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Sunday, August 7, 2022

In death do they unite: Twitter user shares unique Karnataka tradition that ‘marries’ the stillborn

A wedding without the bride or groom sounds impossible but in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada region, it is a tradition to organize weddings for the stillborn.

On Thursday, a Twitter user who goes by the name AnnyArun (@anny_arun) shared details of this truly unique wedding tradition after he got a chance to attend one.

In a series of tweets that have since gone viral, he writes that in the Dakshina Kannada region, families symbolically arrange the weddings of those who died at birth.

These marriages follow more or less the same customs as other marriages, he mentions, adding that throughout the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom are represented by their wedding attire that is laid on a plate and carried by their family members during the rituals.

Explaining the match-making process, AnnyArun writes, “If you are wondering its easy to fix this marriage, hear me out. Recently groom family rejected a bride because bride was few year elder to the groom!”.

AnnyArun also notes that while kids and unmarried people are not allowed to attend these weddings, the ceremonies are no less joyful. “Though they are dead, dont think that atmosphere will be like the funeral!! Its not. Its as jovial as any other marriage. Everyone cracking jokes and keep the mood high. Its a celebration of marriage.”

He also reveals the names of the bride and groom who passed away about three decades ago – Chandappa and Shobha. Concluding the long thread, he then posts a picture of the elaborate wedding feast dishes consisting of local like chicken sukka and kadle balyar.

As the tweets became popular over the last two days, netizens expressed surprise at the unique custom.

In an attempt to explain the reason behind arranging a wedding for the stillborn, a Twitter user wrote, “I’m not an expert but I’m from DK and as of my knowledge. We mostly believe in Spirits, Bootha, Dhaiva etc. If child dies at early age, it wanders and never gets Moksha since one’s life incomplete without marriage. Family starts to face problems from wandering soul.”

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