Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – Of Traditions, Conservatism and Giving… by Balroop Singh

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?

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

©Balroop Singh.

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

Bette A. Stevens 5.0 out of 5 stars Wise & Wistful October 14, 2018

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/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/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.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

Thank you for dropping in today and to Balroop for her thought provoking post..We would love to hear from you..

If you would like to share some posts from your archives that deserve to be read again and by a different audience, as well as promote your work.. then this is how…

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

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44 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – Of Traditions, Conservatism and Giving… by Balroop Singh

  1. Hi Sally thank you for featuring this post from Balroop Singh. I was so interested to read this about the Indian Wedding and Marriage traditions. I am even more enamoured of you Balroop to see you think the whole dowry and gift giving thing is antiquated. It is as you say an awful burden on a family regardless of whether they are rich or poor to have to keep the tradition up. As you say some women are open to mental and physical abuse even as you say murder.
    Where I come from in the UK the modern wedding is biased towards the bride and her family. My husband and I always made sure our parents were treated equally. But in my case as in many a grooms mother in the UK we are secondary. Outfits geared for mother of the bride, (I know it’s only a title but hey) the bride and her mum always has more say in the planning of the wedding than the groom’s family.
    I do realize it is much less extreme than what you are talking about but it is noticeable. I think we all need to look at the ridiculous amounts of money spent on a day .. weddings are just the first day of a marriage which is more important.
    I think east and west have still a lot to learn . 🌹

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Willow and I agree with you.. and with getting on the property ladder such an issue, I think I would opt for a quiet wedding, homegrown party for friends and the money going towards a deposit. Some of the demands by brides, especially those who pick exotic locations and expect guests to fund flights, hotel and give gifts is taking the michael as they say here… It is a very special day but it is about the two people involved not as often is the case 200 people that they barely know… I will get comments!!!!! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      • So will I because I have always thought this. Such a dreadful waste. Marriage is the important thing not the wedding. 🌹🌹 we had a lot of family and friends at our wedding but everything was done on a shoestring, borrowed here, a friend who made cakes, some who had a posh car and chauffeur’s hat, a pub near where my father in law worked with a room and garden.. we had fun but we put our money on our first flat 🤭

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s interesting, Robbie. In the US, the bride’s family pays most of the wedding and banquet. The groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner and a few things. I bought two wedding planners for Mercy to use. The two families pretty much followed what was recommended as far as who pays what. I gave a reasonable budget to Mercy and she did all the planning – chose the church for the wedding and a banquet facility, guests to invite (included some of my family members).

        In Chinese tradition, it’s the groom’s family pays most of the wedding cost, and the groom;s parents do the planning (in my nephew’s January wedding, my sister did all the planning).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing the traditions of families around you Willow. While I appreciate the wish of celebrating such an important event, it should not be a compulsion for anyone, more so for those who can’t afford it. India is famous for “big fat weddings” of the rich and the famous. Nobody pays any attention to the wishes of the bride and the groom as it is all about families and traditions, not about the two persons, as Sally says.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A fascinating post, Balroop. I didn’t know this as my Indian friends have never discussed this topic. In Africa, there is a similar custom but it is the other way around. The man must pay for the bride. Once that happens, she belongs to him and everything that is hers becomes his. In English tradition, the bride had a dowry that she took to her new home. Historically, of course, married woman had no rights and only men could inherit and have ownership of property.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s good to hear that men too pay for the bride! Lawfully everything does belong to the bride once she starts living with her husband but who cares for laws when culture and traditions say otherwise. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Robbie.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Robbie, in the old Chinese tradition, the groom’s family pays the dowry to the bride’s family. When my brother was going to marry his then-girlfriend, her mom wants to invite the whole village to the wedding banquet. In the old days. the groom and his family paid the debt years after the wedding. Well, my brother refused to pay for the banquet. He just waited for many years and of course they were getting old (several years older). The mom of his girlfriend got worried that his daughter was getting old and reduced the demand significantly… 🙂 and they got married. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A shocking peek into Indian marriage customs and traditions, Balroop… So many of our cultural norms of the past really need to be updated. It reminds me of parents I know who take out loans to pay for extravagant weddings–things that don’t make a marriage. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for sharing the Indian wedding traditions, Balrrop. It’s fascinating and it’s more involved than Chinese wedding, at least the modern Chinese wedding. In the old tradition, the marriage was arranged and the groom’s family paid the dowry to the bride’s family.

    Liked by 1 person

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