Big Fat Indian Weddings

As my dad was parking the car in the huge parking area, already half full by SUVs and tempos my eyes shifted to the magnificent building. It had a Mughal like architecture which I realized was exclusively built for the wedding.

As soon as we entered we were greeted by smiling Anarkali-clad hostesses. They sprinkled rose-water on us and gave us a beautiful box filled with sweets. The wedding was a spectacle to watch. The bride adorned with heavy expensive jewelry looked gorgeous, there were dances, music and many more.

As we sat to dine I had a difficult time choosing between the various Lebanese, Italian, Japanese, North Indian and South Indian cuisines. I finally filled my plate with some south Indian cuisines and sat in one of the decorated and cushioned chairs. Next to me was a friendly elderly uncle. We conversed for few minutes and then he asked,”How is the wedding”? I said awesome. “What do you think of big fat weddings like this, do you think they are worth it?” I gave him a quick answer somewhere between yes and no and hurried off as it was getting late. On the way back home I kept thinking of the question.

Sociologist Ervin Goffman had said Weddings are a heightened example of front stage behavior. True I thought. The guests usually are the audiences always dressed in their best to impress co-audience. While the bride, relatives, photographers, musicians and many others play different roles with the aim of impressing their audience or guests.

More than that it is considered as an occasion to show off the financial status and social prestige of the family.

Enormous amounts are spent right from the wedding cards to the final reception. As this is considered a matter of social prestige most families tend to save a lot and even take huge loans to meet the expenses. This can put immense pressure on the family especially the bride’s family.

This can have bad effects on girl child as it leads to the diversion of funds that can be used for education.

And dowry still exists mostly in the muted form. Rather than calling it dowry the family calls it gifts.

Most weddings these days have traditional Indian elements like dholki,dholak and oonjal mixed with western styles like receptions and cocktail parties. But westernization remains only in physical form.Even today a lot of importance is given to family status, caste, sub caste, religion and financial position rather than individual preferences. Love marriage is still considered a shame and most families don’t approve it. This can lead to deepening of inequalities and curtailing of individuals freedom of choice.

True that the endless cuisines can be appealing and delicious but what about the food wasted?This enormous wastage of food happens when the majority of Indian population is suffering from poverty and starvation.

On a positive note, it has helped matrimonial business to grow and has thus helped in employment generation.

I happened to come across an article on better India. Have a look 👇

IAS Couple Sets Example With a No-Frills Court Wedding Costing Rs. 500!

Even if you spend a lot, it doesn’t guarantee a happy family life. For example, my parents had a very simple wedding and barely have 2 wedding photos (rest all got destroyed with time) yet they are one of the ideal couples I know.

Indian culture (Buddhist philosophy)had always emphasised on Moderation. I wish Indian marriages also take account of this principle.

Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl-chain of all virtues. ~Thomas Fuller

So before spending much, it would be wise to consider the cost-benefit analysis of the same.

4 thoughts on “Big Fat Indian Weddings

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