Just ask yourself how many times you would have watched a wedding video of another person – once, twice, thrice? More often, we do not relish watching the wedding videos of relatives and friends, more than once, and that too, by feigning interest and hiding our boredom, merely to keep them happy.
Of late, I watched two wedding video clips of a (Jaffna?) Tamil Hindu couple Dilip and Mohana, posted on YouTube, with mixed apprehension.
This wedding took place on February 12, 2012, at Sree Maha Mariamman Temple in Singapore. A week later, on February 19, Mohana Rajan, the bride, uploaded two video clips to YouTube. The first clip shows the groom, Dilip Kumar, entering the wedding hall and the second shows the bride, Mohana Rajan’s entrance.
So far, as of March 19, 2012, the video clip of the entrance made by the groom has had 563,631 views and the video clip of the bride’s entrance has a record-breaking 1,536,902 views. Above all, a fan page created on Facebook under the name “Dilip Kumar Mohana Rajan” has scored hundreds of likes and many are talking about this wedding.
What’s so special about these videos? To answer this question you must first see them by clicking on the following images:
In an interview given to OLI 96.8FM, Singapore, Mohana Rajan says that she is a Bharatha Natyam dancer and wanted to make her wedding a memorable one, and Dilip Kumar relented to her wish.
These two video clips have produced mixed reactions from viewers. In fact, there are around 144 comments for groom’s entrance and 626 comments for the bride’s entrance on YouTube.
Some praise the videos but many who observe religious traditions and wish to uphold and preserve the sanctity of marriage censure them.
One Facebook commentator says,
“You guys had a grand fun entrance to your wedding and definitely put on a smile on more than a million faces.. What a blessed way to start your journey of togetherness. Have a blessed married life! (sic) “
Another person comments in YouTube:
“Jaffna low caste culture is not considered as Tamil culture. Indian cinema culture destroying pure Jaffna Tamil culture. These kinds of people should be outcasted from society. Ada thuuuuuu. (sic)”
Another comment in YouTube reads:
“I really liked the dancing.. just feeling bad that my Tamil culture is extremely ruined. You could have danced at your reception instead. You just forgot that it has a meaning to wear saari and all those traditional stuffs while during the wedding. You didn’t give any meaning to yours instead made it funny. I respect your freedom but think on your own. There is no need to do a Tamil traditional wedding if you don’t believe it or want to make fun of it. I respect my culture, so do many! (sic)”
You might be intending to ask me what I think about this incident.
Well, I am a Tamil and a Catholic and I believe in the holy sacrament and sanctity of marriage and I wish every Tamil to uphold the Tamil traditions. Not only Christians, but all religions agree and teach what I firmly believe.
This couple follows Hinduism, which like Buddhism is a way of life. Thousands of years ago Samskaras or sacraments were instituted in Hinduism to bring sanctity and stability to the lives of the people and to integrate their personalities with the society they were born in. The ancient seers and sages, endowed with the sacred knowledge, made it their bounden duty to transform the crude animal that we were, into Homo sapiens, with the help of the Samskaras. In Hindu rituals, life is a cycle. From birth to death a person undergoes 16 Samskaras, and marriage is one of the most important among them.
The rich, noble heritage of Hindu ethos proclaims that the sacrament of marriage impresses upon a person that earthly life should not be despised; rather it should consciously be accepted and raised to the level of spiritual existence.
Hindu families live all over the world. Though some live outside India, they all have strong ties with the Hindu culture and way of life as practised in India, and feel that they should, on such important occasions in life, such as marriage, perform the Samskara in the traditional Hindu way by availing the rich, noble heritage of Hindu thought, ritual and tradition.
Gatherings of near and dear ones, and reception parties – large or small, most certainly enhance the pleasures of the occasion and the joy of a wedding. However, the Hindu marriage ceremony like the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic, is an ennobling sacrament, and in my humble opinion, it is advisable to perform the marriage rites irrespective of religion in a serene atmosphere without much banal pomp and pageantry.