali and English so that the bride and groom recite them correctly. It also helps people attending the wedding better understand the hymns. Moreover, Nandini is far from performing Kanyadan a wedding ritual that is considered to be extremely important. Read on to know more about Nandini and why she is against the ritual of Kanyadaan .
Who is Nandini Bhoumik?
Nandini Bomik is popularly known as the first Hindu priest in West Bengal. However, she is also a Sanskrit professor at Kolkata-based Jadavpur University, a dramatic artist and a Ph.D. Nandini Legalized Her Own Daughter's Wedding! In total, she and her group have taken about 40 weddings in 10 years. While Nandini recites hymns for the couple to be married, her band sings Rabindra Sanji in the background, adding to the freshness of the whole atmosphere. Over the last few years, Nandini and her troupe have assembled a huge fan following in Kolkata and its suburbs.
Although she gets very little time while juggling teaching and is involved with more than 10 dramatic groups, Nandini somehow separates enough time for weddings. In particular, it chooses inter-ethnic, inter-caste and inter-religious marriages to perform, breaking the shackles of cultural stereotypes.
Nandini On Kanyadaan
Kanyadaan is a ritual. which symbolizes the gift of the bride. During the bride's ritual or father, or an older male relative entrust the bride to the bride. Although this is something that is indispensable in traditional Hindu weddings, Nandini decides to remove it and not replace it with something like that. In an interview with Nandini Newspaper, he says: "I do not fulfill Kanyadaan as I consider the practice regressive in which women are treated as commodities. I try to keep the rituals short and simple and finish the whole program within one hour. "
" I want to end patriarchal thinking when parents seem to relinquish custody of their knight [bride]treating her as a commodity and handing it out as dan ( donation), "she said in another interview shortly after making the wedding of Ark Bhatacharya and Anvita Janardhanan. Well, we couldn't agree more with her.
According to the Arch bridegroom, women not only break into the male monopoly, but also increase the value of the priesthood. "I have heard so many male priests mispronounce the mantras. At a friend's wedding organized by Nandini and her friends last year, I was immediately drawn to the way Sanskrit lines were clearly explained in English and Bengali, "he said.
Kanyadaan is not the only ritual associated with Nandini Bhowmik. The Piri ghorano ritual, during which the bride sits on a feast (short stool) and is carried around the groom in circles by her family for seven times, is also cut off the ceremony. Another ritual of Chaal chhora during which the bride throws rice to symbolize the payment of the debt of the food she consumed at her father's home after birth is also rejected.
Asked if Nandini ever feels threatened by the growth of political Hindutu that may appeal against anyone who tries to change their cultural background practices, she replies: "I respect traditional priests and I am not in confrontation with them. Although my husband sometimes feels threatened by the growth of aggressive Hindutva, I have not yet received any personal threats. "
The mother of two was inspired by Guri Dharmapal, her teacher. Not only does it bring about progressive changes in the rusty old traditions, but it also seeks to make positive changes in society by supporting the poor. Most of Nandini's proceeds were donated to an orphanage located in Balihai, near Puri, Odisha.
Change is not always bad as long as it is progressive. Nandini Bumik's unique way of holding weddings is something that symbolizes the triumph of equality and the dignity of women over misogynistic traditions. What do you think about such changes made in our traditions? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Publication The first female priest from West Bengal to marry without canadian appears for the first time on STYLECRAZE .