Break in tradition at Gujarat mass wedding: Gifts showered on moms-in-law and not brides
Five Gujarat saas-bahu sagas begin with a twist: Moms-in-law in driver’s seat of a two-wheeler each.india Updated: May 08, 2017 13:29 IST
Five weddings together with a sassy departure from tradition were solemnised at a Rajkot venue on Sunday, much to the joy of five mothers-in-law.
The small-scale mass wedding saw the mothers-in-law of the brides being showered with an assortment of gifts and put in the driver’s seat of a new two-wheeler each.
The organisers and the five families involved in the ceremony asserted this was not dowry but a different take on the tradition of kariyavar under which parents of a bride give her whatever they feel she may need in a new place, and may never have to ask for it. They also insisted that the gifts for the mothers-in-law were a way to respect the elderly and negate the possibility of them being herded off to old-age homes.
“We believe this will prevent the families from breaking apart at a time when the culture of joint families is fast vanishing from our society. In many cases it has been seen that couples opt to live separately after marriage. This sometimes leaves a groom’s parents lonely and they are on their own in old age,” said organiser Dharmendrasinh Jadeja.
Amid the festivities, few at the event brought the same logic to talk of what happens to a bride’s parents in old age. One of the brides, Sheetal Makwana, was willing to address this. “I have a brother to take care of my parents. Having said that, we are all together as a family to take care of parents, be it my husband’s or mine,” she said.
Vijaysinh Jadeja, another organiser of the event, said, “We are not saying that financial considerations make everyone send their parents to senior citizen homes. But such cases are increasing, which is a matter of concern. We must face this reality. This is why we decided to make mothers-in-law prosperous.”
Among other gifts the five mothers-in-law received were gold nose-pins, refrigerators, kitchen appliances, beds and fans. This was the first mass wedding held by the organisers and they raised the money for the gifts to the mothers-in-law. The brides got clothes and jewellery provided by their families.
The mothers-in-law and the brides welcomed the fresh twist to tradition. “There is a message in this move. The organisers want that couples should continue respecting their parents,” said Leelaben Mistry, whose son married Sheetal.
As Leelaben posed for the camera on her new two-wheeler, Sheetal said, “I will try to convince my mother-in-law to allow me to drive it.”