Woman Priest in Kolkata Vanishes Out Patriarchy System, Performs Wedding Without ‘Kanyadaan’

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Woman Priest in Kolkata Vanishes Out Patriarchy System, Performs Wedding Without ‘Kanyadaan’

Sadly, in our country, some traditions are performed which prove that women are a burden on their parents and treated as a commodity. We’re talking about the most important custom of a Hindu wedding, Kanyadaan, ‘kanya’ meaning girl while ‘daan’ meaning to donate. In this custom, the father of the bride, gives away her daughter to her to be husband and his family.

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Dowry is a common practice in India where parents of the bride have to give some so called gifts which could be either in monetary or non-monetary terms, to the groom’s family. Aren’t these traditions unfair? Because due to these customs, girls are a burden to their family and at many places people are killing female child in the womb only.

But things are changing nowadays, people are progressing towards a modern and open minded society. A woman priest named, Nandini Bhowmik who performs mantras and shloks in Indian weddings, and then translates it into English and Bengali, breaking all the stereotypes.

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This woman priest in Kolkata has recently performed a wedding without ‘kanyadaan’. She wanted to discard patriarchy and ensure that the brides go to their in-laws house without taking a single penny from their parents.

“I want to do away with the patriarchal mindset where parents appear to be renouncing the custody of their kanya, treating her like a commodity and giving her away as daan (donation),” says Nandini Bhowmik.

Nandini is a Sanskrit teacher Jadavpur University, and to perform the unusual wedding of Anvita Janardhanan and Arka Bhattacharya, she was accompanied by a fellow priest, Ruma Roy and Semanti Banerjee and Poulami Chakraborty who serve as vocalists.

All the four inspiring women first chanted the wedding mantras in Sanskrit, and then translated it into English and Bengali. Nandini is already receiving pre bookings months before the wedding. Everyone, including Anvita Janardhanan and Arka Bhattacharya, the bride and groom for the said wedding feel that women are not only better at performing mantras, they are also thorough with the understanding.

“I have heard so many male priests reciting the mantras wrong. At a friend’s wedding officiated by Nandini and her friends last year, I was instantly drawn to the way the Sanskrit lines were vividly explained in English and Bengali,” Arka said.

We are absolutely proud of Nandini for taking such bold step and changing the tradition for the good, and hope more people like her come forward to take revolutionary moves.

Published by Shruti Kumari on 10 Mar 2018