Pradeep Pattanayak

Everyone has a dream to make their wedding a memorable one. Going to make this special moment memorable, while some push the boat out, some others opt for a simple ceremony, minus all the razzmatazz. 

Rajen Murmu and Golapi Murmu of Mayurbhanj district opted to be in the second category. They exchanged garlands not on a marriage altar but on the stage of Mayurbhanj Mahotsav in Baripada. 

Hundreds of people thronged to witness cultural programmes on the stage of Mayurbhnaj Mahotsav. Artistes were also performing programmes on the stage. In between, Rajen and Golapi, dressed in wedding attires, came on the stage. 

As per the tribal tradition, Rajen’s friends carried Rajen to the stage. Similarly, Golapi was brought to the stage in a basket with the priest, called Majhi Haddam, walking in front of them. The bride and groom were accompanied by their close relatives. 

Amidst the beating of drums, following the tribal tradition, Rajen applied vermilion to Golapi’s forehead.  

Down below the stage, the visitors were witnessing the wedding with rapt attention. They didn’t have the slightest inkling that the wedding was not a stage act but a real one. A real marriage was being solemnised. 

Rajen and Golapi are known to each other and have been in love. Rajen, who lives in an asbestos-roofed house at Mundakata village in Kuliana block, couldn’t think of marriage due to his poor financial condition. 

The Maryubhanj Mahotsav brought them an opportunity to get united. 

“I had never ever thought that we would marry the way we married. We had the love, affection, and blessings of many people.  It seemed to me like a dream but everything was happening in real,” said Golapi. 

Expressing his happiness, Rajen said, “Our marriage was quite different than what usually takes place in our village. I had never thought that our marriage would be solemnised like this.”

Rakesh Singh, member of the Mayurbhanj Mahotsav Committee, said, “Their marriage was solemnised while cultural programmes were being performed on the stage. People had an opportunity to see a tribal marriage and know the traditions associated with it.”

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