Designed , developed & Hosted By Kishoo, Barkur


This column will feature the aricles from Barkurians, recalling their memories of Barkur !


Send your contributions to

 This column will be uploaded every fortnight. The names of the writers will not be published, if requested.

This page is updated regularly, please refresh or reload on your visit



(Part Two)

As remembered by Charles F. Lewis, Kingdom of Bahrain is thrilled to present Charles Lewis’ articles in this memory lane.  Even though these articles may be memories for Charles, but these are highly informative in narrating the traditional marriage celebrating customs, which were quite common in the forties, fifties, or sixties.  Needless to say, Charles has put considerable time, effort, and humor in preparing these articles, and his reflections are praiseworthy, something to learn from. Enjoy.


Preparations for the greatest day commence early in the morning at the Bride’s house.  Men keep themselves busy with the task of slaughtering the Pigs and Chicken; whereas women engross themselves in the preparation of pork ‘Dukraa Maas’, Chicken Curry, Vegetables, Sanna (Idlis) etc... for lunch.  Without having Dukraa Maas and idlis, ‘Sanna’ or ‘Poli’ I don’t think any marriage was celebrated during those days.  By any chance if the hosts failed to serve Pork and instead arranged dishes like mutton ‘Bokryaa Maas’ or chicken “Kunkda Maas’ for the wedding lunch then they were bombarded with all sorts of unwarranted remarks and minor insults by most of them, but of course, only after enjoying the sumptuous and delicious meal, (never before!), because to most of them without Dukraa Maas’ a marriage was certainly not an enjoyable marriage celebration!!!  Solemnization of the Marriage was mostly conducted during the morning hours at the parish church of the Bride.  The Bride and the Groom arrive by foot accompanied by relatives and friends; also the Band playing their favorite tunes very loudly thus alerting all roadside residents on their way to the church.  After completing the church formalities the nuptials take a long procession (Vhor) through the streets of Barkur, to bring delight on the faces of waiting residents, with the Band leading and the guests following the Bridal couple.  Once this parade was over, the newly married couple, Bride’s Maid and the Best Man remain stationed at a nearby house for an hour or so until they were asked to proceed to Bride’s house for the remaining part of the ceremony.

At the entrance of Bride’s house all friends and relatives wait for the procession to arrive and as they approach close to the entrance of Bride’s house the singing of wedding songs (Kazaarachyo Voviyo) begin with “Bhailyaan aailo Vhor..” and other wedding songs.  This was how the nuptials and the Groom’s party were greeted at the Bride’s house.  On completion of some of the formalities like replacing Bride’s white saree with a Red silk saree  (Saado) and blessing of the Groom and the Bride by all, it was time for the lavish lunch for all the invitees.  There was the thanksgiving song “Lavdate Dominum” at the end of the meal. This Lavdate was a must, which could be heard a mile away! Some men trying to sing louder and louder, mostly off beat though! After the luncheon the Groom’s party returns home to prepare arrangements for the next day’s similar lunch.  With the Band in attendance at the Bride’s place untiring dances, singing and funny jokes continued till say 11.00 PM.  This was how the celebrations at the Bride’s place end on that day.

THE GRAND CELEBRATIONS at the Groom’s residence

The program on this day was almost identical to that of the one at the Bride’s place but without any religious ceremonies or church services.  The nuptials along with the Bride’s party proceeded to Groom’s town or village to continue the celebration.  The procession with Band leading the party reach Groom’s house at around 12:00 noon and the usual program resumes followed by delicious and sumptuous lunch to all invitees.  Late in the evening the Bride’s party, especially those close to Bride’s heart, start sobbing as the tearful handing over of the Bride (Hoklek Opsun Dinvchem) to the Groom nears.  Everyone felt very sad because of the seriousness of this particular occasion.  Naturally, from this moment onwards the Bride’s parents forfeit their legal authority over their daughter and hand over their daughter to the Groom and his family.  Of course, this was a tearful ceremony for all, but we enjoyed listening to some hilarious songs like “Rada naaka baaye” etc... to overcome their tears and sad parting moments.   As soon as the Bride’s party leaves for home, it was time for celebration with dancing and singing with the Band in attendance, till late midnight.  That was how the grand wedding celebrations with true tradition and profound love for all were concluded.

Honouring the Newlyweds (Sanman Jevann)

Immediately after the wedding day, the newlyweds were flooded with lunch or dinner invitations by relatives, neighbors and friends, demonstrating their affection/welcome towards the newly married.  The first to extend invitation to the newlyweds and their relatives were the Bride’s parents and the second one from the Groom’s parents in similar fashion.  The ‘Sanman Jevann’ at the Bride’s parents house was always loaded with many surprises for the Groom’s party.  For the first Sanman Jevann at the Bride’s house they prepare sweet items like Nevryo, Laadu, etc... and the funniest part was that few of these sweet items  were deliberately filled with little chilly powder or salt or small onion or garlic or ginger instead of the usual sweet mixture.  While serving these dishes during the breakfast time all eyes remain wide open to watch “who gets what?”.  Those who bit these ‘specialized’ items were penalized with petty punishments like sing a song, crack a joke, etc... just to entertain the gathering and to keep the spirit of marriage alive.

Mention should be made that neighbors and relatives helped mostly in kind, such that, some spared rice, some shared coconuts, some went and caught fish for the wedding meal, some gave vegetables, others other supplies, and some others put lot of physical labor; thus the burden of expenses was highly reduced.  Such was the cooperation extended, and of course reciprocated as needed.

The ‘Sanman’ invitations continued for several days which clearly shows us that the bondage and love shared between these communities is quite evident, which is perhaps wholly lacking and totally forgotten by the present age group as most of them are busy with their own family or day-to-day affairs.  Even if time permits them to host marriages in identical fashion, they don’t go for it since those traditions and customs have been either totally forgotten or ignored, besides the family bondage is no more in existence.  Where do we find close-knit families these days?  In those days, even if some of the relatives, neighbors and friends were not in talking terms due to some dispute or misunderstandings, I must emphasize this, that during the weddings or any other important family functions, all misunderstandings and disputes were forgotten and they restored their differences.  Hosts personally visit alienated families and friends with the ‘Olive branch’ and patch up with them by inviting them for the marriages; thus no more keeping grudge against each other.  This was a genuine example of demonstrating true forgiveness by both the parties involved and forgetting the past.

What I noticed was that everyone was happy and took active part in all the proceedings, ignoring their differences, if they had any, for the success of every marriage.  Achieving success was the prime objective of all and there were never any failures, though after few ‘glasses of Soro’ intermittently there used to be some commotions, but for a short time, which were considered as ‘entertainment’, especially for the amusements of the youngsters.

In the end, I must say that how can one forget those good old marriages that were celebrated in all grandeur, magnificence and above all in true tradition thus demonstrating their real love and concern for one another. (Maya Moag!)  These are the notable differences and those were the Christian marriages.............!!!  Can we re-kindle such traditions?

Click here for part one

(End of Part Two of Two)

For a glimpse of the life at Barkur as remembered by Barkurians, check archives

Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

Copyright Kishoo, Barkur 2002.