Wedding bells of change

The Asian Age.  | Pratyusha Chatterjee

Life, More Features

Indians, getting bored with the age-old traditions, have found innovative ways to celebrate their big day, which impacts the society in many ways.

Ornaments may not be of gold, but they can still make one happy.

The wedding season is knocking on our doors and a generation of would-be brides and grooms are waiting enthusiastically to start their family lives. Elaborate Indian wedding traditions have influenced people from across the globe come to our country to tie their wedding knots. Nuseir Yassin (also known as Nas Daily), a renowned travel blogger and social media influencer, came to India and fake-married his girlfriend after being enamoured by the rituals here. But in spite of the love for our culture, the days of big-fat weddings in India seems to be slowly but steadily fading away.

Indians, getting bored with the age-old traditions, have found innovative ways to celebrate their big day, which impacts the society in many ways. A couple of years ago, Jitendra Patel aka Jitubhai set a unique example when he invited 18,000 widows in his younger son Ravi’s wedding from five different districts of Gujarat. Where, in our country, inviting a widow in any auspicious occasion is considered to be unlucky, for the businessman their blessing was as pure as any others.

On the topic, Aanchal, who is getting married to an army officer next year, feels that weddings are no longer just a ceremony and celebration where food, rituals and satisfying each other’s family are of prime importance. She chirps, “Marriages give your life a direction. If you start your conjugal life with a good deed, the feeling will stay on with you for a lifetime. That’s enough of a reason to think for others in your own wedding. I will definitely want that instead of showering expensive gifts and making our wedding a social-status symbol, our families use the money for those who are in extensive need. A simple wedding with a social cause would make me happier than a big-fat-Indian-wedding.”

For some, however, simple wedding celebrations are less about doing a charitable deed but more of a personal choice. Divya, whose wedding is also arranged in January next year, shares, “Wedding according to me will always be celebrating the coming together of two families. If the family wants to celebrate it in a royal way and that makes them happy I am all in for it. As for good deeds, I can do it any day and every day. Good work should be done in silence. And, even if you have a good heart, doing all these social stuff is going to bring you a lot of attention. I don’t want that at my wedding. I would rather like it to be a private affair.”

There are many more stories of unique wedding celebrations spread across various corners of our country. Young Aditya Tiwari became the youngest Indian citizen to fight and win for the adoption of a child with Down syndrome. Later, when he decided to get married, instead of family and relatives, 10,000 orphans, aged and homeless were invited to the ceremony. While someone had asked for books as Mehr in a wedding recently, somewhere else a bride had asked for thousands of saplings as wedding gifts.

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These initiatives occurring on a daily basis in our vast nation has given our Indian weddings a ceremony that has started to contribute towards the social cause by setting very unique examples. Pallabi Banerjee, a social worker and another would-be-bride says, “I wish I can invite stray dogs to my wedding. Their presence makes me happy and I definitely deserve to be happy on my wedding day. But, in most of the cases, the families don’t allow the bride and groom to think out of the box. According to them, the wedding rituals become the matter the most and even the opinion of the boy and the girl stop counting.” This scenario has finally started to change as the young generation has started voicing their opinion and making their weddings a meaningful one rather than making it a mere celebration event.