Leave the great debate about Indian culture and Western influences to Parliament. Here are some foreign ideas that India appears to be loving.
What it is: This is a vacation taken by first-time parents just before they have a baby — their last vacation without a child to worry about for, say, 18 years (at least that’s what they’d like to believe).
When it began: This concept is so new, even Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for it!
The Indian context: We’ve only just discovered it. "We organised our first babymoon four years ago, but just five to 10 since then," says Manjari Verma, co-founder of Broken Compass, a travel curating firm. "We usually suggest a relaxed destination based on the weather and the month of travel."
What it is: Also known as a hen night, it’s an all-girls party to honour the end of the bride-to-be’s single life. It usually involves kinky decor, drinking games and male strippers.
When it began: The term was first coined sometime in the 1990s.
The Indian context: "About 50 per cent of my clients organise bachelorette parties, though they are still mostly restricted to upper-class families," says Gopika Sethi, of Vivahdreamz, a firm that provides matrimonial services. These tend to be over the top. "Seeing my nerdy cousin, the bride-to-be, go wild was unexpected fun," says Snigdha Budhiraja, a literature student.
What it is: A prenuptial agreement is a contract that couples sign before they wed. It has provisions for division of property and spousal support in the case of divorce.
When it began: Long ago, with the royalty of ancient Egypt! Much later, very rich people carried on the tradition, and now it’s almost the norm in the West.
The Indian context: "Prenuptial agreements are not recognised in Indian courts," says VK Singh, a divorce lawyer. "But the first time someone approached me with query for a prenup was in 2009. Today, five or six couples, both men and women, approach me every month for a prenup," says Singh. "Mostly, these people have either studied or work abroad or are planning to settle there."
What it is: In a baby shower, the mother is given gifts to celebrate the expected or recent birth of her child. The affair is mostly restricted to day time and women.
When it began: The idea of a baby shower as we know it today began in the 1980s, primarily only for the first child.
The Indian context: A baby shower is similar to the Hindu tradition of godbharaai. In the former, the guests bring gifts primarily for the newborn baby, but in the latter, gifts can also be brought for the mother.
What it is: A party thrown by a couple that has decided to part ways.
When it began: In the West, break-up-party planners have been doing it for years.
The Indian context: When, in Love Aaj Kal (2009), Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone flaunted their break up by throwing a party, it made an impact! The trend is to party the blues away together with your ex. Since the decision is mutual, no one cries. You drink and have fun.
From HT Brunch, August 17
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