Bnei Menashe (re)marry in traditional clothing

Bnei Menashe (re)marry in traditional clothing

Following their aliyah to Israel in October and formal conversion to Judaism, six Bnei Menashe couples who were already married in India get a chance to step under the chuppah again in a “second” wedding ceremony according to Jewish Law in our absorption center in Goren.

Usually the Bnei Menashe women at these ceremonies opt to wear one of the many beautiful wedding gowns we procure for them, dressing in the ‘Western’ manner that much of the world is accustomed to. However, this time, all six couples, both the men, and the women, chose to wear the traditional costume of the Bnei Menashe. The Bnei Menashe, while they dress in typical western fashion, also have numerous articles of their own design and making, particularly fabrics that they make. Skirts, vests and other garments are made of these special fabrics, each with one of more than 50 unique patterns, symbolic to a different family or ‘tribe’. 

Here are some pictures from the weddings. See how many different of these fabrics you can spot!

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Laura Ben-David
laura@shavei.org