An article about a school teaching potential brides the art of crying got my brain juices churning, first with anger and astonishment and then with a realization which might be the hidden truth of Indian marriages.
A bit of history to this tradition of crying, it all began when underage girls were forced to marry and “leave their homes” so if you were forced into marriage or were not ready for marriage then this blog doesnt apply to you – you had all rights to cry at your wedding!
The whole concept of a girl going away to a new family and switching loyalties is not true! First of all, in my opinion and based on experiences of many new brides, post marriage a girl tends to be closer to her parents! I care, respect and love my parents in a much larger way post marriage. Tell me if I am wrong here? About Going away, well any adult in his/her twenties or above would want to be on their own…make a world, a home with his/her partner. If you moved out before marriage then “going away” from shouldnt make you cry! The only reason tears might roll down is if you are moving away from our family for the first time in your life – scared kind of tears!
Then there is this whole situation of missing your family or daughter, which does bring in a bit of legitimacy to tears but then again why is it that only a girls parents would miss her when she turns into a wife? wouldnt the boys family miss their son when he becomes a husband?
Why should girls side cry?? Why not the boys side as well? Marriage is serious business. There are major adjustment issues – the wife, the husband, the in-laws…all get to face it in one way or the other. I guess girls are the only smart cookies to relate to this fact before marriage and shed a tear in anticipation? Boys like always have no clue whats coming their way! lol!
Now based on the above logic, lets prove why its really the boy and his parents that should have a teary goodbye.
First, the bride might be coming to a new family and getting a new last name. But in reality its the clueless husband who might be emotionally distanced from his family. Come on, lets be honest, no girl wants a mama’s boy (boys dont really care if girls are their dad’s daughters)! A woman sets the family’s value system, she raises the children largely based on the ideals she inherited from her parents, she wishes her husband and children fit in the cast she sets for her home. Here’s where a similar value system really helps to maintain harmony! If there is an imbalance, a man is almost always left frustrated and then here comes the saas-bahu and husband stuck in the middle saga. A girl on the other side would always protect her family, she knows how to balance priorities and not let her frustrations effect her family ties. So now we know why the man’s last name is used to keep the lineage going – its a compensation for all that the boy would have to lose!
Looking back at my goodbye ceremony, I reflect on why was I sad or had to shed -exactly 5 tears. Largely I believe it was my dear family members who once wished to see me happily married suddenly turned their sad faces on when it was over! Paradox isnt it! Then there was this band that started playing super gloomy music just to remind people “its time to cry guys”! I cant deny that this whole concept of “leaving my family” (eventhough i moved out of my house 4 yrs prior to marriage) did get to me but few months into the marriage I realized what a joke of a concept this is.
Many might argue that even “western” weddings have the brides and guests crying. Here, the crying generally is in the beginning with an emotion of overwhelming joy and happiness. Can you imagine a bride starts to cry and reach out for her parents when the officiant announces the couple man and wife and its time to kiss!
Starting a life with someone you love can only be filled with excitement! You start a new journey doesnt mean you have to cry about what you left behind, in all probability all your past will be integral in shaping your future.Most married couples know that just like life any marriage, successful or not, will give you many occasions to cry and fret! So why cry on potentially the happiest day of your life?