Oonjal(swing) is a ritual. It has multiple small rituals embedded into it.
Indian weddings are photographer’s paradise for there are a number of rituals that take place which gives a lots of opportunity to come up with some great shots. What’s sweet about shooting for an indian wedding is that there are rituals within a bigger ritual.
In a Brahmin wedding, soon after the Kasi Yaatra and the exchange of garlands, the to-be wed couple is seated on a swing (Oonjal in Tamil). The swing that is decorated with flowers and ornaments is made to rock back and forth. Married women stand around the oonjal and sing songs, the most popular of them being the Laali Laali song. Soon after this, five or seven married women clean the couple’s feet with milk and then a ball of red and yellow rice is used to cast off the evil eyes. It is believed that the chain in the swing represents the karmic link of humankind with god.
This is a ritual I simply love when covering a Brahmin wedding. Almost always, the ladies who sing the songs have exceptional voices and as a photographer, the fact that so many activities that take place around the oonjal serves as a great opportunity to come up with amazing shots. Here are some of the Oonjal shots I took in some of the Brahmin weddings that I have shot so far. Please take a moment and try to right about these sub-rituals so we can enlighten others. In my opinion there’s a reason behind all these rituals lets safe guard them by knowing what they signify.
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