Amongst the myriad of rites and rituals performed at desi weddings, the most famous and in fact the interesting one is the shoe stealing, more commonly known as “jootachupai”. It is a tradition that has stood the test of time. It is a centuries old traditional game played between the sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law of the bride and groom side. It is a game played in “genial hostility”. The boy’s side tries its utmost not to let the girl’s side take the groom’s shoes; the girl’s side on the other hand makes sure that they steal the shoes.
In this tussle lies all the fun of this tradition. It turns into sort of a game. Its true therein lays an active competition between the two sides, but eventually the groom should let the girl’s side win. Since the tradition is all about the getting the shoe stolen and then giving money in exchange for the shoe. The fun would die, if the girls don’t get to steal the shoes and consequently would not even get the exchange money.
Yes, it not easy to the other side win. But why wouldn’t you let the girls have some fun? And then the tradition itself was actually meant for the girls to steal the shoes, and get the money. It in fact lies in the best interest of the groom to let the girl’s side win. But he shouldn’t let them get it easy; that too would kill all the fun. Don’t just hand them over your shoes, let them work it. Adding some tricks and conditions adds all the more fun to it.
Beside shoe stealing, there are many other traditions that are still very much followed on desiweds. For instance, there is this ribbon ceremony and the standing in the way of groom as the couple leaves after vidai tradition. There are numerous regional traditions too, limited to certain areas. There is no end to their variety. To some it might sound silly and unnecessary, but they make an essential ingredient of the desiweds.
Indian wedding planners will not have a complete wedding without them. Wedding day is a very serious and somber thing; a lot is going on. The cake, the music, the decoration, these traditions help to lighten up the things, help to release the pressure, and provides great amusement too.