Matches are made in heaven, and marriages are a social validation to this. Though I don’t agree with labelling relationships to emphasize its sincerity, marriages are really a beautiful way to express your love for your significant other.
Weddings thus constitute a bunch of days to celebrate the joy of being together. Mind you, marriage is the institution that runs throughout its life, while a “wedding” is its opening ceremony.
But this process isn’t always as beautiful as the wedding on the face of it. Every word behind the beautiful music played at a wedding is haunted by the age-old traditions that should have been discontinued.
It’s okay to follow culture since it represents our faith. Like family belongings, properties and skills, there are rituals and traditions that passed down. To follow these would have made sense due to the unshakeable patriarchy of the previous centuries that sparsely continues to exist even now, but now it’s just senseless.
The most notoriously notable one- the dowry system. Though banned in the 1960s, it still continues to exist in the hands of the uneducated, and the hands of the cunningly powerful. This system is so deep-rooted in our culture that the bride’s family willingly provides dowry without any external catalyst because the very fear of failing to keep up their honour of having an abundance of money makes them actively follow these customaries themselves.
Morally, wedding expenses must be divided into 2 halves between the families. The idea of the bride’s family spending entirely came from the fact that since the girl wouldn’t financially contribute to the family, her family would pay a compensation in advance for her reliability for it on her husband ( though almost in all cases the girl doesn’t ask for not taking up a job, nor does she remain idle without doing the housework for her expenses to be “compensated”). But why is it still continuing now? Having a job or not, women contribute equally to the family by her labour and converting them to financial or visible results, and this custom is nothing short of miscalculated stupidity.
Thankfully, it doesn’t happen in many parts of India, but it continues to happen for generations in some parts. The bloodstain during the first night of a newly-wed couple determines the girl’s virginity, and her worthiness and admissibility to her husband’s home are based on that. First, leave open-minded ideas about sex before marriage aside. One can break their hymen (that results in blood flow) easily by normal physical activities. Some women aren’t even born with one. No amount of money put in science helped break the sex-talk taboo in India, that will make this basic knowledge spread.
And yes, guys don’t lose their virginity at all. Only girls. (Sarcasm).
And in this way, there are still a lot of big and little things so tied up to tradition that it becomes impossible to cut it out without breaking off a piece of our culture itself. But “culture” doesn’t always mean right. The ways of our ancestors were primitive, thus the base on which our traditions were found was itself unethical.
One fun little activity you could do is try getting married (if you aren’t married already) by bending all traditions to make it less sexist and ethical. Record all objections on tape from family for some wholesome fun.
Image Sources: Google Images
Sources: Times Of India, The Economic Emergence of Women by Barbara R. Bergmann
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