The wedding conundrum: I spent more than you did!

The institution of marriage has turned into a rat race of wealth display!

erum.shaikh August 10, 2012
The political economy of marriage should, perhaps, be introduced as a whole new academic discipline since the one million ordeals surrounding weddings are utterly incomprehensible to an average person. Headache-inducing details involving guests, bookings, appointments, shopping — not to mention the overwhelming amounts of wealth which cushions these — probably necessitate specialised degrees in marriage planning.

The Pakistani society has made a complete joke out of the institution of marriage by turning it into a rat race of wealth display. What can be a simple celebration has been turned into a food and dance festival for the most distant and obscure relatives, most of whom you will probably never meet again. The shocker comes when you learn that parents, proper, ‘oh-so-liberal’ and educated parents, have been saving up for years only so they can feed free biryani to 1,500 people on a hotel’s pool side one night.

The gift economy seems to be in full swing as each family seems to be engaged in a sort of interstate arms race with each other, trying to undo the other’s upper hand by reciprocating with presents which are, at least, a notch above what they’ve received. This inane competition is oddly reminiscent of political realism. Who said the Balance of Power theory fails to explain the world?

The funniest side of the issue is that new excuses to throw money are constantly being sought. When viewed in light of soaring divorce rates in the country, this senseless squander makes as much sense as joota chupai does. Choreographed dances, professional photographers and exorbitant designer wear are now integral parts of a ‘decent’ wedding.

One completely fails to understand the idea of overpriced bridal wear when the entire toilette is supposed to be used for only one night, and then discarded without remorse as the alarming pace of changing trends deem it ‘out of fashion’.

What’s curious to note is that lavish wedding ceremonies are not at all met with scorn. Agreed, celebrations and rituals are the binding forces for people, in which family, friends and relatives reunite. However, moderation and frivolity in spending on such celebrations should also be borne in mind.

Read more by Faiza here. 


Sane | 11 years ago | Reply @Raw is War: Has commented: simple solution. Have less kids. You talk nonsense always. Seems do not have enough knowledge to discuss any subject.
zehra | 11 years ago | Reply i guess too generalised but it is not only the liberals or the elite that are spending so much even the lower classes are forced ot spend to meet dowery dmeands and other"social customs" my maid gets several months pay advance for her sons barat ( as she has to give gifts to all who come from punjab, house them for the wedding, pay for thier travel) in addition to the food and barat arrangemtne!! i asked her when you cant do that dont invite all or dnt take laon to buy gifts ,she said karna pata hai , biradari mei izzat ka sawal hai. so it is too gernalised of you to lable it only on the choreographed dances and lavish setups, those who can will do those who cant should have the sense to realsie and accept it anf do it within the limits. my sister got married we managed everything in moderation and it was all done tasetfully yet within our budget. we knew we wont be affording pc or marriot or a seven course meal and we ddnt od that, nor a wedding planner , we sat with the caterer did our own theme chose the deocr and wrapped it up in less than half of the budget that would have been if we opted for pc marriot or a wedding planner!!
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