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Overseas Pakistan Matrimonial

Barat

Barat is the procession of the family, relatives, and friends of the groom and they accompany the groom to the bride's home for the official wedding ceremony. The groom makes his way to the bride's home on a richly decked horse or car and the 'barat' follows in different vehicles. Usually they are also accompanied by a band playing wedding songs. The groom is given a warm welcome by the bride's family with flower garlands and rose petals thrown upon the procession by the bride's sisters, cousins and friends.

Sehra Bandi:

Prior to the groom leaving his home and setting off to the wedding a ceremony of Sehra Bandi occurs. Traditionally the groom wears a sehra (veil of flowers) although nowadays he is just adorned with flower garlands. Family members of the groom give him gifts or salaami (gifts of money).

Rasta- Rukai:

His sisters and/or cousins may stop him leaving the home and demand for a gift or money (this is playful and not at all a serious hijack type occurrence!). He then gifts them with gold jewellery or money.

Baraat is the entourage which the groom brings on the wedding day. This usually consists of his family and friends. They are referred to as the 'baraati'. Traditionally the groom, decked in a sherwani complete with turban and khussay, turns up on a white horse. The horse is embellished with various decorations. With the groom is a shahbala. The shahbala is basically a young child, either his nephew or younger brother who dresses up exactly like the groom, right down to footwear. The shahbala is equivalent to a Best Man, but is not handed responsibility for tasks as is per custom of the best man in a Western sense. He is simply there for cuteness!

The baraati's usually turn up dancing and singing - with much fervor and cheer. Some throw firecrackers or launch fireworks as part of these celebrations. The shehnai (shrill flute) plays, dhol (drums) are beaten and there is much cheering and whooping. I heard recently at a baraat one of the baraati as a joke, threw a firecracker near the horse which became frightened and threw the groom off its back and onto the ground. The poor groom ended up covered in mud and filth!

The baraati's arrival is much anticipated by the girl's side of the family who wait with confetti to welcome their presence. Girls form two lines on both sides of the aisle and as the baraati are ushered into the hall they throw confetti and greet them with smiles and kind words. The girl's parents welcome their guests and adorn the groom and his parents with a garland of flowers.

The arrival of the baraati's and finally the groom allows the next series of events to commence which is the nikkah.

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