“Why is necessary to do maiyaa at weddings? It is so gross!?” – cute friend
Dear Cute Friend,
Thank you for your question. It is a good question, as I am certain that a number of people feel same way.
The tradition of maiyan is a cleansing ceremony. As with all traditions, none are truly necessary. Meaning, in this case, that yes, one can get married without having a maiyan ceremony.
Traditions are passed down from our elders and the generation receiving the information decides to either carry on with them, adapt them or part ways with them. I, of course, advocate for continuing with traditions that are not oppressive, that do not cause undue hardship and that are equitable. Carrying on with fair traditions and passing them down from generation to generation is a way to connect with our roots – our ancestors. Imagine for a moment that your great, great, great grandmother and father sat on the partri and had vatna rubbed on them as well. A notion I find humbling.
As for the gross part, I can certainly see your point. I suggest the grossness factor may be minimized by asking the appliers of the vatna to avoid applying it to the bride`s or groom`s face. You can also ask family members to dip the grass brush into the oil only the first time, so their hair doesn’t get too greasy.