Unity in diversity -- thy name is India, and the diverse traditions are seen more often where marriages come into the picture.
One of the many outlandish traditions exists in three tribal villages of Gujarat -- Surkheda, Sanada and Ambal. The villages hold wedding ceremonies in which the bridegroom is not physically present.
And the groom's sister ties the knot with the bride. Believe us!
According to the ritual, grooms are not allowed to attend their own wedding ceremony and their unmarried sister or any unmarried woman from their family represent them in the ceremony.
The groom's job during the wedding is to dress up in a 'sherwani', wear a 'safa' on his head, carry a traditional sword and stay at his own home, waiting for his sister to bring his bride.
The groom's sister leads the 'baraat' to the bride's door, marries her and brings her home.
"All the rituals that a groom traditionally performs are conducted by his sister. She takes the phere too with the bride," says Kanjibhai Rathwa, a local resident of Surkheda village.
The origin of the belief comes from the villagers' faith that the male deities of Surkheda, Sanada and Ambal village were bachelors.
"This practice is followed in three villages here; it is believed that if we don't follow this custom then some harm will befall," Rathwa said.
He added, "A couple of times people have tried to not follow the tradition and it is seen that either they end up with broken marriage or their family life does not get well or several other types of problems also arise."