Indian Weddings, funerals, customs, extravagances, and foreign aids

vandana7 By vandana7, 22nd May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Weddings

The kind of money people are willing to spend on Indian weddings and funerals is mind boggling. If we have that much money within the country, why do we go around with begging bowl for foreign aids?

Indian weddings are an ostentatious display of wealth

I am not joking. It burns a big fat hole in the pockets of the girl's parents but which girl is objecting.

The tone, unfortunately, is set by rich folks. We have had Chief Minister of a State, Ms. Jayalalitha, spending a lot of money for marriage of her friend's son. We've had family member of a former Chief Minister (Mr. Chandrababu Naidu) showing off the wedding on television channel. Madhav Rao Scindia too spent a fortune on his daughter's wedding.

Obviously, those who get to see that decide their son should have similar or something similar. The customs trickle down to the lowest level.

Nothing less than $150,000 is spent on a wedding! And may be equal amount on clothes and favors, not to mention food. 150 varieties! I was reading about Jain community trying to bring it down to 41. But even that is way too much!

There is dancing on streets, loud music (sorry I can't call hammering on drums as music) or for that matter wrong notes on other musical instruments. But all such things are almost mandatory in Indian weddings.

Did I forget crackers? Oh yes...they have plenty of those making a lot of noise, as if the number of guests and their children and various catering service staff members are not doing the job of creating sufficient din. Crackers pollute the environment. Educated ones know it, but they don't care. It never occurs to them that it might be their grand child who will suffer with acute health problems in future. They live for the moment.


You would think funerals would be more sombre. But not always. The older the person who is dying gets, more noisy the the house becomes. Some cry to show affection, and in no time move around to other guests discussing jobs, clothes, children, blah blah. Others cry because they fear what future has in store for them. Few genuinely feel for the "dear departed". The mourning phase ends abruptly with a grand dinner in which all the favorite foods of the dear departed are spread out. This too becomes an occasion for socializing and developing business contacts. Favors are given here as well.


I was told that traditionally, people invited as many known and respected people from same town, and three from each of the four direction for every wedding. Effectively it was kind of obligation for these outsiders to almost become like a legal protection system for the newly wed. It was an honor to be invited. These outsiders traveled the distance on foot, or other modes of transport, back then, like bullock carts to bless and take charge of the responsibility given to them. As to local people, the only reason they were invited were because they knew the child, and would no longer be seeing her once she left for her in-laws place.

Engagements and receptions were almost entirely close family functions.

Now, people develop business contacts and new acquaintances at the weddings, engagements, and receptions.

The wedding saree (no Indian woman, however well she is educated, will fore go wearing those), can cost anywhere from $150 upwards, and it is not going to be only one saree. She may get three or four of those. Ironically, that is the only time she uses those. These sarees are heavy, and need maintenance as well. How kanjeevarams got linked to wedding is anybody's guess. It is marketing technique that is now deeply rooted inside culture.

I blame the traveling convenience for such increase in ostentatious stuff.

Indian funerals and "dins" were special because when a family is bereaved, it is difficult for them to cook. The neighbors, relatives, and acquaintances take charge. They provide even for guests coming to pay homage to the dead, and console the survivors. Once the guests stop arriving, the family repays the helpful neighbors by holding those days and giving them favors that would cover their expenses.

Something as sweet and considerate as that in customs has been manipulated into becoming an opportunity for socializing with several varieties of food on dining tables, much of which is wasted of course.

Foreign aids

I feel Indians should develop some self respect. As long as the country goes to other nations with begging bowl, seeking aids, or monetary help, or even jobs, such ostentatious stuff should be banned in the country. It is like rubbing salt on the wounds of those homeless in their country. Why only those? Even on the belly of the poor man dying on the streets because of excessive heat. Surely, that money would have been better utilized by helping the poor who die in heat wave?

When a politician does it, it should be looked down and he or she should not be re-elected

If they know that there are poor in the country, and they know the extent of poverty, and they still draw remuneration, then they and their family members should be banned from any future elections. Such inconsiderate expenditure should be termed "anti-national".


Customs, Extravagances, Foreign Aids, Funerals, Indian Weddings

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author avatar vandana7
Hi...I suddenly remember ABBA ..I am nothing special...hope you like what I write, and I like what you write.

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author avatar snerfu
22nd May 2015 (#)

All social customs have a deeper social significance which in most cases is money. Marriage is consummated to consolidate wealth or to prove superiority. Like most things in our society ..I am talking about newspapers and telegraph...I think marriage is also looking actively for a horizon to disappear over. I may be wrong, but I could be right! (like the song goes). Test tube babies and gene matching will be the future of mankind, and anyone who disagrees can stand in line, pick a number and...(it goes KMA).
Not you two though, you can disagree with me till doomsday and beyond. Okay?

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author avatar snerfu
22nd May 2015 (#)

Sorry I meant Siva as the other protagonist in this murky tale. No disregards Siva and Vandana.

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author avatar vandana7
22nd May 2015 (#)

Marriages are to give the child two parents instead of one. :) Therefore, if one parent dies, there will at least be another one for the child. Human concept. I am not sure marriages are there in animals though they fight for mates. lol. I also think marriages are to provide an anchor as the previous generation (parents) cease to exist.

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author avatar vandana7
22nd May 2015 (#)

No offense taken. :) Siva seems to have deleted his comment. :) Thanks for dropping by and saying nice things. :)

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author avatar Ptrikha
25th May 2015 (#)

It is sad to see people taking loans and going in financial stress owing to their daughters' marriage expenses. It is time for the society as a whole to ponder as to the real meaning of being modern, and in my own dictionary anything that results in misery for people ought to be done away with.

Also, some show-off is ok, but then excess of anything is bad.

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