The burden of lavish marriages
Post by RK News on Tuesday, October 3, 2023
As the marriage season is at its peak in Kashmir valley, a cultural issue has been steadily escalating beneath the surface. It's a trend that is as dazzling as it is concerning - the trend of lavish marriages. Marriage, universally, is a celebration of love, a covenant of companionship, a commitment to share a lifetime together. Kashmiri weddings are no exception. Rooted in rich traditions and rituals, these weddings are indeed a sight to behold. Yet, in recent years, the magnitude of grandeur witnessed at these events has begun to blur the lines between cultural celebration and societal burden. Over the years, the escalating costs of these extravagant weddings have become unsustainable where the average per capita income is far from matching the opulence on display. From ostentatious decor to extravagant feasts, the scale of expenditure is economically burdensome for families, often leading to a cycle of debt that can last for years. What's more, these big feast weddings have begun to bear implications on Kashmir's social fabric. The pressure to match or surpass the grandeur of other weddings has led to a toxic competitive environment. This often leads to families overspending, driven more by societal pressure than the joy of celebration. The sanctity of marriage is thus overshadowed by the pressure to present an ostentatious display of wealth. Furthermore, the gender dynamics at play cannot be overlooked. The brunt of these extravagant weddings often falls on the bride's family, placing an undue burden on them. This perpetuates the regressive dowry system and negatively influences the perception and treatment of women in society. The environmental implications of these lavish weddings are equally concerning. Food wastage is rampant, and the excessive use of resources for decor and illumination contributes to environmental degradation. The need of the hour is to reassess its cultural practices in light of these challenges. The people of Kashmir are renowned for their resilience and adaptability and have the capacity to bring about much-needed change. A shift towards simpler, more sustainable weddings could alleviate financial burdens, reduce societal pressure, promote gender equality, and make a positive environmental impact. In that regard religious leaders, civil society groups and elders can play a significant role in driving this change by advocating for simplicity and sustainability. Educational initiatives can further promote awareness about the adverse impacts of lavish weddings. It is the sanctity of the marriage union, not the scale of the wedding celebration that truly matters. People must ensure that weddings in Kashmir are a celebration of love, not a display of wealth. Let's lighten the burden of wedding expenses and instead invest in the futures of the newlyweds and uphold the true essence of marriage.