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How The Concept Of Indian Weddings Is Different?

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By Author: Satjit kumar
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It is quite natural for anyone to assume that the basic purpose of marriage is the same throughout the world. Yet, there are quite a few differences in the wedding ceremony of Indian and other societies. This is not just because the lifestyle and cultural practices of India and the rest of the world are diverse. But also because the philosophy of marriage concept is different. This article attempts to examine the important points highlighting how the concept of Indian weddings is different from Western culture.

• One big difference that we get to see between an Indian and a typical western wedding is the total number of guests invited. Typically, for an Indian wedding, almost all the people known to both the families are invited. In fact, the more the number of guests invited, the better is the event. This is more of a cultural issue that represents the general Indian mindset! The two families consider the wedding an opportunity to connect with as many known people as possible to the extend their financial circumstances allow. A known person in India will feel insulted or slighted if not invited to a wedding event of ...
... a known person.
• On the other hand, a restricted number of guests are invited to a Western wedding; only family, close relatives and friends are present for the event. It is quite normal for people to know about someone getting married without getting an invite to attend.
• In India, the wedding is normally organized quite lavishly in a large wedding halls or hotel banquet hall. The Indian culture believes that wedding is a once in a lifetime event and spending should be substantial.
• But, a wedding in a Western Society takes place in a church, in a relatively simple way. Once the wedding is complete, a reception is organized at a hotel in the vicinity. Even in this context, a Western wedding is comparatively a low-profile event.
• Another key difference is the duration of the event. Generally, a wedding in India is a prolonged event that is celebrated for several days at a stretch. There are many traditional ceremonies before and after the wedding. Apart from these religious ceremonies, they have other gatherings / events to ensure not just the married couple but their friends and relatives get to know each other.
• The corresponding scenario in Western countries is the opposite. This event takes not more than one day and this includes the ceremony in the church and the reception that follows. This ceremony is over in less than an hour and it’s only the reception that goes on for many hours.
• Indian weddings are very liberal in terms of welcoming even those guests who have not been directly invited by either of the families. A guest attending the event can bring along any of their friends/relatives even if they are not covered in the list of invitees.
• With a wedding in any western society, the accepted norm is that one can attend the event only when they receive a formal invitation. So, even if you want any of your friends, family or colleagues to accompany you, it is standard practice to inform and take consent of the hosts.
• In Indian weddings, while the bride’s father is necessitated to bear the costs of the venue and arrange lunch/dinner for the guests. It is not just the wedding of the couple but an event of the extended families from both bride and groom. So many close relatives contribute to the wedding expense. It is not out of place if the uncles, grand parents and first cousins contribute over 25% of the wedding cost. There is no such compulsion for the wedding event in any of the western countries.
• In the West, the aspect of engagement is personal. Once a man proposes and if the woman accepts, he puts a ring on the woman’s finger and, that would be considered as an engagement. Then, the same is shared with family, friends, colleagues and others.
• But in India, for the engagement to be confirmed in a traditional manner requires consent from many people including the bridge and groom.
• Typically, the boy’s family approaches the girls parents for the wedding. If the brides family are interested, they set a time to meet along with some close friends / relatives from both sides and the potential bridge and groom. If the marriage proposal is accepted then a wedding confirmation event or engagement ceremony is held with many dozens or sometimes a few hundred guests.

The above is only a typical process and just to educate about the differences in marriage concepts. There could be many area and community specific procedures that may differ from the typical process

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