Masannage Malkanthi is 19 years of age. She got married recently to Sunilge Vimukthi Aravinda Kumara (20) in accordance with Telugu traditions.
At the wedding, they were received by their elders who played Raban, and were conducted under a canopy. That was followed by the exchange of rings, made of silver, and the bride getting a necklace made of beads.
But, the tradition should have had it that the couple stood on two pestles and were bathed in water mixed with ground white rice when that happened, said a chief of Nochchikulam village A. Masanna. There are no gold chains involved. Some traditions of the past are not practiced any more, but they try to follow traditions as much as they can, he said.
Located in Vavuniya South, this is the only village which as a Telugu population. There are 54 families. They are also distancing themselves from their traditional livelihoods of palm reading, snake charming etc. Instead, they now turn to home gardening, fishing and peddling wares.
The wedding in question took place in the presence of the area’s divisional secretary M.S. Janaka and other officials. The dowry is a basket with a cobra and a monkey for the new couple to start a livelihood, said M. Thimmanna.
R. Lalitha (42), the mother of the bridegroom said it was an arranged marriage and that they were happy. The bride’s mother, Masannage Masakka (54), said all were pleased with the marriage of her third daughter and given their blessings.
Playing of the cobra flute, raban, and dancing made the event colourful. All that displayed the unity they are having in their community.
Romesh Madhushanka – Wanni