In Tamil Nadu village, marriage ritual is kneeling 10,000 times

March 3rd, 2008 - 11:25 pm ICT by admin  

Sivakasi (Tamil Nadu), March 3 (IANS) A Tamil Nadu village is making headlines for the strange rituals people have to follow to get married. A couple getting married has to kneel before the goddess 10,000 times! Ammapatti village in Virudhnagar district, nearly 700 km south of Chennai, has just 1,500 people living there but as many as 300 weddings have taken place at the village temple before the local goddess Jakkamma.

A couple getting married has to perform thoppukaranam - kneel and get up, holding their ears - 10,000 times. And if a person cannot do this, their friends and relatives can help complete the ritual.

Not only do people from the village have to do this kneeling ritual, those getting married to anyone from the village have to do it too.

There are several other rituals as well.

The groom has to dig a shallow trench around the village green and the bride has to fill this with water from the village tank. After this, the bride and groom have to walk around the temple tank with grass in their mouth, holding burning torches.

Goats are sacrificed at the temple on such occasions. The meat is then salted, sun-dried, and a piece of this is given to every villager.

According to local people, the rituals are of relatively recent origin. They began as punishment for eloping lovers some decades ago.

Several couples from the village had children born with disabilities. A local soothsayer said, the goddess Jakkama was displeased and prescribed these
rituals for people in the village getting married. Now they have been absorbed in the community culture.

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