Sangeet

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Sangeet is a Sanskrit word that means singing together. It is also a fun filled function that is part and parcel of a Punjabi wedding. The sangeet takes place a few days prior to the wedding. Traditionally, only women attend this function and it is conducted at home for 10 days leading up to the wedding. These days families host sangeets for only a couple of days leading up to the wedding, inviting close relatives and friends. Some families choose to do a sangeet in a grand manner and host it in a banquet hall. Men and women are often invited to banquet hall style sangeets.

There is not much ritual attached to the sangeet except the songs that are to be sung. Ladies sing traditional wedding songs known as sohag (for bride) and ghodrian (for groom) and folk songs accompanied by the dholki. They perform traditional gidda (dance performed by a group of women that is done to coincide with bolian – short verses – being sung). Many of the songs and bolian are done in jest or teasing directed at the in-laws.

Preparing for a Sangeet

Materials Required:

  • Dholki (if you or someone you know can play it) or taped dholki music
  • Spoon (for tapping the dholki)
  • Lyrics of traditional wedding songs (if available)

Examples of Sohags:

  • Bibi Chandan de Ohle Ohle
  • Saahdda Chiddiyaan Da Chamba Ve
  • Maaye Ni Mera Ajj Muklaava Tor De

Examples of Wedding Folks Songs:

  • Madhaniyan
  • Kala Shah Kala
  • Madhorama Pencha
  • Kala Doria
  • Lathe di Chadar
  • Mehindi ni Mehindi
  • Charkha Mera Rangla
  • Chitta Kukar
  • Tapaas

Time of Day:

Evening through to the night

How it’s Done:

  1. Choose the number of sangeet nights appropriate for your family
  2. Prepare or buys bags or boxes of traditional wedding sweets and savouries (ladoo, barfi, basin, matri, etc.) for guests to take home on the first sangeet night. Usually one bag or box is given to each family
  3. Decide if you will host it at your home or at a hall or both if it is more than one night and what you plan to serve your guests
  4. Decorate an area on the ground with an Indian area rug and decorative Indian style pillows and bolsters for your guests to sit while singing, whether at home or in a banquet hall
  5. Gather the ladies together in a circle with the dholki in the middle
  6. Traditionally, sohags or ghorian are sung before the other wedding songs. They are not accompanied by the dholki
  7. If you are singing sohags, the first sohag sung is usually Bibi Chandan de Ohle Ohle
  8. Five sohags or ghorian are sung before beginning the singing of folk songs
  9. The singing of folks songs is accompanied by the dholki
  10. Perform gidda and bhangra
  11. Enjoy the rest of the night
  12. Hand out prepared bags or boxes to guests (at the first sangeet night only if you are having more than one).

Auntyji’s Approach

Bachai lok, your Auntyji suggests that when hosting a sangeet party in a banquet hall both men and women are invited. Also, I suggest that if you are doing a sangeet for more than one night you combine it with other functions like the mehendi or maiyan. This way you will save on energy, money and time. After all you and your family don’t want to be completely exhausted come the wedding day. Remember this a time to have fun and enjoy.


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One Response to Sangeet

  1. Natasha says:

    This is awesome! I would love for Auntyji to provide the lyrics to these songs too. :)
    Thank you for this great resource!!

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