The Naattu Kottai Chettiars, also known as Nagarathar Chettiars or simply Chettiars, are a prominent and prosperous community in Tamil Nadu, India. They have a rich cultural heritage and are well-known for their grand and opulent weddings. Here’s a brief introduction to the Naattu Kottai Chettiars and their elaborate wedding ceremonies:
1. Community Background: The Naattu Kottai Chettiars are a Tamil merchant community with a history dating back to several centuries. They were traditionally involved in trade and commerce, especially in Southeast Asia, and have played a significant role in the economic development of the region. They are known for their strong sense of community and cultural identity.
2. Wedding Traditions: Chettiar weddings are celebrated with great pomp and grandeur. These weddings are often characterized by a blend of traditional customs and modern influences. Some key elements of their weddings include:
a. Elaborate Pre-Wedding Rituals: Chettiar weddings involve a series of pre-wedding ceremonies and rituals. These include the engagement ceremony (Nischayathartham), Mehndi, and the exchange of gifts.
b. Ornate Attire: The bride and groom are decked in elaborate and traditional attire. The bride typically wears a silk saree with intricate jewelry, while the groom wears a dhoti or traditional attire. Their attire is often characterized by vibrant colors and intricate designs.
c. Exquisite Decorations: The wedding venues are adorned with opulent decorations, including fresh flowers, colorful drapes, and traditional motifs. Chettiar weddings are known for their grand floral arrangements and intricate detailing.
d. Traditional Customs: The ceremonies are conducted following traditional customs, including the exchange of garlands, tying of the sacred thread (Mangalsutra), and the seven steps around the sacred fire (Saptapadi).
e. Lavish Feasts: A sumptuous feast is an essential part of Chettiar weddings. It includes a variety of delectable dishes, including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Chettiar cuisine is known for its rich flavors and aromatic spices.
f. Music and Dance: Music and dance performances are an integral part of Chettiar weddings, adding to the celebratory atmosphere. Traditional music instruments and dance forms are often featured.
3. Community Values: Chettiars place a strong emphasis on community involvement and mutual support. They believe in preserving their cultural heritage and ensuring the prosperity of their community. Therefore, weddings become not just personal celebrations but also occasions for community members to come together and strengthen their bonds.
In summary, Naattu Kottai Chettiars of Tamil Nadu are a culturally rich and economically prosperous community known for their opulent and grand weddings. These weddings are a reflection of their deep-rooted traditions, love for grandeur, and strong sense of community values.