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The Pride of the Bengali Bride
The Pride of the Bengali Bride

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She landed in the “City of Joy” in the wee hours of the morning. Tired, but eager to witness the rich culture and uniqueness of the place. The very first evening offered her that chance.
The pada (Mohalla) was well-lit. The usual melody of the harmoniums and accompanying vocals was replaced by a different buzz. As she walked into their house, she got a first glimpse of the bride. The next hour was mesmerizing. The Bor Boron, the Potto Bastra and then the Saat Paak. In the last, unique ritual, the bride, seated on a low wooden stool (pidi), was gently lifted by her brothers. They then took her round the groom in seven complete circles. The high pitched sounds of the women as they rolled their tongues created the excitement.

In this digital era, she was unable to resist herself. A quick “Wikipedia” search followed. Turned out that “Ululation” (this long, wavering, high pitched sound) is practiced in many places. Bengalis call it ulu-uli, in Malayalam, its kurava and Oriyas call it Hulahuli.

It’s a custom not only in India but also in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Azerbaijan, parts of Cyprus, and parts of Spain and Malta.

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