The Importance Of Uludhoni (ululation)

Indian marriages in any of the States are a colorful affair with plenty of people gathering and celebrating the event with pomp and joy and also dressed in the classical attire. There are several steps in these traditional marriages including the Bengali matrimony that also if fraught with several religious significance. The customs and traditions that have been passe down are meticulously followed, and any deviation is considered inauspicious. This is primarily because of the religious beliefs those are associated with them.


The origin and significance

During the Bengali marriage proper, there are several steps in which the religious chanting are done before the holy fire whose is considered the primary witness to the auspicious event. This apart there are the blowing of the conch shell and the ululation or the uludhoni that are important parts of the event.

· The Ululation is accompanied at almost every important juncture of the Bengali marriage as in any religious puja.

· There are several sources of origin that are cited for the ululation that is a long and high-pitched sound that is made by the rolling back and forth of the tongue and the vulva in concordance.

· The practice is religiously followed in the Eastern part of India, several of the African countries as well as those in the middle-east especially in the Jewish and the Arabic cultures.

· The sound is a trill that composes of three syllabic sounds that was common in these parts of the globe to exult and announce the victory of the king and to sing praises to the Divine which can be still found in the Jewish scriptures.

· In the Bengali tradition too the same practices were carried out, and it is also acquired the extra significance of having the power to drive out any evil force that may be surrounding the auspicious event.

· This is the reason why several women simultaneously indulge in the Ululation that will have more power than a single person doing it.

· The celebration of the main events like the bringing of the girl to the mandap on the shoulders of two elder brothers is accompanied by the Uludhoni which signifies the importance of the initiation of the marriage celebrations.

· Even during the marriage when the groom applies the sindoor or the vermilion on the forehead of the bride, the act is accompanied by the uludhoni to signify the auspicious act in which the bride is given the visual sign of being the life-partner of the groom.

· The Uludhoni is also to be heard during the preparatory stage of the marriage in the morning during the gayeholud ceremony when turmeric paste is applied on the bride and the groom in their respective houses by the elders.

The sound is said to announce the beginning of the auspicious act that will carry through all the day as the to-be couple prepares for the event in the evening. The force of the sound is said to drive away all the negative powers and usher in the victorious initiation of all that is pure and holy.