Weddings take a trip down memory lane
The leading ladies of Mollywood have flagged off a new wedding trend – pretty brides are choosing to embrace traditions that have almost died out. The fashion police have given an enthusiastic nod of approval to attires like the chatta and mundu making a grand comeback this season.
A few movies and Christian celebs have been instrumental in bringing back their grandmothers’ outfit back in action. The chatta and mundu wearing generation have passed on and the cumbersome, high maintenance attire also died a natural death. The generations that followed chose to wear sarees and then the North Indian salwar kameez. Since the eighties, women have had the freedom to wear clothes of their choice and there no longer existed differences in clothing based on religion. Slowly the munduneriyathu, chatta-mundu, mundum-kuppayum and randaammundu were relegated to being a part of photographs alone.
But now the generation hooked to Whatsapp and internet have brought about a refreshing change by leaving aside the borrowed trends in bridal wear such as the wedding gown, veil and designer sarees. Simplicity is the in thing with brides going for the pristine white chatta and mundu with minimal but typical Christian jewellery and even the olakuda, an eco-friendly umbrella used in the olden days, made of palm fronds.
Similarly for pre-wedding events like betrothals, women are choosing the elegant and timeless munduneriyathu with traditional styles of jewellery, complete with jasmine flowers for the hair. Though diamonds are in vogue, brides make it a point to wear something typically Keralite such as the nagaapadathaali or mullamottumaala.
Flowers have also made a major splash in hair styling in contrast to artificial glitters, stones and elaborate hairdos copied from Bollywood. Oppana (traditional Muslim dance by women) and margamkali (a dance form of the Syrian Christians of Kerala) performances now find a place in the pre-wedding celebrations.
Ceremonies like washing the feet of the new couple using the kindi (vessel that held water for washing hands or feet), welcoming guests by spraying rosewater, applying sandalwood paste to each other and using fresh flower garlands are now seen in modern weddings held in air conditioned luxury halls.
After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds and guests are welcomed with the panchavadyam or shingaarimelam (a musical performance using percussion instruments). The traditional lamp is carried by the bride as she enters her new home auspiciously.
The men are also choosing to bravely don the mundu and jubba or shirt along with the randaammundu instead of stuffy three piece suits and uncomfortable sherwanis. Half sarees or davanis are a popular choice of bridesmaids and young girls.
With the old-fashioned styles being eco-friendly and suitable to the heat and humidity of the region, the simple charm and elegance of these attires and customs will surely find more takers.