Rashmi Rekha Das

Though it sounds strange, it is true. Residents of a tribal hamlet in Dhenkanal district did not let a couple marry as the organisers did not serve them with rice hooch (fermented alcoholic rice drink).

The incident took place at Kadabasanta village under Kamakhya Nagar police limits. 

According to sources, Ananta Marandi’s son Parau Marandi had tied the nuptial knot with Sajani Marandi of Kendumunda village under Parijang police limits eight years back. As Parau had a love marriage and failed to abide by the terms and conditions of tribal marriage tradition, village head had not given his approval.

However, Paura’s brother thought of solemnising the marriage again so that his brother and sister-in-law could get the approval of the village head and join mainstream of the society.

Accordingly, he arranged a feast for the villagers and made other arrangement for the smooth conduct of the marriage. His efforts went unfruitful when the fellow villagers did not permit him conduct his brother Paura’s marriage in the absence of rice hooch.

Besides, the villagers said no to the marriage as Paura did not beg forgiveness for his act. 

Tension prevailed at the locality after Paura was not let to remarry and police came to pacify the irate villagers.

Groom Paura said, “Despite coming up with variety of food dishes including chicken curry, some villagers were not happy with our arrangements. All they wanted to have rice hooch.  Ram Chandra Hembram, the village head, advised other villagers not to be part of the marriage.”

Rama Chandra Hembram said, “As Paura had not followed our tradition during his marriage, I advised him to have a meeting and unanimously we would take a decision. However, he did not listen to me. He went ahead with his own arrangements without seeking my suggestion. Villagers refrained from the marriage just because he did not come to me and beg pardon for his deeds. However, rice hooch is secondary issue.”