Weddings – a blessing or a status symbol?

Feb 8, 2012 by     Comments Off on Weddings – a blessing or a status symbol?    Posted under: Opinions

Weddings are a huge part of our lives on this side of the world. Whatever we do or say somehow ends up on the topic of a wedding. Every day when I log on to Facebook, all I see is pictures of an engagement, a wedding reception etc. and the best part is, it’s not even the “wedding season”.

So what is it about this phenomenon of wedding that makes it so important that we feel incomplete without it? Is it the beauty that lies in actual ceremony of two people tying the knot and starting a new life? Or is it just because these functions have become more of a social trend that we MUST follow. There are two sides of weddings that make my guts all woozy.

First is the mind frame of our society when it comes to single girls either exiting their precious teenage years or right out of them. Why is it that girls in Pakistan, who do not attain the security of having a life partner at a very young age, are frowned upon by many? There was a time in the past where early marriages were the ‘in’ thing. However that fashion had disappeared because of the advent of globalization and modernization, where women are given their rights to study and work for as long as they want and then choose when and whom to marry. But once again, we see the return of early marriages, girls are choosing to pursue higher education after their marriage or not pursue them at all. And as far as work is concerned, it is again a personal choice.

But in this extremely messed up state of affairs, lie the ladies who think practically and feel that having a proper degree before hooking up is the sane thing to do. And now they are being punished for having their own opinion about this matter. Family and friends, neighbors, random people who have no business in their lives leave no occasion to tease them for not having settled yet or even engaged, as if there was some technical defect in them which is why they haven’t found the perfect person yet. Let them be. It’s a free world; they will get married whenever they WANT to!

The second aspect of weddings nowadays is the grandeur that is being displayed. All focus when preparing a wedding is on the material side of it rather than concentrating on the actual matrimony of the two individuals. It’s all about the location and decor, farmhouses are the latest prime venue for hi-fi weddings; the exchange of futile extravagant presents between the two families, as if it’s a competition; the dresses, of the bride and groom, the family members, and then the guests as well, it’s like a universal fashion show is taking place; the dance preps, people no longer dance at weddings to show their happiness for the matrimony, rather it’s all mechanical as to who prepares the better item for the audiences to applaud to; and the western/Indian influenced themes and functions, why have we forgotten our own simple yet elegant culture?

As much as I enjoy being a part of these functions, for the fun and excitement of it all, it makes me sad to see the materialistic side of it all, where everything is pre-scheduled and pre-determined (even the innocent ‘rasmein’) which are merely staged for an audience, it’s all just about perfection now. Whatever happened to the depth of emotions behind the whole concept of a marriage?

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