The traditional shoe that the groom wears is called a Naagra.
Yes you read it right, its the shoe stealing tradition ! and yes ofcourse the pictures above are of a wedding.How does the shoe stealing relate to the wedding you ask ? well because the shoe stealing is done in the wedding , and whose shoe is it? The groom's !!!!. Yeah its a strange , but interesting practice which I witnessed at a wedding I went to last summer. I had heard a lot about it but I witnessed it first hand only then.
This practice is not exactly a tradition, some people practice it, other's don't.What happens is that the siblings, cousins or friends of the bride (usually youngsters) steal the shoes or a shoe of the groom and hide it until the groom gives them some money.This practice started in the olden times when the couple sat on a floor mat for which the groom had to remove his shoes.This made the shoe very vulnerable to being stolen ,and stealing was thus easy.But nowadays the couple sits on a sofa with their shoes on so the sisters and friends either hold the shoe and not let go of it, or at other times ,like at this wedding, they just ask for money for the shoe without actually stealing it.What follows is a lengthy debate and persuasion from both sides with the groom trying to bargain the price of his shoe,while the shoe stealers try and make the groom give in to their higher demands.The persuasion is the best part of it all, filled with light hearted humour and sarcasm.The money that the shoe stealers get varies as per the financial standing of the newly wed. It usually ranges from Rs 500- Rs 25 000.
This seemingly strange and time wasting practice (as I used to think before I saw it) serves no main purpose except that it creates a friendly relationship between the brides family and the groom from the very starting of their newly formed relationship and brings them to closer to each other.