Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Expensive Wedding Ceremonies in Pakistan

Our wedding ceremonies in Pakistan are very lavish. For the parents in Pakistan, all their kids are very special. So they show their love and money on their wedding ceremonies. Many wedding ceremonies are very royal. I can only imagine if these are weddings in our times, how they would be in the good old days of Mughal emperors.

I think many families in Pakistan can afford all the bling-bling. However, it creates unnecessary pressure for the not-so well to do families to have equal or better ceremonies for their kids. For a wedding, there are expenditures for the avenue, food, clothes, jewelry, etc.  The average wedding in U.S. costs around $29000 which is around Rs.2500000. According to U.S. Bureau of Stats, http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/statemedian/index.html, the average 3-family income is $51,184. This is equivalent to Rs. 4452834.00. However, in Pakistan, a buying a car alone can cost over Rs.10,00,000. According to UNICEF, http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/pakistan_pakistan_statistics.html, our national per capita income is $1020.00. This equates to about Rs. 88740.00 per year.  Now we have a tradition of buying a car for the daughters too. I think it is all good if one can afford, but for others, it becomes difficult to meet the expectations of the society. Then they try to emulate others whatever it takes. Sometimes it takes to sell a property, take a loan on the property and putting other necessary items of life on the back burner and  wedding expenses first.

Punjab government in Pakistan tried to put a hold on this by limiting the food to only one dish ceremony. That helped a lot to many people. As the country was facing tremendous loadshedding during this year, the government played its part in regulating the weddings by placing a cut-off time of 10 pm in the country. The weddings were supposed to end by this time or the lights were to be shut down for the ceremony. So, that was helpful in saving some money there for the individuals and the country.

So there are steps which have been taken by the government to limit the wedding expensiveness, but this is only a drop in the ocean. Everybody needs to play their part to show that someone does not have to be on the top of the world to show how the excessive weddings should be. For the sake of argument, if the money saved from all the luxuries are given to the newly weds, I am sure that money will go a long way and help the newly weds to get on their feet for a better financial future. But this is only my opinion. I am sure many individuals will differ from my point of view. But as a society, I think we should ponder about our choices and what kind of traditions and values we are establishing for our generations to come.

Lastly, the weddings should bring peace, happiness and longevity between the newly weds and not the unnecessary pressures on their parents to meet the society's expectations. The idea is to create an environment for our kids to grow and be themselves. The importance of the wedding ceremonies go far beyond the day it took place.

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