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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Simplicity is a virtue


We are about to enter 2008. The eight year of the 21st century. Of what use is it to talk about the advancements we have made when we still have advertisements that talk about saving for your son's education and your daughter's wedding. Fortunately, we are beginning to see advertisements that talk about saving for your daughter's education as well. A step in the right direction.

But let's get back to the weddings. It is an unwritten rule that dictates that the girl's family will spend on the wedding. I don't know who started this trend. I'd like to give him or her a piece of my mind. (I can write pages about dowry, but it is a topic that has been beaten to death and then some more.) These days, when someone doesn't want to "ask" for dowry, they ask for a "grand wedding". Of course, the girl's family is expected to bear every expense. And then on the other hand we talk about why female foeticide or infanticide is high in India.

I have been reading about the Big Fat Indian Wedding. Any magazine I pick up has some article or the other about how this industry is growing and how wedding planners have taken weddings to the next level. Excuse me? Industry? As far as I know and remember, a wedding ceremony is meant to celebrate the union of two individuals. When did it become a money spinner? Why did it become a money spinner? And why are parents' of the girl expected to fuel this "industry"?

I've been to 7 weddings in the last month and am shocked to see kind of money that has gone into each of them. I am not going to suggest that one use this money for charity or something like that, but could this not be put away as a nest egg for the couple? From being a celebration with family and friends, the wedding today has become an avenue for vulgar display of wealth. Conversations are not as much around how nice a person the groom or bride is as they are about how much was spent on their trousseaux.

I am appalled at the state of affairs. Shocked that this goes on. Sorry that while some of us take a step forward, many continue to take many steps backwards. Simplicity is a virtue. It may not be long before we say it was one.

7 comments:

Laksh said...

Totally get your point. I am not sure how or when we will begin to see change. Probably a generation. My sis got married last month. Though most of us in the family did have a discussion on what is to be spent on what and agreed wholeheartedly that some of the expenditure was wasteful none of us did actually do anything to channel that money in a different direction.

Am not going to see this as a boy's family vs girls family issue but more of a "keeping up with the patel's issue". I stand guilty of all charges but could very relate to what you say.

Pretty Woman said...

absolutely true and i could'nt agree more....unfortunately, parents are forced to spend so much to 'keep face' and to meet the society's expectations. Hope the next generations are wise and make judicious use of their hard earned money instead of splurging on the guests who don't even appreciate it.

Raaga said...

Laksh: It is about keeping up with the Jones'. And that is what worries me.

@Janani: Let's hope so.

I had a simple wedding that we wound up in just a day, nothing before nothing after and I know that everyone wasn't happy that I had a firm budget on what my parents were allowed to spend... but that was that. I told people that this was my wedding!

Nags said...

i so totally agree. i saw the big fat indian weddings on ndtv good times yesterday and there were 12 cuisines and an acrobat and what not!! was so totally a waste of money!!

nice blog :)

i have a personal blog too :)
www.thewayialwayswas.blogspot.com

Ritu said...

Hey Raaga... First of all, Happy New Year wishes for you....

I so agree with your post esp since I belong to the clan that believes in the most ostentatious display of wealth..marwaris...

Im attending another wedding in early Feb this year and have already heard stories about the moolah going to be spent on the 'wedding'.... suprisingly, my cousins, the ones who are in line to be married, also "expect" their parents to give them a lavish wedding... Don't know who is to blame...the mindset of youngsters is not changing that easy and perhaps it is the preceeding generation that needs to take some of the blame!

Raaga said...

Totally agree Ritu... just this morning, we were having a dicussion about this and a colleague who is to be wed in about 10 days' time said, "If you're born a girl, then you have to bear this and do what is required". Yes, kids expect this from their parents and they're shocked that I expect nothing from mine.

Pritika said...

There have been times when i almost wanted to call off my wedding because of the expenses incurred by my parents over the course of a year. Times were really hard and i never ever imagined having a traditional punjabi wedding. My idea was to go away to this beautiful little temple on a mountain top and get married as the sun rose and sadhus chanting shlokas as the hevens blessed us...
My biggest "demand" was that there be no relatives outside of the immediate family and that i would wear a simple red silk sari. Didn't happen :)
Parents of either side wanted a grand wedding regardless of my wishes. I'm still trying to make sense of it all...still trying to reconcile.
In this blog of mine, i actually wanted to focus on fashion, but i thought being a resource guide for wedding might prove to help this blog get on the map instead. I actually still feel like my wedding ceremony was incomplete :) maybe someday i'll get my dream wedding with my husband!