maNi thengai

My dear KC,

How are you?
Have you heard the song that is sung by the maamis post kasi yaathrai, during oonjal?
The song goes like this.

Paalale kaal alambi
Pattaale thudaithu
maNi thengai kaiyil koduthu
maNjal neer suzhatri(?)

I have 3 queries

1. Isn’t laali a kind of lullaby? Why would they want the bride and groom to sleep during the oonjal ceremony?
2. What is maNi thengai?
3. Shouldn’t it be manjaL neeradi? How can you suzhatru liquid? My well informed source says it was ‘manjaL neeradi’ before and later changed to ‘suzhatri’ as lots of udanpirappus printed posters like ’23 aavadhu vatta seyalaaLarin iRaNdaavadhu magaLin manjal neeratu vizhaviRku varugai tharum thalaivarai varuga varuga ena varaverkirom’.

Looking forward to your answers


14 thoughts on “maNi thengai

  1. Not sure about the second. If I would hazard a guess. The oonjal ritual as much as the other wedding rituals are from a time when the bride and groom were babies. So it is not surprising that the lullaby is sung. As for Manjal Suzhatri I believe it refers to the aarathi after the oonjal.

  2. Point 1 is pretty obvious. They want them to rest now, so that they are fresh and active when.. ahem for later on.

    MaNi Thengai is for preparing next days thengai chutney to go with the idly, when the couple start their first day together. This helps the bridegroom to take it easy on day 1, so that his new wife doesn’t order him to run to the corner shop to buy thengai for the chutney. Understandably, He would still be tired. Don’t have anything to say about the MaNi part, though I can guess the thengai might have originated from Mani’s corner shop.

    They stop with sutrifying a little liquid since they have become very environment conscious nowadays and decided not to waste water for the whole neeradifying. 😉

    Thats all I can spew off the top of my head 🙂

    Seriously, I love watching all the rituals and I’m looking forward to my friend’s wedding in May.

  3. Lovely analysis, lone star 😀

    BTW I am wonderin if maNi thengai is actually an evolution of:
    Money Thaen Kaai (Cash Honey Vegetables)
    This might be meant to indicate that life is full of sweet (honey) and sorrowful (vegetables.. he he) happenings.. But money will take us thru all that 😛


  4. this oonjal process comes after kasi yathra,during which the bride’s father gives a thengai to the groom & assures he will give his daughter to him.Then laali is oonjal only.aararo & thalelo are for sleep.Manjal neer is ofcourse aarathi.This is for welcoming the groom before the actual marriage ceremony

  5. //maNjal neer suzhatri(?)

    looks like some sort of aaraththi with either manNjal neer or Sandal along with the usual Karpoora dheebam..the liquid is usually thrown on the street later.. may be its of that kind.

    //maNi thengai

    while buying coconut, people used to knock it and check the sound before buying..just a quality check.
    may be, its related to that..something like the thengai which gives bell(maNi) sound?? 😉

    anyways, indha R&D yellam ippo thevaya??

  6. its not mani thengai,its money thengai which is bought by giving money not a osi thengai from neighbour

    Manjal Neer suzhatri is while taking aarthi they will shake the plate no at that time that water will revolve around the plate

  7. Thanks vishy.. Pretty gud analysis yourself. But I can’t agree with “Vegetables=sorrowful” part. Remember this is a Brahmin tradition. Brahmins are restricted only to eating veggies. So they can’t afford to get on the wrong side of veggies by branding them as sorrowful. 😉 semma logic la?? 🙂

  8. during oonjal, the same song is to be sung as “Adiru oonjal” and not as ‘laali’. (not that the bride and groom can sleep with the mamis singing laali… still…)

    manjal neer is aarthi

    mani thengai refers to good thengai.. mani-ya mani-ya yevlo nanna irukku.. all mamis use this dialogue to tell that something is good. 🙂

  9. the oonjal is most spl occassion during the marriage ceremony. the oonjal (swinging) represents the ups and downs one faces in his&her life time. the holding of hands is the promise made by the husband to the wife and the wife to the husband that he and she would face the ups and downs together in their life and would not go apart. the laali song(generally) is a song that is sung for a PEACEFUL sleep but here when it is sung it implies that not matter wat ever may the ups and downs the husband and wife should maintain peace (poorumai kakanum).
    About the manjalneer part i think it refers to the girl.
    manjaalneerattu is for girls wen they have attained their age so it may even imply that the father is giving his girl to the boy (kanni pen dharvakardu)

    the first one is what i have heard from my grand pa but the other is just my guess !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.