The Tamil Chettiar traditions include many customs and rituals which display their traditional heritage and social values. Tamil nagarathar wedding customs are very interesting and unique. It should be mentioned that the Nagarathas belong to 9 temples in Tamil Nadu. The bride and groom should belong to different temples and the wedding should get the approval of both the temples.
Significance of Nathanar Sadangu Ritual in Tamil Chettiar Weddings
There is a speciality found in Tamil Chettiar weddings - family bonds are very strong and relationships are considered sacred. In the Tamil Chettiar community, every member of the family is given equal importance. The rituals make sure that each member undertakes a special responsibility as part of welcoming the new couple into both families.
One such custom is the Nathanar Sadangu which means a ritual by the sister-in-law of the bride. It takes place at the Groom's residence. The Nathanar (sister-in-law) is considered to be the best friend or confidant of the bride. She holds a silver plate with small bowls called kinnam. These bowls contain auspicious items like Manjal (turmeric), viboothi (holy ash), betel leaf and cotton. It is similar to the Mamiyar Sadangu. The nathanar applies each item to the bride's forehead as well as her own. It is considered to be a sacred ceremony where blessings are offered for purification of the soul and to have a prosperous new beginning.
The Hindu wedding rituals are followed strictly and are given due importance by the entire community. The whole purpose behind each ritual is to form a strong foundation upon which the new couple begins their journey together. Blessings and support from both the families are offered without hesitation and this encourages them to embark on a beautiful adventure.