Wedding – Day of Blessing or Sheer Display of Wealth?

By Zarlish Wazir.

Wedding bells are ringing everywhere and why they wouldn’t?  It’s the ultimate wedding season. You might also have a couple of weddings to attend this weekend or the coming week.  You may also be worried about the dresses you are supposed to wear on the wedding or your appointment at the saloon and spa.

The great celebrations of a wedding in East and particularly in South Asia make them distinctive globally.  The colorful dresses, amazingly tasty food and the interesting rituals performed at the time of the wedding make it unique for people around the world. But unfortunately, over the last couple of years, wedding celebrations have turned super grand, making it a status symbol. We had been witnessing coinage of new traditions and customs.  Marriage, which previously was the celebration of new relations and bondage of two families, is now a sheer show of luxury and wealth.

Firstly, if we draw a parallel, while deciding the groom for their daughter, the parents of the bride are no longer concerned  much about the character, moral values of the groom to be, in fact the only important quality they look for is his bank balance and the amount of ‘sona’ they will bless their daughter with. Moreover, now days we have seen a great trend in a destination wedding, arranging the whole wedding on any particular thematic destination. Weddings in Pakistan are now a multi-day event.  Starting off with a Nikkah, bridal shower then pre-wedding party after which a Milad is arranged which is followed with mayo then Sangeet then Mehndi after which Rukhsati and finally Reception ceremony. I mean it’s more like a TV soap which is never ending.  And of course, how can we forget about the dance performances on Bollywood songs which are performed by the cousins and friends of both the bride and groom. Highly paid choreographer is hired for the practice and rehearsals of the dances which are started for almost six months ago. And the favorite part of the wedding for most of the people is ‘Food’, a variety of dishes are served in the weddings which are wasted immensely by the masses.

If we talk about the bridal dress, as the designer mania or brand mania has engulfed the whole nation, the bride too wants her dress to be a designer piece of worth millions of rupees.  Recently the longest wedding in Pakistan of ‘Anush and Munib’; the granddaughter of former Senator of Pakistan ended.  It was one of the most luxurious and grand wedding of Pakistan.  The images and the videos of their wedding were flowing through the social media for quite some time. A wedding like these are now an ideal wedding for young girls and all they want is a fairy tale moment on their big day I mean they are no longer worried about how well will their married life be. And if someone advises the Bride, to keep it a bit simple they come up with a number of excuses like you get married only once, yeah it’s not YOLO but YOGMO… rolf.

In a nutshell, a huge amount of money, time and resources are just wasted in weddings now days in Pakistan which is so disappointing. Parents instead of preparing both the Bride and Groom for their future married life, which is not going to be a bed of roses, they supervise these grand preparations of the day. I think it’s the high time we need to work in abolishing these senseless rituals and customs which were originally never part of our culture. Furthermore, which have contributed a lot to make our society more materialistic and status-conscious.  Marriage is about two people who vow to live together for the rest of their life, sharing every up and down of the path together, it’s not just about extremely expensive dresses, diamond jewelry and not to forget the curse of Dowry. We need to stop all this not only because it does not represent our society but also it affects a larger part of our population; middle class’ and ‘upper middle class’. It becomes highly inconvenient for them to marry their daughters according to the latest trends. In this regard, women, in particular, can play a major role, as they are the one who are decisive in the matters of weddings and celebrations. We need to dismantle this notion of super grand weddings not only to hold back to our cultural values and traditions but also to highlight that being Muslims, we are supposed to promote simplicity. The irony lies in the fact that these grand celebrations are not the guarantee of a happy life, what is important is their mental compatibility and the amount of love that they share, with these they don’t need superficial arrangements to make their day special all they need is a right life partner to make their life special.

Writer is an English literature student and hails from Islamabad.

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