Madurai

They did it for the sake of love and Tamil

Japanese couple Chiharu Obata and Yuto Niinaga tie the knot in the traditional Hindu way in Madurai on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: R_ASHOK

When Chiharu and Obata began her linguistics research in Tamil Nadu four years ago, little did she anticipate that she would be sitting in a traditional mandapam, ready to tie the knot the Hindu-way with her fiancé Yuto Niinaga.

On Sunday here in Madurai, this couple from Tokyo flew down to have a full-fledged Tamil wedding complete with all Hindu rituals. The stage was set with floral decorations, a holy fire was lit and other traditional paraphernalia were in place. Close family members, who had flown down and friends from the city blessed the couple.

According to Ganesh Sharma, the priest who conducted the ceremony, all rituals including the Kashi Yathra where the groom decides to flee to Kasi, Sapthapathi or the seven steps around the fire, and Kanya Dhanam where the father gives away the bride, took place. “This is one of a kind,” he said.

Chiharu, a software engineer by profession began researching on the similarities between Tamil and Japanese in 2014. She visited India that year and was enamoured by the culture and tradition. “Many people in Japan desist from marrying the traditional way. Some get married in a church but we decided to do it here. Both sides of the family barely needed any convincing. I’m really happy today,” said Chiharu after the ceremony. Chiharu can speak Tamil fluently and says that it took a lot of practise for her to reach this stage. Her friend V. Vinothini and Venkatesh helped her plan and coordinate the entire event.

A small marriage ceremony had taken place in Japan on April 1, 2017 but the couple were resolute about coming to India for their second ceremony as they loved the language, colours, food and the traditional attire. Yuto, the groom said that he was inspired by the way actors Dhanush and Vijay wore their veshtis. He said he was delighted about the way the day’s events had unfolded.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 12:50:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/they-did-it-for-the-sake-of-love-and-tamil/article22342534.ece

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