Christian-Muslim couple wed Hindu way

April 1st, 2008 - 1:08 am ICT by admin  

Salem (Tamil Nadu), March 31 (IANS) Their love triumphed over everything - their different faiths and parental opposition. A Muslim woman and her Christian boyfriend Monday chose to get united in matrimony through Hindu rituals, complete with chanting of Sanskrit mantras and going round the holy fire. vLooking radiant in a gold-coloured bridal attire with the Hindu symbols of marriage - vermilion mark on her forehead and a thali (gold ornament worn on a yellow thread around the neck) - bride J. Serina Banu, 23, completed the seven rounds around the ritual fire at a small Ganesh temple with husband M. Justin, uttering the vows in Sanskrit prompted by a Hindu Brahmin priest.

The couple told reporters that they had eloped due to parental opposition from their village in Kanyakumari district in southern Tamil Nadu, travelled over 300 km to this textile town 375 km south west of Chennai with the help of friends, some of whom belonged to the PMK, a party that claims to strive for an egalitarian society.

“We were scared of triggering communal riots back home due to our inter-religious union. Now that we are married through another religion, the danger may have abated. Though we do not wish to change our names or faiths, we will live as practising Hindus for the rest of our lives,” Banu said.

Her beaming dhoti-clad husband sported sandalwood marks on his forehead.

The marriage was the culmination of a two-year courtship, which their fathers Jawahar Ali and Michael, residents of Thittavalai, a hamlet near in Kanyakumari district, were dead against. The area is known for communal hatred between Hindus, Christians and Muslims, the couple revealed.

“We were not aware that Muslims could marry Christians sans conversion. At least we didn’t,” the newlyweds added, smilingly answering queries on faith from journalists.

The couple said that they have applied for police protection as a matter of precaution.

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