Today I am going to write about the ritual of Assamese wedding or marriage. Let me start with Jurun which is the pre-wedding (Biya) ritual of Assamese wedding.
What Is Jurun?
Jurun is the first-day ceremony of Assamese wedding (Biya) that is normally celebrated one or two days before the wedding. Women basically take part of the Jurun ritual where the groom’s mother along with relatives visits the bride’s house. Although it is a women’s function, some male elders from groom’s side come along with them. There is a plenty of customs in this function that take almost the entire day to complete the Jurun. For this reason, Jurun is normally celebrated one or two days before of wedding. In some cases, people observe it on the same day of the wedding.
- Welcome Ceremony: At the time of groom’s party arrived, the bride’s mother accompanied by other females offers them warm greetings. They welcome the groom side’s with ‘Xorai’or ‘Bota’ along with ‘Tamul Paan’ which is covered by Gamusa. Bride’s mother gives some fresh air to the groom’s side by using Bisoni (Fan). Both of the sides exchange their Xorai and hug each other. At that moment both of the parties make the environment more lively by singing some songs which is locally called ‘Biya Naam’. Although it seems nothing behind this ritual, belief is that it increases the love and affection between the two new families. After that, bride’s mother tugs the groom’s mother’s attire and gets her inside the venue.
- Tel Diya: Once they reach the venue, the groom side places a mat (carried by them) on the floor and keep aside all things what they bring along. They lit the lamp and incense sticks and call the bride to come out. The bride gets an odd number set of Mekhela Sador Assamese traditional attire along with Golden Jewellery, Asomiya Jewellery (Gahana), and a makeup kit as a gift from groom’s mother. The makeup kit contains scented hair oil, a perfume, sindoor(vermilion), a mirror, hairbrush or comb etc. Moreover, the groom touches all these presented things before gifts are packed. The groom mother pours a little oil on a betel nut kept over the bride’s head thrice and applies sindoor on the bride’s forehead with a ring. The reason for pouring oil is that oil can keep a person calm and fresh. Applying Sindoor signifies that the girl has become a daughter in law of that home and wife of the boy.
- Seeks Blessings: After all these things, some females take out the bride to seek blessings from all the elders of the groom’s family.
- Ulta Jurun (Return Gift): At the end of the Jurun, the bride sends some gifts to the groom. The gift contains two sets of clothing that include Dhuti, Gamusa, Handicraf, and innerwear etc. One set is for ‘Nuoni’ that refers ceremonial bath of the groom another is wedding attire.
Above all else, the groom family brings coconut,doi(yogurt), rice filled two pots, sweets, the Tamul-Paan bunch(betel leaves and nuts), Haldi and urad daal for another ritual ‘Nuoni’. They divide equally Haldi, urad daal, yogurt and rice into two parts. One part is kept for the bride and another part is carried back to the groom. The bride touches all these things respectively and sends to the groom.