Explanation of the Ceremony of 'Datar'
This is an excerpt from 'Hindu Customs and
Last Sunday I had an interesting visitor. She is getting married soon and
hence wanted to know about the significance of Hindu Wedding Rituals.
She and her fiancée would like to have a marriage ceremony with a difference.
They feel that they would both be contributing equally towards the working
of their marriage. Therefore the to-be groom is inclined towards the desire to
perform 'datar' with his in-laws, just like the to-be bride is required to enact
Amongst the Sindhis during the ceremony of 'Datar', salt is exchanged
from the bride's hands to the groom's hands three times. The bride also does the
same with all the relatives from the in-law's side. It is commonly
believed that if you do the above there will be no arguments or fights between
the bride and the in-laws. When salt mixes with food, it loses its identity, it
mingles totally with the ingredients of the meal. However the presence of
the salt is felt because it gives the food taste. By exchanging salt, the
family subtly tells the bride that she is going to be part of the new family and
she should mingle with them like salt does with food.
Amongst the Hindus it is also believed that if you eat the salt of anybody's
house, you ought always to be faithful to that family. Exchanging salt is also symbolic
of the above. The bride-to-be would like her sister to participate in the
marriage ceremony as much as her brother and uncles would be required to do. She
asked me whether she was breaking any Religious rules thereby. I assured
her that the above ceremony was relevant to those times when it was only
important that the bride adjust with her new family. I laud the bride and
groom's spirit . I appreciate their desire to modify the Rituals and follow what
their hearts proclaim is the truth of the day.