Friday, March 17, 2006

Bhagoria, an Indian eloping festival

A week long fair that is called Bhagoria-Haat (eloper’s fair), organized in several tribal dominated areas of Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, as a part of Holi or the festival of colour celebration. In this fair young tribal choose their life partner and elope.

In this fair, a young tribal man is allowed to propose marriage to a girl of his liking by giving her a gift. If the girl accepts it, they can marry with or without the consent of their parents.

Among those who enjoy the most are the Bheel youth, who tease young girls for seven days till Holi and try to run away with them.At the age-old Bhagoria fair or festival, young men and women will eat, drink, dance and runaway with each other -- the latter a precondition for marriage.

Kamal Singh, a tribal young boy , who is looking for a lifepartner in fair has talked to a media person, “We eat sweets like Gulab jamun... bring Paan to propose to the girl for marriage and if she agrees, we elope...we also sing and dance,”.
This is our year-long tradition and most important thing is that our new generations do not hesitate to adopt this tradition of elopement,”said Mangilal an elderly Bheel tribal man from Jhabua.

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