Randeep Hooda and Lin Laishram in their first moments together as man and wife.
Meitei weddings, known as “Luhongba,” represent the rich cultural tapestry of the Meitei community in Manipur, India
Randeep Hooda, originally from Haryana, and Lin Laishram, a native of Manipur, tied the knot in a traditional and beautiful Meitei wedding ceremony held in Imphal, Manipur.
For the unversed, Meitei weddings, known as “Luhongba,” represent the rich cultural tapestry of the Meitei community in Manipur. Vibrant celebrations characterized by a tapestry of traditions, distinctive costumes, reflect the community’s cultural pride.
Meitei weddings commence with elaborate pre-wedding rituals. “Firstly, the Heijingpot, occurring two days before the wedding, takes place at the bride’s residence. This event involves the exchange of edible items brought from the groom’s home, followed by a delightful gathering with the bride’s friends in the afternoon and evening. The Bor Barton follows, happening a day before the wedding, where representatives from the bride’s side formally invite the groom’s family to the upcoming wedding function. The Luhongba numit, the wedding day, unfolds at the bride’s residence, starting at 1 PM with the groom’s arrival and concluding around 5/6 PM before transitioning to the groom’s place. Finally, the Mangani Chakouba, a grand feast at the bride’s place, transpires after five days of the wedding, hosting a substantial number of guests ranging from 200/250 to 400/500,” explains Sanatomba Lairikyembam Singh, Business consultant, Reliance.
Meitei brides don the resplendent “Phanek,” a handwoven silk ensemble, and the “Innaphi,” a wrap-around cloth. The ensemble is adorned with traditional jewelry, including the “Kokyet” necklace, “Jegoinu” earrings, and the “Kajenglei” bangle. The groom complements this with the traditional “Pheijom” attire and a distinctive headgear called “Pagri.” These costumes reflect the cultural richness and aesthetic sensibilities of the Meitei people.
Traditional Manipuri dishes like “Eromba” and “Singju” are the staples at the wedding ceremony. The rhythmic “Thabal Chongba” dance, infuse an artistic flair into the celebrations. These performances not only entertain but also contribute to the cultural identity and vibrancy of Meitei weddings.
In essence, Meitei weddings are a harmonious blend of tradition, culture, and grandeur. The elaborate rituals, distinctive costumes, and celebratory atmosphere encapsulate the community’s deep-rooted cultural pride, making these weddings a visual and emotional spectacle that resonates with the essence of Meitei identity.
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