A memorable discussion on Indian Weddings with our friend from France!
We were in Madrid and it was the last day of our trip. We thought of spending the last few hours in our hostel, socialising, playing and chilling and I think that was the best decision we made coz what happened there after is something none of us who were on the Bachelorette trip will ever forget.
It was around 10.30 – 11 in the night when we decided to go on the terrace of our hostel and participate in the games organized by them. During this time, we met an Indian residing is States, who was in his mid-30’s. What we learned through our trip is that any Indian who you meet abroad is your family, quite literally. There is an almost instant connection and that is what exactly happened that night. He introduced us to his fellow hostel mate, who was a French guy and around the same age. There after it was the 5 of us who blocked the table for almost 2 to 3 hours and those are the few hours that we still talk and laugh about. So memorable, priceless and funny.
Of all the deep, cultural, religious and funny conversations that we had, the one that I would like to address here, in my blog is on Indian Weddings. By now, our friend from France was aware that we were on a Bachelorette trip and that one of our friends was going to get married soon. Here is where the conversation begun.
We spoke to him about how massive Indian Weddings are and the kind of importance they have in Indian culture and in every parent’s life. In India, parents start saving money for their child’s education and wedding when their child is barely a few months old or even before sometimes. There on, it is a journey that only ends when the child is happily married. The marriage is considered so sacred and significant that all they want is that their child is married off lavishly, into a good family. Decoding the good – A family that is financially well to do and a family that lives, loves and eats together.
There are dreams attached to their child’s wedding that just cannot be compromised even though there’s a lot that may be at stake. It is more like the family getting married than just the groom and bride. The parents are ready to put in their years of savings for this day coz that’s what most parents live for – to see their child marry. We also told him and discussed about the number of events and the rituals that take place during an Indian wedding.
When we took him through the entire chapter of Indian weddings, he surely was amazed but was absolutely shocked when he learnt about number of things taking place in an Indian Wedding.
1. Number of People invited
250 to 300 people is what he initially thought coz that is how it is in their country but to his surprise it was almost 4 times that figure and that is around 1200 or even more. This blew his mind. He just couldn’t get himself to believe this. He turned pale, he couldn’t digest the fact. Just so that he heard correctly he confirmed the fact with us. He expressed his disagreement to inviting the entire village and wasting parents money. All that we ended up doing is explaining him as to why do we do so and hysterically laughing coz his reactions were worth giving all eyeballs and ears.
2. No Gifts, only blessings
Doesn’t end there. After learning about the number of people invited, the topic was bound to be directed towards money, and that happened. In between the conversation we also mentioned to him about how most of the newlyweds don’t accept gifts but only blessings. He couldn’t believe what we said and called us crazy for doing that. He rather advised us to only serve rice and water to all the guests invited for the wedding to save onto the money being spent behind 1200 or more people. If that wasn’t possible he advised us to do one more thing and that was to run away with all the money and spend where the couple would like it.
The culture difference quite shook him. He chose to convince us that all this was wrong and that we were leaving our parents with no money left at the end of this massive affair.
Somewhere downline the line, I did agree to his claims, in my head. Many Families in India, even today go beyond their capacity to spend in their child’s wedding just so that the world witnesses a celebration of a kind …well, maybe not anymore. About time we at least try giving more importance to self and long term plans instead of dedicating a chunk of savings just to show off. The harsh truth indeed where you and I and almost everybody are victims to it, may be willingly or not. Having said that, lavish weddings in not what my concern is but calling the entire world to witness what you can do, is.
It was one absolutely crazy conversation hidden with tad bit disappointment. No Shyttt! Big money is involved. We’re sure most of you'll are on the same page as we are and we’re also sure that there are people out there who have different views but well, that’s my share of thoughts. Behind all the laughter was a little influence and self-realization to bring about a change and use the money wisely and in a way that makes one and all happy. It is tough to change this tradition, very tough, indeed but it is worth the try coz on the other side you just don’t save a lot of money but make sure your wedding is a small, personal and a very special affair which otherwise is difficult.
(Note: The conversation on Indian Weddings was in regards to my generic experience of Indian Weddings. All the views mentioned above are personal to me and I do not intend to offend anyone.)