Geet Gawai

Geet-Gawai is a pre-wedding ceremony now performed one or two days before the actual wedding and comes as a precursor to other rituals and practices involved in a wedding. In early days Geet-Gawai was performed for whole week It is a combination of rituals, prayers, songs, music and dance which is also a living means of expression of the Bhojpuri language and oral traditions.

There are several steps in Geet-Gawai performance which starts where women of the family and neighbourhood dressed in traditional dresses come together in the groom’s or bride’s  house to be seated in a semi-circular fashion.

The Geet-Gawai performance is a lively and vibrant social and cultural activity, performance where dressing, rituals, music, songs and dance are further enriched by serving traditional snacks, hot drinks, ginger powder and ‘paan’ (betel leaves with lime, cloves and cardamon) prepared fresh on the spot. People present are served these items regularly. The performance ends with the distribution of soaked black chickpeas to take home.

Geet-Gawai moves beyond family to all Mauritians in the form of ‘Gamat’ and stage performances. This extension of the element in public domains is vibrant and enjoyed by everybody. There are non-Bhojpuri speakers who perform Geet Gawai.

Geet-Gawai is inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 01.12.2016.

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