Desi Weddings & their Issues

Photo Credits: Fahad Raza Photography

A wedding is one of the most fun parts of any culture. Especially for a desi family, it is probably the most amusing traditional event. Mehndi, Barat, Valima and all other functions are celebrated in bright, crazy and joyful ways. People wear colorful & expensive dresses, not to mention make ups and hair styles. Like western weddings, the bride & groom always win the race of awesome attires and cool looks in a desi wedding.

What is a Wedding?

An event where two people accept each other as husband and wife in front of their family & friends.

What’s happening today?

In the last few decades, the rate of people getting married has decreased by manifolds. There are several reasons behind this fall in marriage rate, where the biggest of all is materialism. People have gone so materialistic that they prefer money & things over people & relationships. I know someone who broke their engagement just because they did not like the gifts from their in-laws. Today, most people marry for financial gain. They don’t care much about personality matches, ambitions, and values. And that’s the reason why we have a huge divorce rate now.

Let’s discuss a few issues of today’s desi society.

Dowry, a social menace!

Dowry is one of the biggest evil in a desi wedding. Some people, from the groom’s side, don’t even feel any shame for asking specific stuff in dowry. They actually provide a list of things that the girl has to bring along her when she gets married. The bride’s family is already in pain while they see their love leaving the house. And then on top of that, they have to take loans for dowry and pay back the loans in installments for years. If you look around, you’ll find many good looking and educated girls who are unable to get married just because their parents can’t afford dowry. The concept of giving millions of worth of dowry by taking bank loans just to satisfy groom’s family or the family status is completely absurd. Even after giving such a huge dowry, it still remains a problem creating factor for the bride in the years to come because people never stop comparisons. It seems that personality and good traits have no respect these days in contrast to a handsome dowry if you’re a bride.

“A desi guy is profoundly smug, yet he sleeps on a bed given to him by his father-in-law.”

Should Weddings be expensive?

Weddings are expensive almost everywhere in the world. And the expenses are mostly logical because you invite your friends and family for a great celebration which usually includes a quality feast. However, the fact that wedding expenses stop many desi couples from getting married is totally irrational. Weddings usually get delayed, and canceled in worst cases, because the families need a few millions for the wedding. This is completely crazy, since the idea of a wedding is two people accepting each other as husband and wife; the celebration should be optional and dependent on your pocket. And the famous question “Log kya kahain ge?” (Translation: “What will others think?”) should not effect the future of a couple. People are born free. They should be allowed to live their lives the way they want to. The age that you feel is right for you to get married should not be dependent on how expensive a wedding is. It should only depend on your future plans and on the fact that you feel ready or not. The word ‘expensive’ means that you’re going hard on yourself financially. So, no, the weddings should not be ‘expensive’.

What needs to be done?

Don’t judge people on their wealth. Personality and morality are the best yard sticks before making the most important decision of your life.

Condemn dowry. If you’re a guy, please tell the family that you won’t accept any dowry. Men who have sisters and daughters can understand the weight of this menace. So let’s start with ourselves, say no to dowry.

Invite 1000 or 10 people, whatever suits your financial conditions. But don’t delay or cancel your weddings because of what others will think. If you’re ready, then this will be best journey of your life; so go for it irrespective of self-made social problems and nonsense. A marriage should bring comfort in your life, so should its start, i.e., the wedding.

IMHO, its better to spend on your child’s education or financially support them in their entrepreneurial ideas rather than spending absurdly on a wedding.

Let’s Pledge?

As they say, “charity begins at home”. So, let’s pledge to stop following irrational outdated trends and make our society a better place to live in.

I pledge to say NO to dowry and preposterous-spending on my wedding. Do you?

by Umer Fiaz Abbasi

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