MARRIAGE is an institution, a covenant or a bond between a man and a woman or a commitment between two individuals. This cultural institution also has religious underpinnings. Religion and cultural traditions have always influenced this institution.
Due to the cultural influence, people have started to think that a marriage is incomplete without the traditions and beliefs handed down to us from our forefathers. Thus, no one questions these traditions and beliefs.
In many cases, these traditions are meaningless and burdensome. Fascinating as these rituals may seem from the outside, they have a life-changing impact on the people tying the knot and their families.
The custom of a meet and greet between the prospective bride and groom seems so out of place in the 21st century but is a cultural norm in Pakistan.
The family goes to see the prospective bride or groom like they are going to look at cattle at the farm. Then, once everything is settled and done, the dowry becomes an issue — how much is expected, what should be given, is it enough. Why hold on to such stressful and expensive traditions? Parents should be allowed to give their children whatever they like — a small piece of jewellary or decoration item. There should be no price tag on love.
Sometimes I feel like we live in a society where we are not allowed to think out of the box. We are not allowed to talk about our concerns openly. We are not allowed to cry if we are hurt.
People forget that the times are changing, and soon these traditions that people hold on to will be no more.
We must think critically, we must weigh our options before making a decision... we must remember that we have the right to think for ourselves.
Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2019