JULY 17, 2023
India, known for its diverse traditions and customs, is home to various intriguing practices that extend beyond individual communities. Among these practices is a peculiar rule observed in a specific place, where living together before marriage is not just an option but a requirement. This place is inhabited by tribal communities who defy conservative norms and consider it unthinkable to proceed with a wedding without experiencing a period of cohabitation.
The Muria or Muriya Tribe in Bastar, Chhattisgarh
According to media reports, this unique practice can be found in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, among a group of people known as the Muria or Muriya tribe. This rule has deep cultural and traditional roots within their community. In adherence to this rule, a boy and girl are expected to live together before marriage in order to truly understand and know each other. Notably, their families and society provide support throughout this process. To facilitate their cohabitation, a temporary house called a “Ghotul” is constructed adjacent to their main residences.
Residing in the Ghotul: A Period of Cohabitation
The couple resides together in the Ghotul for a few days. Constructed with bamboo and thatch, the Ghotul resembles a large courtyard. At the local level, it is often built using bamboo and clay. This unique practice is prevalent not only in Bastar but also in various regions of Chhattisgarh, where the Muria tribe is found. In certain areas, they are also referred to as the “Madia” tribe. During their time in the Ghotul, the young men and women make an effort to understand each other better and spend quality time together.
Choosing Life Partners: Chelik and Motiyari
After spending a considerable amount of time in the Ghotul, the boys and girls involved in this tradition proceed to choose their life partners. The boys who visit the Ghotul are known as “Chelik,” while the girls are called “Motiyari.” Even in contemporary times, this rule is strictly followed within the Muria tribe. The community members encourage each other to honor and preserve this unique tradition. Although this marriage rule may appear peculiar to outsiders, it is the reality and essence of their cultural practices.
Courtesy/Source: Zee News / PTI