Wedding is a union for life and therefore this custom deserves special treatment. The process starts with the sagai or engagement and this marks the finalization of the relationship such that the boy and girl would tie the knot in near future. The sagai custom has been carried in India and the whole world with a distinct fervour. In countries like India, there is a religious spiritual quotient attached with it, as both families finalize the wedding and all the details. In the Hindu faith, the matching of horoscopes is an activity that is generally performed all the time invariably before the sagai. It is done to ensure the goodness and overall resonance between the boy and the girl that want to tie the knot. In this manner, it could be said that a spiritual, rather Meta physical basis is adopted at the very beginning and upon it depends the engagement!
Sagai ceremony- The foundation of a new relation
There is a broad significance of sagai in Indian wedding and as stated above it marks the foundation of a new relation after due Kundli milaan. In other Indian faiths like Muslim and Sikh or Christianity, there is no such horoscope matching done; rather mutual affirmation serves as the basis of marriage. The sagai or engagement is an occasion that sees the participation of the family members, relatives, friends and other guests from the society. The idea of such a congregation is to let everyone know of such a new relationship whose foundation is being laid. The guests and relative that gather to witness the occasion are pretty curious also to have the glimpse of the prospective bride and groom. Thus sagai serves as a type of formal declaration of the new relation between the two families. Good food is served and fun, music and dance are had after the rings are exchanged.
Offering the blessings
In India, sagai is also looked upon as a custom to offer the blessings upon the prospective bride and groom. The parents and elders offer good wishes to the boy and girl and exchange greetings with each other. As a mark of blessings, some sort of jewellery and attires are considered auspicious and essential. Most of the cultures in India, particularly in the north India, have adopted a tradition of conferring a chunni (a lighter fabric worn over the neck and head) over the girl. This is done by the boy’s side and marks the acceptance of the girl as the daughter in law. This endorsement is of fundamental significance for the girl and the relatives and guests become the witness of this affirmation.
Apart from the chunni, some jewellery items are also offered to the bride. This could include specifics like the traditional bangles or the maang tika in some cultures. To make up a wholesome feel at the occasion, baskets of sweets, fruits and dry fruits are also exchanged from both the sides. All this is done in addition to the rings exchange, that here in India, is more a western concept; but which has been brilliantly assimilated. All these customs signify the significance attached to the sagai in Indian weddings.