It is said that wedding matches are made in heaven and solemnized in earth. This fact is indeed true. Weddings are such beautiful and divine affairs of this wonderful world. Two unknown persons bonds together and decides to live and support each other for lifetime. Can anything be more beautiful than that? The relations that are formed through wedding are so intriguing yet so magical. Not only the bride and the groom, the other relatives of their sides come together and make a unique bondage.
The magical aura of weddings are brought alive through soulful songs. A number of rituals are followed in Indian weddings. The significance of each ritual are expressed nicely through wedding songs.
Assam is no different from other Indian states. Assamese weddings have a number of rituals. Each ritual is celebrated by singing melodious songs. Locally called ’Biya Naam’, the songs are like a tonic for the ears because of its heavenly tunes and energetic way of singing. Biya means wedding and Naam means song.
In Assam, the wedding functions are a fun-filled affair which lasts for five days. The songs are sung particularly by womenfolk of both the bride and groom’s side. Assamese wedding songs are mostly sung by women in a group. The group’s leader is known as Namoti. She is the one who will start the first line of the song and it is repeated by the others in a chorus. The process is followed till the whole song is completed. The emotions , sentiments and feelings are clearly depicted in the songs as they sing it by their heart. The singing pattern or rhythm is uniform and vibrant.
SONGS SUNG AT THE PRE-WEDDING CEREMONY
The first day is called the Juron or pre-wedding ceremony. On this day, the groom’s mother arrives at the bride’s house with gifts and adorns her with new clothes, jewellery and vermillion. The groom’s mother is given a warm welcome by the bride’s mother. This song is a hit during Juron.
Dölä änä Düliyä Jäpi änä logüwä
Jörön ähi roi äse, Äideük mät logöwä.
Rämare gharare oye alankäre
Änisö Xaräi bharäi, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Bhitarate bohi ki karä Jänoki
Löwähi mäthä döwäi, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Koikeyi, Xümiträ, Koüxalyä ähise
Rämare alankär loi, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Öläi ähä Xitä löwähi xädori
Deütär ädex loi, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Khärü loi ähisö Mani loi ähisö
Ärü loi ähisö Tel, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Xügondhi Xendürar edhöp loi ähisö
Göndhate ämöl möl, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Hätaloi änisö Xönar Müthi Khärü
Känaloi änisö Kerü, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Kakäl säi änisö Xingkhäpar Mekhelä
Köne beyä böle bärü, he Dölä änä Düliyä …
Through this song, it is expressed to the bride that pre-wedding gifts have arrived for her from her would-be husband’s house and she should come out soon to receive it from her would-be mother in law. Gold bangles, necklaces, earrings, hair oil, fine clothes, precious and fragrant vermillion have been brought for her and she should take it all with her father’s permission to start a new life. All these explanations are rendered to the bride through this song.
SONGS SUNG AT THE TIME OF BATHING THE BRIDE AND GROOM
At the time of bathing the bride and groom with raw turmeric and black gram, different songs are sung by the womenfolk of the bride and groom’s side for both of them. The song for the groom goes like this-
Öläi ähä Rämsandra Kadamate dhori
Nöwäboloi roiyä äse Kouxalyä xündorï
Öläi ähä Rämsandra düwär – dolir bäj
Janani nöwäba läge nokoribä läj
Äm pülir xäri xäri Tüloxïre dhäri
Öläi ähä Rämsandra jïbar odhikärï
Öläi ähä Rämsandra mätit mangal säi
Ganake ganitä kare khyon xäri jäi
Äni thoisö gandha tel päri thoisö pirä
Täte ähi päö diyä xönare sekürä
Öläi ähä Rämsandra häte dhonü-xar
Kiyo beli karä Räm deba Roghübar
Parbatare käne käne ximha äse sori
Kiyo beli karä Räm oti müti kori
Through this song, it is expressed to the groom that his mother is impatiently waiting for him in order to bath him. He should come out soon without any shame and in confidence. All the things like oil, turmeric, grams etc have been made ready for his bath. He should just come out and sit in the stool for taking his bath.
The song for the bride goes like this
Xönare bätite Mähe Hälodhi
Rüpare bätite Doi
Äideük nöwäboloi Menakä ähise
Mükhate hänhi ti loi.
Hälodhi jögöwäi Hälodhi jögäle
Teliyäi jögäle Tel
Gangä jale mängi Mäke jögäle
Deütäke jögäle mel.
This song expresses to the bride that a golden bowl has been filled with turmeric and black grams and a silver bowl has been filled with curd for her bath and her mother has smilingly come out to bath her. All the womenfolk will bath her with all the necessities that are made ready for her and her happy father is smilingly chatting with the guests.
SONGS SUNG AT THE TIME OF WEDDING
For welcoming the groom, the womenfolk of the bride’s side sing this song-
Xiva Gönxäi ähise, dambarü bajäise
Xahürar podülit koinä bhikkhä mängise
Ähä Böpä ähä hi, Rabhär talat bahä hi
Hömar Jüik xäkkhi kori Äideük grahan karä hi
This song expresses that the lordly husband has arrived and drums are being beaten. The bride is ready to get married to him so he should sit in front of the sacred fire and take the bride as his life partner.
When the marriage rituals are performed in front of the sacred fire, a song is sung-
Lorä kälar kathä Räm käti kori thöwä
Bibähar Küxa-jal häte tüli löwä
Bidhi säi Pürühit kare Onüsthän
Janake anäise mäti diba kanyädän
Öparate Sandratäp tale Ghiün säki
Pätise dharmare biyä xabe äsö xäkhi
Gandhe püspe dhüpe dipe xajäi thoise känhi
Kritänjoli kori Rämsandra äse bohi
Dodhi thoisö dügha thoisö ärü nänä fal
Rämar proti tüsta höwä Debatä xakal.
Sandra Xürjya Bäyü Borün xabe hobä xäkhi
Janake koriba kanyädän äji räti.
Through this song, it is expressed that the couple should forget their childhood and take on the responsibility of marriage. The groom is told that he should accept the bride from her father accordingly with the sacred hymns as chanted by the priest and together they will form a lifetime bond. The song also expresses that all the relatives have come to attend the sacred marriage and various fruits and sweets are made as an offering to God so that He blesses the new couple for their new life.
SONG SUNG AT THE TIME OF THE BRIDE’S FAREWELL
At the time of bidding farewell to the bride, this song is sung-
Hatat pän-batä loi Deütäräk köwä goi
Maramar Deütä oi, jäbaloi ölälö
Jäbore xamayat xewä he janälö
Through this song, it is expressed to the bride that she should go to her father by taking a betel leaf and a nut and tell him that she is ready to go to her husband’s home and has come to pay her respects before leaving.
Thus it can be seen that through songs the whole meaning of marriage is brought alive. As a result, wedding spirit always remains dull if no song is sung. The merrymaking spirit of wedding songs is what turns the Assamese weddings into a sort of festival.
To get a glimpse of Assamese wedding, watch this wedding video .