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Talwaar and the Bridegroom

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    Talwaar and the Bridegroom

    I know Hindus and Sikhs of North India have a tradition where the Groom holds teh talwaar(Kirpaan) in his hand while he takes baraat to Bride's home. I know the reasons behind this tradition and how it evolved into a tradition which I will share with you later.

    I want to know is do Muslim grooms(of North India/Pakistan) also carry the Talwaar in their hand when they take the barat to bride's home?

    well.. reminds me of first meeting of dushyanta and shakuntala as written by kalidasa. apparently a butterfly was flying around shakuntala and troubling her and dushyanta, watching the damsel in distress took off his sword to ward of the butterfly. needless to say, shankuntala had to fall in love with this brave guy.


      He must be really brave that he needed a sword to ward off a disturbing fly

      Anyway, the swords that North Indian grooms carried with them were not to ward of flies(and there was no need to fall in love with a girl you are going to marry anyway either)...although those swords are used to uDaying makhis now a days.


        Chann Yaara. There is no such tradition in Pakistani Punjab. When the bridegroom’s family/friends go over to Bride’s house to bring the bride, they usually bring firework and explode it at the time of arrival.

        Please share more about Talwar-carrying tradition with us. I am most intrigued. May be I should have carried one to my wedding. Some of those bride maids – ask me some other time.


          Rajputs fire a gun before bringing bride home to let people know that they are armed. It is an old tradition that is carried on to this day.

          [This message has been edited by Rani (edited January 23, 2001).]


            Well... Fire crackers are exploded in Indian Punjab also to celebrate and to have fun at wedding according to ones capacity. Firing the gun shots is also done in Indian Punjab I know. I remember at one of my Chachas wedding I was carrying this do-naali rifle of my grand uncle although he did not let me fire myself.

            I think both of these traditions of carrying the sword and firing gun shots are kind of same and related. The idea was to let the bad boys know that we are here and armed.

            In old days amongst Hindus women were a scarce commodity. So lot of fights and murders used to happen on the decision that who is going to marry Savitri or Sonita and also there were daakoos and luTeras in the jungles who would attack teh baraats and would loot all valuables and take the bride away. So Baraat in those days was not constituted to go and eat 5 killo laddoos each at girl's home as they do now a days but were armed men to gaurd the groom and bride safely back to their home. In some cases they will have to clash with enemies or daakoos and as a result the groom will fight and die heroically(Sp?) protecting his newly wed wife. The baraat if able to save the bride will face a new decision now. whose wife she becomes now? and thats where the tradition of "Sarbaala" came into existence. Even before the baraat goes for wedding a young relative of the groom, usually a younger brother or cousin or nephew will be chosen as "Sarbaala" so that if only the bride makes home safely and groom is killed, that Sarbaala will be her husband. Kind of built in safe mechanism for the future of the girl

            Now carrying the sword tradition have been modified and have been rendered useless in the peace and security of modern days that it is used for uDaying makhiyaN most of the times. Swords thats grooms carry these days are nothing but decorated DanDa that matches their wedding suit..but
            thats not how it used to be.

            About 500 years or before when the baraat will leave groom's home first thing they will do is ask the groom to do shikaar of a wild animal like hirn, sher etc to test his sword and also kind of show his musculanity that he is the real man going for the wedding and then they will leave the jooh(boundary) of their village. Then as the world became safer and wild animals were hard to find they will just ask him to cut some big branch of a tree on the road to test his sword. This cutting the tree branch was practiced as late as arund 1940's.(source: "Punjabi Century" By Parkash Tandon)

            Now a days boys are getting so meek and kaagzi pehalwaans that only being able to lift the sword with one hand is considered a qualification good enough to be married.
            What is happening to this world? zamanay nu ki ho giya ay?



              zamanay nu ki ho gaya ay?

              Very interesting background on the sarbaala... I had always wondered why they had those shy little boys collecting all the money on the groom's side..and why I couldn't be one. well, now I know.