This is the Formal Engagement before the Wedding, which has it main purpose of fixing the date for the Wedding. In some cultures, a Formal Betrothal called the Roka or Tilak or Kudmai happens with an exchange of gifts between the Bride & the Groom’s families.
In different languages
Also known as Mangni or Kudmai (Sikhs). Roka in Punjabi. Vaat Ji Aayi in Sindhi, Nischayam in Malyalee and Nichayathartham in Tamil.
This practice is common across all Indian Communities and cultures.
When does it occur?
It could be performed at any auspicious time that would be recommended by the Pandit or the Maulvi. More often than not, a Roka precedes the actual Sagai that occurs just before the wedding day.
During this, the couple exchange rings in the presence of the priest, family, friends and relatives.
It’s a grand affair accompanied with loads of fun, dance, music followed by a lavish spread of food & drinks.
Sagai marks the mutual consent of the couple and their families for marriage.
The wedding day would normally be fixed after the engagement.
Image Courtesy: Arjuns Tryst with the camera