The process of searching bridegroom for the daughter is always an important issue for a father in India. Here in Mithila, the process has been institutionalized and given a simple form. In the summer of June, Mithila Brahmins gather in the vast mango grove in the village of Surath to explore the possibilities of marriages of their wards. Discussion on horoscope and negotiation of dowry etc take place at the spot.
The ruler of Darbhanga Raghav Singh donated the place for this holy purpose. This has helped lot many people as gathering at a place facilitates both the parties and search for bridegrooms becomes easy and comfortable.
What is the process of searching bridegrooms? As it goes – the girl’s father in search of right bridegroom locates a prospective bridegroom, though sometimes with the help of the intermediary with hefty commission, finally enters into dialogue with groom’s parent. Thereafter information is exchanged among respective parents and horoscope matching is done.
Once both the parties are satisfied and feel comfortable in all respects, they move the proposal to Registrar who verifies the records and credentials to ensure that matrimonial alliance is not being performed within the prohibited degrees. According to the existing system, marriage should not fall within the seventh generation on paternal side and the fifth on the maternal side.
The process in this tradition has been in existence since fourteenth century. The Registrar keeps the records of generations here. These records are used to examine the validity and purity of marriage settlements. The Registrar receives a token and he blesses the girl’s father, “May your daughter bathe in milk and bear many sons.” The successful families finally call off the day with a visit to the nearby Shiva temple.