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Kanyādān ("gift of a maiden"[1]) is a Hindu wedding ritual.[2][1] and origination of this tradition yet not been established . There are different interpretations regarding kanyādān across India ( South Asia)


Kanyadan mainly reveals that the wife is a form of Puruṣārthas like Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. The ritual makes the bridegroom to think that his wife is the most precious gift given by the god Vishnu and the bride to think that her husband is a form of Vishnu.[2]

Kanyādān songs[edit]

In communities where kanyādān is performed as part of the actual wedding, the ritual is carried out through a variety of kanyādān songs. These songs may include the parents lamenting the loss of their daughter, as well as regretting their economic sacrifice for the wedding. Other songs focus on the groom, for example comparing him to the "ideal groom", the god Rama, in the epic Ramayana. Importantly, the kanyādān ritual occurs right before the Sindoor ritual (sindurdan), which marks the bride’s symbolic loss of virginity.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b “India.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 20 February 2008. <http://ripley.sbc.edu:2080/eb/article-46444>.
  2. ^ a b Enslin, Elizabeth. “Imagined Sisters: The Ambiguities of Women’s Poetics and Collective Actions.” Selves in Time and Place: Identities, Experience, and History in Nepal. Ed. Debra Skinner, Alfred Pach III, and Dorothy Holland. Lanham; Boulder; New York; Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998 (269-299).
  3. ^ Henry, Edward O. “Folk Song Genres and Their Melodies in India: Music Use and Genre Process.” Asian Music (Spring-Summer 2000). JSTOR. 20 February 2008.

Further reading[edit]