The bride and groom sit in rapt attention in the Diwan hall (the main prayer hall of a Gurdwara). Between their hands the couple holds the palla, a ceremonial sash signifying the bond between them. In front of them on a alter is the focal point of the Gurdwara, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture and Eternal Guru of the Sikhs. All of the grooms turban decorations and garlands have been removed out of reverence and respect for the only True King and Royalty in the Diwan hall - Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Everyone entering the Diwan hall removes their shoes, covers their heads, bows down in front of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, typically make a small cash donation to help support the Gurdwara and then sit on the floor. Men and women share the same Diwan hall during all Sikh religious services (which can be conducted by a member of either sex). Traditionally they sit on different sides of the hall to avoid distractions but both sexes sit at equal distance from Sri Guru Granth Sahib, gender equality being one of the founding principles of the Sikh religion. A number of ladies including the grooms sisters can be seen seated on the men’s side of the hall as they want to be near their brother, this is not taboo as traditional Gurdwara seating is flexible and accommodating in the joyous spirit of the occasion.The Giani (a learned religious scholar) sitting at the alter can be seen reading the Lavan hymn from Sri Guru Granth Sahib which is composed of four stanzas. As the Giani reads each stanza, three Ragis (Sikh musicians) seen sitting on the side of Sri Guru Granth Sahib on a low stage then sing the Lavan stanza, Music is an integral part of Sikh worship and Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a poetical scripture containing detailed musical notations. As the Ragis sing the Lavan the couple completes a circular walk around Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The groom leads the walk while both the bride and groom hold the palla sash between them and then seat themselves at the same spot. The couple will repeat their walk around Sri Guru Granth Sahib three more times with each remaining stanza of the Lawan wedding hymn to solemnize their marriage.
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