Changing Wedding Traditions in South Asia
Time was when some of Pakistani weddings could go for as long as two months, what with the awesome rituals of Dholki & Mayun etc, but not just the time now…traditions too have changed. So is the case with modern Pakistani wedding customs. The rituals that would start some month or two before the actual wedding function, have now sidled back into a very confined cocoon of time.
South Asia and wedding
It wasn’t long ago that the families of grooms would keep on visiting the bride-to-be’s family for months to have them accept the proposal & give them the hand of the lady of the family in marriage with their boy. The bride’s family would take as much time as they would please to finalize the new relation as opposed to the modern trend of getting it all finalized as soon as the bride’s family feels satisfied about the relatives-to-be.
Love marriages at that time were totally out of question of course & were treated with contempt if they became inevitable. Also marrying your daughter out of baradri or then the caste was sometimes as horrendous a crime as the “love marriage” itself was. However the concepts of intermarriages & also love marriages are changing like any other thing in our society.
South Asia society
& then there used to be those awesome wedding rituals that now sound absurd to the young generation or else have been taken over by a modern form.
Like the groom used to come to bride’s house on a decorated horse, on barat. Whereas now his horse is his decorated car. Also the bride was sent to her new house in a palanquin, which too now is the car that the groom uses.
The couple wasn’t allowed to see each other in olden times, even after the newly married girl reached the house of his husband & there would never be co-gatherings in marriages at that time. However, today, the couple can sit together at any ritual of their marriage ceremony, from mehndi to nikkah to barat to walima. Not just that but the traditional “ghongat” of bride has given way to always-evolving new Dopatta styles of the bride & in some weddings, even the Dopatta is replaced altogether with diadems or garlands. But most of the times, the traditional bridal dresses remain the same, even if just in essence, with those of the olden times.
But no matter how changed the time & society now is, our awesome traditions at weddings still remain the least-westernized traditions of all.