Meghalaya is a part of Northeast India. Many tribes reside here in complete harmony with nature. Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia are the 3 most important tribes of Meghalaya. They had their own kingdoms until the British ruled. One of the first tribes that came to Meghalaya was the Khasi tribe. It came from Myanmar and settled in East of Assam. Khasi is the majority population in Meghalaya Wedding. Let’s understand a few amazing facts about the tribe in Meghalaya
Tea and a rice bowl, early mornings:
Can you imagine tea and rice? Yes, this is the most favourite breakfast of the Khasi tribe. Red tea with a little sugar and a bowl of rice. Two pieces of pork or chicken to complete their meal.
A stone instead of loofas in the bathroom :
Loofas are very common and are used by all in bathrooms for bathing. Locals of Meghalaya do not use loofas, but they have special bathing soaps, found only on the banks of Umngot River Dawki. They prefer scrubbing their bodies with a stone before bath.
Making friends with Kwai :
Offering Kwai is significant at the beginning of a new relation or friendship. Kwai is a combination of betel leaf and Arcai nut. It is considered very pure and divine form.
English as their communicable language:
English is their second language, most commonly used to communicate and connect easily with all other social groups. Unlike Hindi which is more used in other parts of the country.
Khasis have their own traditional musical instrument, two-stringed known as Duitara. Music is a part of their routine. Singing and dancing are loved and enjoyed by all to express emotions and joy.
Meghalayan Wedding :
Every state has its own culture and rituals of a wedding. Meghalaya and its khasi tribe have a unique system. Let us take you through the interesting rituals of khasis.
The weddings in the same clan are prohibited, but the boy and the girl both have equal rights to choose their mates. The females are really respected here. On the birth of a girl child, there is more happiness and celebration than a boy. A female enjoys more rights than a male in khasis. The groom after the wedding moves to the bride’s house. A girl proposes a boy; a wedding ceremony takes place with an exchange of rings or betel nut bags.
There is no dowry system, but the bride’s clothes and jewelry are from the groom’s side.
The bride wears a traditional dress, known as dhara or Jainesm. The dresses are pretty thorough, colourful and the Jainesm comprises of 2 contrasting cloths giving a cylindrical shape to the bride.
The bride wears a gold or silver crown with a peak on it.
The groom’s dress is known as Jymphong, it is a long coat without sleeves and collar fastened with a strap in the front.
Khasi women are very beautiful with pink and red cheeks. They show respect to males and elders by wearing a cloth (square size) on their shoulder is known as Jainkyrshah.
Live in relations:
Khasis do not believe in getting married, it’s too rare an affair. If you ever attend or heard about a Khasi wedding, it must be a big fat wedding, which is generally followed by engagement. It happens only on consent of both families. Otherwise, the couple lives happily with their partners in a live-in relation without tying the sacred knot. Live in relationships were popular and well accepted by this tribe long before it got legal in India.
Women have an upper hand than men here. As there are no marriages taking place, so when childbirth takes place, men move out elsewhere. The female alone takes care of her child. Khasis believe that the first child born to a female is a gift from God, so they do give birth but the kids have no father identity.
Law of Inheritance:
Meghalaya is the only place in India, where preference is given to the daughters and not son to inherit the ancestral property. The youngest of all sisters is handed the entire property and she becomes the caretaker of all the siblings and the ancestral assets. If there is no daughter in the family, the mother might transfer the property to her sister’s daughter or she might adopt some other women like her daughter in law.
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