Delighted to share the fourth but hopefully not last of Balroop Singh’s posts from her archive. This week Balroop shares the customs of a traditional Indian wedding.
Of Traditions, Conservatism and Giving…
Indian weddings are a spectacular show of wealth, wedged in traditions, rituals and extravagant customs.
They appear to be blissful happy occasions of celebration…till you peep behind the drapes!
Recently I had to be an obligatory part of all this razzmatazz, watching and wondering…when will we get out of these age-old cultural compulsions, which have been imposed on us.
“Sometimes tradition and habit are just that, comfortable excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust and unworthy.”—Matthew Scully.
Traditions are woven into the web of our life, I know, but I always thought and convinced myself that they evolve with time.
How utterly…extremely erroneous were my thoughts, in hoping for brighter times!
The brides in India still belong to antiquity!
They may be highly educated, having the best of job placements, sometimes even earning more than the prospective grooms BUT…
They HAVE to bring along unlimited amount of gifts, which are all given by her father, rich or poor, all have to follow this tradition.
On the receiving end are the brazen parents of the bridegroom, whose mouths, as wide open as that of a crocodile, remain open!
They don’t have to give anything in return.
Traditions blind us, compel us to keep honoring them due to societal pressures but aren’t we part of the society?
Isn’t it our responsibility, especially that of the younger generation to break away from those norms which almost choke us, make us bankrupt, kill and burn our brides?
Yes, the youngsters do break some norms only when they want to!
But they remain mute spectators to the age-old system of giving and giving and giving….when they receive along with the bride!!
The Indian tradition of giving a daughter away is, in itself, an incomparable generosity in global history. She is expected to be a part of groom’s family, perform all household chores, bear and rear children, respect all the whims and fancies of her in-laws and stay away from her own parents and siblings.
She has to become a channel of continuous flow of money and gifts from her parents, who are expected to keep on giving, all their life!
All this in the name of traditions!!!
“Tradition is the prison where change is detained… To make a change, you need to agree that you are not going with the statement “this is how we do it”! Yes, that was how it was done, but what next? Agree to change!”—Israelmore Ayivor
When will we free ourselves from these age-old shackles?
When will we free ourselves from the fear of such a despotic society?
The historical significance of the so-called dowry should have faded long ago when laws were framed against this system.
“Dowry was prohibited by law in 1961 with the purpose of banning the demanding, giving and taking of dowry. Although providing dowry is illegal, it is still common in many parts of India for a husband to seek a dowry from the wife’s family, in some cases leading to extortion or violence against the wife.”
Not that I was unaware of this, not that I have never complained or criticized this type of blatant one-sided giving.
Recently I witnessed this tradition of giving and expecting unlimited gifts, which gave me a feeling of revulsion, almost to the point of revolt.
Shouldn’t educated and socially aware couples rise against this?
Isn’t it discrimination to expect gifts only from the bride’s family?
Why are we so helpless? Why are we enslaved by traditions?
Why are we expected to follow such an oppressive dogma of giving a daughter away?
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Picture credit: Etawau.com, elegantindianwedding.com
Here is Balroop’s latest release Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.
About Timeless Echoes
Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.
Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.
While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.
One of the reviews for the collection
In “Timeless Echoes,” the author searches within to share the trials and tribulations of life in unique poetic imagery that delves deeply into the human spirit echoing within each of us. Love of nature, love of family, grace and forgiveness are among the themes encompassed in Singh’s timeless collection.
Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/
Also by Balroop Singh
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U
Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh
About Balroop Singh
Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.
She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.
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