‘Maticoor night is for ladies to get away,” sang Rikki Jai. Maticoor is the ceremony on Friday night, preceding a Hindu wedding which is generally held on the Sunday. A Hindu wedding has elaborate ceremonies which begin with the engagement. Rites and customs that are performed and prayers chanted are very ancient. Hindus can boost that the rituals and customs performed in weddings today were the same observed by Sita and Ram of the epic Ramayana when they got married more than 5,000 years ago.
Relatives and friends braved the bad weather condition and came out in their numbers to join with Haripersad and Rookmin Ramdial of Rodney Road, Endeavour, Chaguanas as they engage in the elaborated maticoor rituals for their daughter Karishma .
Traditionally, maticoor was restricted to mainly women. Today it has crossed the gender divide and men are now present to witness the ceremonies and partake of the music and traditional Indian food.
The modern day rental tents were erected and decorated with colourful drapes. The centre of attraction is the colourful marro with the bedi at the centre. The rituals began with the traditional procession. A tray with flowers and other paraphernalia was carried on the head of a girl to a source of water. Long ago it was generally the bank of a river or the community tap. The procession was led by a tassa band. After the ceremonies are performed the procession returns to the wedding house.
The rituals that followed were quite elaborate and detailed. The bride, dressed in a yellow sari, was seated on stage with a bedi or altar and her mother standing immediately behind her. The father and grandparents sat next to the stage and looked on. On stage Pandit Dave of Lange Park guided the rituals. Many relatives are part of the rituals. A stream of little girls lined the stage and was guided one after the other in participating in the rituals, all centred on the bride. In the midst of all this rituals was the thunderous beat of the tassa, the sound of which awakens the neighbourhood and reminds many that its maticoor night somewhere in the community.
The huge audience looked on. Mainly ladies, they were dressed in colourful clothing including the western dresses and colourful shalwar kameez. Seated, the audience looked on attentively at the rituals. A few trickled their way to dining area where meals were served . And then there was live entertainment. With two instruments-dholak and harmonium and a computer, traditional chutney songs were rendered and amplified. A few stood up and danced to demonstrate their joy and happiness for the bride and bridegroom.