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High caste Banyan forced into arranged marriage with lowly peepal

"It's an auspicious occasion at Balia village in Balasore district of Orissa. The priest, the guests and many other small details needed for an elaborate ceremony are in place. But this is no ordinary event. These are invitees to a wedding where the groom is a banyan tree and the bride a peepal tree."

Tree Wedding in Orissa Sends 'Green' Message
Balasore, ORISSA (May 16, 2007)

It's an auspicious occasion at Balia village in Balasore district of Orissa. The priest, the guests and many other small details needed for an elaborate ceremony are in place. But this is no ordinary event. These are invitees to a wedding where the groom is a banyan tree and the bride a peepal tree.

"The Banyan and the Peepal tree are considered to be Lord Narayan and Goddess Laxmi respectively by us. And by getting them married we gain peace, prosperity and happiness," said priest Upendra Nath Pati.

An age-old tradition, this wedding was organised by the village committee, along with a few plantation volunteers. Locals say such events foster love for trees.

"Such marriages encourage our regards for trees and helps in spreading awareness on plantation. It is a perfect platform to blend tradition with awareness on environment," said Pushpanjali Jena, plantation volunteer.

Once the ceremonies and the feast are over, the tree becomes a subject of worship for villagers. At a time when the world is debating global warming and climate change, it is perhaps such ceremonies that one cannot afford to ignore.

SOURCE: CNN-IBN
STORY URL: http://www.ibnlive.com/news/tree-weds-in-tree-in-orissa- village/40677-3.html
VIDEO: http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/40677/tree-weds-tree-in-orissa



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