High wedding expenditure is a disease in Indian society
It surely is one of the most important days in anybody’s life, if not, the most important one. And it is understandable that anybody would be willing to spend close to a fortune for its celebration. Sure enough, wedding expenditures have been estimated to equal one-fifth of the total amount that a person can save in his/her lifetime. Even if the generalisation is overlooked, such expenses, particularly in developing countries like India draw a very drab picture of the sorry state of society. And this does not even include the dowries that are demanded by the groom; yes, it is still prevalent in India under the auspicious garb of conservatism. Clearly enough, in a country whose citizens are still “quite poor”, extravagance in the name of tradition might not just be the right thing to do. For one, the amount of food that is wasted in each of the pretentious ceremonies starting from sangeet can actually feed at least those going hungry in the locality for a week. Surely, it is one’s personal choice to spend money in developing a social bond, but what is appalling is the narrow conservatism that goes hand in hand with showmanship. The Indian wedding extravagance might just be the disease that the larger population in the country needs to be wary about.
Indian weddings are famous for their on-your-face ostentatiousness. It surely is confusing enough to understand why the bands are even invited to play out-of-tune songs; if not just to show-off the neighbours. Added to this are the string of over the top occasions, which do not make sense;for example a Sangeet ceremony can be followed by a Bachelorette party, followed by a Reception and a Cocktail Party; so much for tradition! The point is that spending money just to show-off that one has more than they could have cared is certainly not needed, more so, when the number of divorces and second time marriages are on the rise. Who are being affected in turn are those belonging to the lower and lower-middle income groups, who find the social trends, set by the elites important to be followed, just to be recognised socially. So, while Indian Weddings were mostly noted for their regional flavours, in the past, the mindless ceremonies have clearly made them pretentious.
What has been pointed out so far is the role that elites play in shaping the public consciousness or even the unconscious to a certain degree. This is particularly evident in the rising number of destination weddings and dream honey moons. Surely, one ought to spend wedding wherever he/she wants to, invite however many persons to a place and zoom off to any place after the ceremony, but one also ought to consider the social responsibility. The trend of those who are social influencers that identifies the need for one to behave in certain ways to become famous is all the more ruinous; and who does not want to be famous, even if it comes at the expense of more than three years’ worth of income on a ceremony.
The world is surely becoming a place where pretentiousness and show-off rule. With glamorous celebrity designers bent on creating a phenomenon out of a wedding to rising sport stars making a splash with their out of the world ceremonies, there is no reason not to believe that the wedding day is actually the most important day in one’s life; and spending extravagantly on the wedding day is directly proportional to increasing the social recognition factor. But, is not the whole idea of wedding a mere social construct, and why not some other day, maybe feeding those in need with the first salary, be branded as the most important day in one’s life? It surely would be interesting to see how rising India grows towards tackling the disease of extravagance in weddings or does it?