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Ros Kaddunk - The bath with coconut milk

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

For weddings in Saligao and weddings in Goa generally, a day or two preceding the traditional Goan wedding day it was customary for the families of the bride and groom to separately hold a ceremonial bath function at their respective houses for the Goan bride-to-be and the Goan groom-to-be. Most Goan Catholic families observed this Ros Kaddunk ceremony before the wedding in Goa, and while it is not as common today, this traditional practice does take place even among Goan families who have settled in other parts of India or the world.

Coconut milk for ros ceremony before traditional Goa wedding

Coconut milk for the ros ceremony

The Ros Kaddunk ceremony before the weddings in Goa first involves the application of a cupful of juice extracted from shredded coconut pulp (coconut milk) kept in a pot, on the head, face or hands of the groom or bride. This application is done by close relatives one by one in proper order of priority, followed by neighbours and friends, to the accompaniment of special verses called zotis sung in Konkani by trained women.

This important ritual from the several Goan wedding traditions is done first outside the bathing room, in the hall. This application is symbolic of the state of single blessedness of the bride/groom. Here is an example of zot in Konkani for the groom.

Apu-rosu /Kaddi ailo khateak /

Ghansun, ghansun lailo matheak /

Nouro, nouro bab gai amcho.”

(Here’s coconut-pulp juice /

It’s foaming and frothing /

Apply frequently on your head/

Our honoured bridegroom)

..and here’s one for the bride:

” Loklokit gai, motianchi /

Vokol bai go amchi.”

(Here’s our honoured bride/ Shimmering in pearls.)

All this is sung and supplemented by appropriate verses in praise of the bride and the groom, with exhortations on her future conduct after the wedding in Goa with her spouse and his/her relatives and close family members. Here is another song called ” Noman, Noman Bapa Re Viva”.

Noman Noman Bapa re Viva,

Noman Noman Putra,

Amchea rosak besanv magum-ia,

Sorginchea, sorginchea Deva Bapa lagim.

Kanam, tallier tellu, re Viva,

Kopolar kad’dat khuris,

Ora Viva rosak besanv dita

Sorgincho, sorgincho Deu Bap.

Poilo Amchea Bapa, re Viva,

Dusri Noman Mori,

Amchea rosak besanv ghali

Saibinn Amchi Ankvar Mori.

(1.Hail, hail to the Father, hail

Hail Hail ( His) Son,

Let’s ask His Blessing,

On our coconut-milk.

(Oil on the ears and head,

Make the sign (of the cross) on the forehead,

The Heavenly Father bestows

Blessings on this coconut-milk.)

(First is God the Father, we invoke

Second Hail Mary

Bless our coconut-milk

Our Lady, Virgin Mary.)

For a traditional Goa wedding, the second part of the bathing ceremony consists of a bath with water, possibly warm, in the bathing room (Nanni), again in a ceremonial manner, with songs being sung in a group. After bathing with a tumbler of water this time, a few coins are dropped into the pot of water kept for the purpose, as has been done in the first stage of the bath also. All the money dropped in the pots is taken by the maids who helped or were called for preparing the bath water and coconut-pulp juice.

For Hindu weddings in Goa there is a similar bath but not so elaborate a ritual. They have the additional application of turmeric (holod) and oil on the body of the Goan bride. There is a symbolic application of oil and turmeric for the Goan groom also, in each one’s place of residence.

References:

1. BRAGANZA, Alfred; The Discovery of Goa p.43

2. GOMES, Olivinho, J F;  ” Village Life” pp 139-140

3. PEREIRA, Angelo; Goa Remembered p. 52. ” Noman, Noman, Bapa Re Viva”

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