Choora

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Esha Deol wearing choora (chooda) at her wedding

A choora (or chura; plural chooriyan) is a set of bangles traditionally worn by a bride on her wedding day and for a period after, especially in Punjabi weddings.

Materials and appearance[edit]

The choora is usually red and white; sometimes the red bangles are replaced with another colour, but they are usually only two colours. They are traditionally made of ivory,[1] with inlay work, though now made with plastic.[2] Traditionally there are 21 bangles,[3] although more recently the bride often wears 7, 9 or 11 bangles.[4] The bangles range in size according to the circumference of the top of the forearm and the wrist end so that the set fits neatly.

Customary use[edit]

Wearing the choora is primarily a Punjabi tradition. Sindhoor and Mangalsutra— are other adornments worn by married women typically of Hindu religious background, not Sikhs . The custom is also observed in Gujarat, Rajasthan,[5] and Uttar Pradesh,[6] and among the Punjabi Sikh community in Singapore.[3] The choora ceremony (dahi-choora)[6] is held on the morning of the wedding or the day before.[1] The bride's maternal uncle and aunt give her a set of chooriyan.

Traditionally, the bride would wear a choora for a full year,[7] although if a newly wed bride became pregnant before her first anniversary, the choora was taken off. When the color started to fade, her in-laws would actually have it re-colored, so everyone would know that she had been married for less than a year.[8] On an auspicious Punjabi holiday, usually sankranti, after the first anniversary her in-laws would hold a small intimate ceremony in which the choora was removed and glass chooriyan (bangles) were placed on both hands. This usually was accompanied with mithai (Indian sweets) and a monetary shagun. The choora then was taken to a river and a prayer was said and it was left to float onto the water. Afterwards the woman could wear other choora in any colour for as long as she liked.

It is now normal for the bride to wear her choora for a month and a quarter (40 days). As the choora is made of fragile materials, Punjabi custom has it that the bride may refrain from heavy housework in her marital home to keep it intact for the 40 days, as a kind of honeymoon. After that, in traditional homes at least, she takes over the lion's share of domestic work from her mother-in-law.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Veena Talwar Oldenburg (2002). Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime. Oxford University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-19-515072-8.
  2. ^ Amiteshwar Ratra; Praveen Kaur; Sudha Chhikara (1 January 2006). Marriage And Family : In Diverse And Changing Scenario. Deep & Deep Publications. pp. 500–. ISBN 978-81-7629-758-5.
  3. ^ a b Mathew Mathews (2017). Singapore Ethnic Mosaic, The: Many Cultures, One People. World Scientific Publishing Company. p. 317. ISBN 978-981-323-475-8.
  4. ^ Mina Singh (2005). Ceremony of the Sikh wedding. Rupa & Co. p. 38.
  5. ^ Pravina Shukla (2015). The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India. Indiana University Press. p. 431. ISBN 978-0-253-02121-2.
  6. ^ a b Kumar Suresh Singh; Anthropological Survey of India (2005). People of India. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 1127. ISBN 978-81-7304-114-3.
  7. ^ Pravina Shukla (2015). The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India. Indiana University Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-253-02121-2.
  8. ^ Prakash Tandon (1968). Punjabi Century, 1857-1947. University of California Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-520-01253-0.
  9. ^ Surinder Singh bakhshi (2009). Sikhs in the Diaspora. Dr Surinder Bakhshi. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-9560728-0-1.