How I Chose a Dowry-Free-Marriage

And why it was so important for my marriage

Suraj Ghimire
Apr 17, 2020 · 8 min read

To have a dowry-free-marriage was one of my lifetime dreams.

Our marriage was an arranged marriage. We first met, got engaged, and married within 15 days. Neither of us knew each other, and our families did not know each other either. I was clueless and helpless because everything was happening so quickly. To have a dowry-free-marriage was one of my lifetime dreams.

  1. The hurdles I encountered in choosing a dowry-free-marriage.
  2. Our relationship after the wedding day.

A dowry is an evil tool of a society

In the Indian subcontinent, I have grown up hearing and reading many stories of abuses and domestic violence against women. One reason behind such cruelty is dowry.

  1. Even after the bride’s family settles the dowry amount demanded by the groom, the groom’s family of the groom keeps demanding a fresh amount and property to fulfill their needs. Upon not receiving an additional dowry, they use violence as a method to extract their demand.

Dowry is a state of illness

It happens not only in the uneducated and socially backward family, but it also occurs in highly educated communities. The dowry death of Sunita Yadav, a forty-three-year-old woman, is one of the registered dowry-deaths in 2019. It happened in Province 2 of Nepal. The groom was a doctor, and he was demanding a house to run his clinic. Her family claims she was beaten to death by in-laws for not bringing enough dowry.

Dowry is a pseudo-social status

Outside province 2 of Nepal, People who are aware and educated have stopped demanding or talking about dowry in the last thirty years. But the fear of domestic violence linked to dowry has not been eradicated yet. Thus the bride’s family willingly offers marriage gifts as a modern form of dowry. They think marriage gifts will prevent their daughter from domestic violence and social isolation in years to come.

I wanted a marriage with no dowry

A social activist within me had hated the tradition of dowry. I wanted no one to talk about our social status in our marriage; I wanted to see no gifts around. Because I wanted to keep speaking against dowry in days to come, I wanted to marry with no dowry.

We never endorsed dowry. But the marriage gift of large monetary value for social showoff was highly likely to occur. I had to fight against such tradition.

In the arranged marriage where none of the things were going my way, I knew that a dowry-free-marriage was the one that could give me some peace. But things were not so easy in reality.

We as a family didn’t know each other. Thus any communication could have been misunderstood and take an ugly turn.

So, to execute my plan, I had to communicate my wish to my in-laws. I told my parents too. Everyone objected to my decision. We, as a family, didn’t know each other, and we never knew what they would infer from my decision. I had to make this life-altering decision eight days before our marriage. I knew if I had to communicate it, I needed to do it as soon as possible.

At any cost, I had to convey my wish.

I kept repeating to my parents that I couldn’t afford to have a wedding where a bride would bring lots of dowries with her on the wedding day. They wanted me to stay silent. No one in my family understood my dream of a dowry-free-marriage. They were not wrong to suggest that my laws might judge my character.

The moment of simultaneous peace and conflicts

While a part within me was in peace to share my desire, I was also nervous about the consequences. What if my in-laws misunderstand my words and cancel led our wedding? I shared it with my parents. Everyone was furious about this.

Life after the wedding day

A month after our wedding day, I narrated the story/ incidents to my wife. I asked her if her father shared those conversations of “no form of dowry, please.” I wanted to know their family reaction, and I also wanted to know her thoughts.

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Suraj Ghimire

Written by

Follower of Jesus Christ | Data Science Student | I write stories of a random heart that I come across | Connect with me https://linktr.ee/authorsuraj

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +773K people. Follow to join our community.

Suraj Ghimire

Written by

Follower of Jesus Christ | Data Science Student | I write stories of a random heart that I come across | Connect with me https://linktr.ee/authorsuraj

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +773K people. Follow to join our community.

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