A piece of fine material worn by women or Sacred objects to protect or conceal the face is called Veil. In Hinduism it is known as Ghoonghat.
Ghoonghat is the symbol of Shyness for ladies. It is worn for the respect of elders.
In Rajasthan I have been to one of my friends home in small village named Kota. She has 3 brother in which one of her elder brother was married. We both were studying in the room. While I heard a scream from another room. We both ran together to see the matter. The matter was really small her Bhabhi screamed due to lizard she found during the home cleaning. In all this she dropped her veil. Her both younger brother in laws and parents in law continuously looking at her. Her mother in law hold her wrist tightly and took her into her room. A little later the door opened and her head was now properly covered by Veil. She was sobbing. I can sense that. I gone to ask her. Is she fine or not?
‘Bhabhi, Are you fine?’ I asked.
She sobbed a little and then replied ‘Yes.’
I asked her again ‘Are you sure?’
She pulled up her veil her under her right eye was completely swollen.
‘Bhabhi? How did this happen?’
‘Mummy ji slapped me hard. So I’ll get these bruises. To hide them I’ve to always be in Ghoonghat. Because our cultural don’t allow us to be free. It’s not the symbol of respect but the symbol of utter shame to girl that we are girls and we cant keep our heads high in front of man and our elders.’ She burst out in tears.
I hugged her tight and kept all my sympathy with her.
Yes, I put a question is it a symbol of respect or utter symbol of shame? Being an Indian I found the veil to be most beautiful ornament of girl. A respect she give to her elders and a love to his husband. Like all the resect give when she in temple. But do the people take it as a respect? No. Some people think it is due to shame. Shame of being girls.
In Indian marriages as well as in Other caste the Veil has the same importance of love care and respect. Red or white its due to respect.
The most beautiful bride : She carries shyness (Lajja). Eyes down, Head down. The perfectly placed Bindi on her fore head and A veil of Red duppata. This is not because she is ashamed. This all because she respect.
If she respect you she is not afraid. If she is in veil she is not ashamed.