The grand gathering in Kashmiri weddings has many nostalgic experiences to offer. Everything appears to be royal and glorious unless you are familiar with the festering issues. The enjoyment vanishes when you realize that the irrational customs have infected our traditions and they are spreading like a plague.

We need to get rid of these useless customs as they lead to unwanted problems. Not to mention, they leave a bad impression of our culture and traditions as well. Here are 9 customs, which if changed we will have peaceful weddings.

1. Late baraat time

Three days of hectic schedule and the unrelenting cascade of ceremonies drains the life out of the couple and everyone else, leaving them begging for sleep. Imagine the baraat departing at night around 10 or 11 pm reaching the bride’s avenue around midnight. This is no less than torture.

At the time of Mehraaz Saal, the groom is made to sit on masnand specially made of the finest silk. After which the host serve the dishes to the Mehraaz along with the baraatis.

The softness of masnand acts like an intoxicant which makes the groom even more drowsy. The drowsiness makes the food hard to chew and swallowing it becomes a nightmare for everyone. It will not be surprising if their face falls flat on the dish they are served!

Don’t even get me started about the poor bride. The fear and excitement of going to a new house is already killing her. And then, there’s the gigantic lehnga that she has to live in for hours.

Allah Khair!

2. Late lunchtime

Looks like we are obsessed with delaying everything. Delaying lunchtime has become very common in our weddings. So much that we are a few steps away from creating a fancy name for it! That’s because it’s neither lunch nor dinner.

In this particular crime, everyone is involved – the host and the guest alike. If you look deeper into this issue, the guests are timeless and the host has to confirm. If the invitation card says lunch is at 1 pm, the royal guests arrive at 4 pm. Sadly, some people delay it unnecessarily waiting for a few more people while disrespecting the time of people who are already there.

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Everyone should value time as it will make conducting weddings a lot easier.   

3. Variety of juices

The charm of status is such that everyone is enslaved by it. A recent example of this is the variety of juices offered at the wedding as refreshment.

‘Akh juice kus chu thawan az. Lukh kya wanan, zan-ni kihin osukh’

If you are thinking the same, you need to reconsider it. What is the need? If one variety can serve the purpose then why keep three? It’s better to keep a water bottle instead of multiple verities of juice.

There are plenty of other reasons for your guest to be happy about, like the marriage itself!

4. Fancy dry fruit boxes

Another example of the enslavement is serving dry fruits in two fancy looking dry fruit boxes, where a bowl can serve the purpose just fine.

‘Kawliyan manz kus chu diwan, Lukh kya wanan, zan-ni kihin osukh’

Waah janaab, kya baat! Sahi kaha aapne. Abh toh kagazi dibbe chinni mitti se jada kimti maloom hote hain! Spending money on fancy boxes is a complete waste of money and we even consider it a scam.

“Jagiye Janaab, aap loote ja rahe hain!”

5. Keeping money in the dry fruit boxes

This criminal custom is the definition of cringe! Of course, children would be happy receiving 50 or 100 rupees. But it appears to be weird and utterly useless to the adult guests.

If you are not someone who needs to bribe your guest to attend your function, then you have no reason to do it.

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6. Huge edible items

Serving big size of almost any edible item has become a trend in our weddings. This is a consequence of social acceptance. Take the case of pastry served to special guests. The portion size is so big that it can easily satiate the cravings of two guests.

Humble servings have no harm to it. Even the guests feel like not having it for it will go waste if they eat only half. Have some mercy on them.

Dua denge aapko!

7. Applying mehndi on Malmaenz

Our ancestors allotted proper time and ceremony known as Maenzraat to adore the bride with mehndi. There are some who apply mehndi on Malmaenz, a praiseworthy change indeed. Looking down from the heavens our ancestors would definitely be proud of this revolutionary change.

“Wah beta, yahi din dekhne ke liye paida kiya tha aapko!”

On a serious note, we get it that the bride wants to be free on the mehndiraat. But this custom has taken away the joy from the mehndiraat.

The day isn’t far when the baraat will arrive on the mehndiraat itself. :-/

8. Girls taking mehndi to the bride’s place

Giving mehndi to the bride when she already has applied it seems to be very intelligent. The bride would be very grateful for this act of decency.

No seriously, she would reapply the gifted mehndi on the washed-out mehndi designs to relive her mehndi ceremony later. Ah, the nostalgia!

Keeping sarcasm aside, this particular custom has no sense behind it NOW and it is simply stupid. Earlier, this custom made sense as the bride would usually apply the mehndi sent by the in-laws as a token of love or shagun. Also, only one person or maximum 2-3 people would do the honour of taking the shagun mehndi.

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Now a cavalcade of girls goes to the bride’s place with mehndi and decorated trays. All goes waste. Moreover, the mehndi is applied on her fingertips only, sometimes just one fingertip.

This custom now feels like a complete waste of time and effort which can be utilized for more useful things.

9. Food wastage

This degrading custom has been a part of our wedding tradition for a very long time. How long should this problem haunt us when we are aware of it? The problem is our attitude towards it. Something which is abundant has no significance. We need to take effective steps to reduce food wastage.

We as individuals need to respect our blessings and make sure they are treated in the same way. Surely, when we understand this, our marriages will become a whole lot better!

Tip: To reduce food wastage in wazwan, you should pack your wazwan in the provided bags without feeling guilty.

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Time for change?

Kashmiri weddings are famous for its grandeur. The cluttering of unwanted customs have made it ugly and suffocating. As a society, it is our responsibility that we maintain the sanctity of our wedding events. This will ensure that our future generations don’t face the same issues as us and they live a better life.

We hope that you would think about this and take proper actions.

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Author: Nandan Singh