A new insight on the development of our culture and the emerging generations' views on Hindu wedding ceremonies. Are our Gujarati weddings heading towards a new approach? Gujarati wedding have now taken a new approach. Young people want their marriages to be performed in complete silence with a proper explanation in English from the priest, during the ceremony.
Young couples who get married according to the Gujarati ceremony with their partners of Hindu origin or of another denomination wish to understand their wedding ceremony. They feel that if they are asked to participate in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony they deserve a full English explanation. Sometimes even their parents are not able to offer a reasonable explanation on the ceremony.
Do we attend the wedding ceremony for socializing? Most of our Gujarati marriages are an event where 700 – 1000 people walk about talking and socializing with loud Bollywood music heard while the wedding is taking place. No one is taking any notice about what is happening in the mandap during the ceremony, and to be honest, they don't care. It is like a cattle market type atmosphere. It is no wonder our youngsters don't go to Gujarati weddings as there is little for them to learn about our culture and traditions.
At Gujarati weddings the Maharaj begins by asking everyone to remain silent during the wedding. Within the first 10 minutes of the wedding around 7% of the guests will go to the bar or go outside if it is a sunny day and have a cigarette. They will talk about the advice they would like to give George Bush if he was to ring them on resolving the Middle East issue.
The couple spend around £40 to £85 per person at their wedding, is it worth having these guests on your wedding list, even if they are your friends and family? Other cultures have their wedding ceremonies carried out in silence and with discipline. If our Gujarati people go to these weddings they will be at their best behaviour. When it comes to our Gujarati weddings they will run a mock.
Do we invite people for the wedding ceremony or are we in a race with the last wedding we attended and blowing the valuable funds which could be spent wisely for the better future of our children? Do we parents need to change or bring the change? Some of our middle aged members of the community are finding this difficult to accept as they think by not sending the invitation to a friend or a relative may bring an end to the relation. They want to meet friends and socialize and have the variety of food.
Are we in a race of exhibiting of showing the highest numbers of invitees by stretching our selves’ financially? Do the parents have the time to meet and greet all the invitees during the ceremony?
Can these unnecessary spending spent in a better way? May be to support our children and their partners to build up their better future? Is it now the right time to think!!!!!! What do our today’s youngsters want? Youngsters have now set their minds on a new tradition where the ceremony will be conducted in silence and the priest will explain in English to the couple and the guests exactly what is taking place and why.
Our culture is in the hands of the young people, they will be taking it forward into the next generation when we are not around. I say let them dictate how they want their wedding to be carried out as it is one of the most important days of their lives.
My support is completely with the young couples, if you want a beautiful wedding that people will remember, get a priest who will explain in Gujarati & English after all it’s important to understand the vows and commitments you are undertaking. We are simply asking our guests for approx 75mins of their time to remain silent and witness the ceremony.
Costly venues are making it difficult to have weddings of thousands of people. So, a small list of 200 friends and family who appreciate the wishes of the young couple by remaining silent during the wedding are invited to the wedding and the rest will have to settle for an invitation to the reception, if they are lucky.
Guests who are finding it difficult to accept and ignore the wishes of the young people will find their names missing from the wedding list. The wedding lists for the guests and relatives are getting shorter.
This article is copyright to Rajubhai Pandya
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