HT Brunch Sunday Debate: Patriarchy or tradition?

Marriage symbols take the spotlight: if a woman displays her marital commitment, shouldn’t also the man?
Teen Vogue’s new US editor Versha Sharma wearing a mangalsutra sparked off a debate
Teen Vogue’s new US editor Versha Sharma wearing a mangalsutra sparked off a debate
Published on May 23, 2021 07:35 AM IST
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ByNatasha Noel, Shanice ShresthaNatasha Noel, Shanice Shrestha

“Marriage works if there’s equality. Every woman should have a choice!”

By Natasha Noel

The thing about traditional weddings is the internalised misogyny. Just because we’ve been doing it from the start of time doesn’t mean it’s alright. 

What is with the change of the women’s name and surname after marriage? Their passports, Aadhaar, everything has to change. If they get a divorce, they need to go through this entire process all over again to regain their maiden names. 

What if she’s a manglik? She is supposed to marry a tree. You know who did it? Aishwarya Rai!

You want to wear a mangalsutra or sindoor for yourself to symbolise your love for your husband, that’s great. I just have one question, what does the groom wear to show his love and devotion to you?

It is regressive to be forced to do the traditions. Every woman should have a choice in what she wants in life. If not, it makes it seem like a woman can only be taken care of by men, handed from one man (father) to the other (husband).

Marriage isn’t bad if there is equality in it; if both partners share the work, love each other and create a balance. I say this because I know a lot of badass feminist mothers and married women!

Natasha Noel, 28, is a content creator and a trained yoga teacher.

While Natasha (left) questions what the groom wears to show his love for you, Shanice (right) says one shouldn’t be judged for wearing or not wearing a mangalsutra
While Natasha (left) questions what the groom wears to show his love for you, Shanice (right) says one shouldn’t be judged for wearing or not wearing a mangalsutra

“I’ve been mesmerised by new brides wanted to always dress that way”

By Shanice Shrestha

I’ve been a bride for about four months and it has been exciting and crazy because there have been so many changes!

People ask why I wore the sindoor, mangalsutra and chooda for three months after my wedding; if I was going to continue wearing them or if I feel pressured. I’m not obliged to answer the questions but here goes.

Growing up, I was mesmerised by the sight of new brides and knew I wanted to dress the same way. I love to doll up and these symbols only make it more special.

Now I only wear my wedding band and the mangalsutra, but I’ll wear the sindoor and chooda whenever I feel like it. Wearing or not wearing a piece of jewellery is my choice. No one can tell me it should be any other way.

Different women make different choices. Some of us follow traditions because we like it. Some might be pressured to follow them. And some don’t like it. Whatever you feel, it’s alright!

Someone having a different opinion about something does not give that person the right to term another person wrong. I don’t judge my friends who don’t wear a mangalsutra and I should not be judged for wearing one. That’s how a society should be: inclusive of all views!

Shanice Shrestha, 25, is a lifestyle content creator, whose marriage to YouTuber Mumbiker Nikhil recently almost broke the Internet.

From HT Brunch, May 23, 2021

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Sunday, May 29, 2022