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Royal wedding

June 14, 2018


RAFIA Zakaria’s column, ‘Loving the Royals’ (May 23), made for a good read. It seems the respected writer is reading too much into Pakistani society’s viewing of the recent royal wedding.

Perhaps our parents or grandparents who lived through the subcontinent’s colonial past came to be enamoured of everything white, including white pomp.

However, this consistent adulation of everything ‘white’ has not necessarily seeped in to the present generation of Pakistanis.

It was not only Pakistanis who watched the May 19 event and the build-up to it with ‘rapt attention’; the wedding was viewed with the same anticipation and attentiveness by many in other parts of the world. Indeed the drama and suspense preceding the wedding was all that every mainstream media could focus on, sensationalising every morsel of irrelevant information that leaked out, turning it into an episode from a trashy soap opera, and shoving it down our throats on a daily basis.

For most of the world, English is lingua franca. As a result, most of us identify more with American and English cultures than with those of say Spain or the Netherlands. Hence our fascination with the British royal family, especially their weddings.

Perhaps our love for white weddings stems from fairytales we read as young children, such as Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast — classic tales of ordinary people overcoming extraordinary adversity for a normal, heterosexual happy ending.

We all love a good, well-organised happily-ever-after ending. Who can forget the image of the very young, duty-bound prince, marching with his head down in the funeral procession behind his mother’s coffin, struggling to make sense of her death? It has been a pleasure to watch him finally come into his own.

Seemi Saify

Saar Janabiyah, Bahrain

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2018