In almost all religions and cultures the harmonious wedding ceremony signifies the beginning of a new life for a couple; a life dependent on commitment and independent from parents. The union of a couple is a highly celebrated event by both the family and the couple. The time of wedlock is considered a time when “two become one.” As well, from a religious perspective it is deemed a right of passage. Examples of marriage ceremonies, as well as other ritual practices are exhibited in stages explained by Arnold van Gennep: The Rites of Passage. The Rites of Passage consist of three stages: Separation, Limens or Threshold, and Incorporation. Often it becomes hard to differentiate where each stage begins and ends, but it is essential to know what each stage represents and how it affects the people involved in these stages. Throughout this essay I will briefly cover wedding ceremonies in both Hinduism and Sikhism, which are quite elaborate and ritualistic. Specifically I will touch on: The Rites of Passage, mate selection, the betrothal ceremony of both the religions and how each of their members takes their vows.
Within the first stage of a Hindu wedding ceremony, the selection of a mate is made. Although this event isn’t considered part of the Rites of Passage, it still remains very essential. In general, Hindi marriages are arranged by parents and elders of the community, whereas in Sikhism, the selection process is only assisted by them. A large difference between the selection of partners in Hinduism and Sikhism is that Sikhs allow the male and female to form their own couple, either by love match or convenience, with the support of their families. Ideally, in both religions, a decisive factor for mate selection would be compatibility, companionship and love between both the couple and their families. Alternatively, what is actually practiced and enforced by culture is another story. Economic p...