Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Sexism & Patriarchy Why are brides ‘given away’ at weddings?

12 replies, 13 voices Last updated by Shumaila Siddiqui 3 years, 1 month ago
  • Semantee Chattopadhyay
    Participant
    @semantee03
    #31850

    At Indian weddings, the bride’s family give away cards, sweets, entertainment and even the bride. Isn’t it strange how the act of “kanyadaan” or “bidaai” are glorified? For ages now, families giving away their daughters has been a common practice. Historically, marriages where is strategic alliances and women were offered as points to strengthen those alliances. Since then the societal perceptions of marriage and the autonomous rights of women have evolved. This reinforces the mindset that after marriage “our daughter is yours”. It seems harmless at first when women change their surnames but it signals a change in their very identity. Till today, only women are expected to migrate to their in-laws’ houses and take care of them while their husbands have no such obligations towards their parents. Joining a family on this basis disempowers a woman legally and socially from the day they are born. A male child is often perceived as the light of the house, who is supposed to take forward the family lineage and support their parents in their old age. A girl. is often perceived as “someone else’s property”, a burden on her natal family till she gets married. It is the main reason why families still invest less in their daughter’s education or employment. The time when families spend lavishly on their daughter is at her wedding. A survey found that families often spend 20% of their lifetime wealth on this occasion. In most cases pending on celebrations and dowry is not about pleasing the bride. It is done to maintain the family’s status and secure her a good position in her new family. After a woman gets married most families she is to treat her as their own. Till 2005, The Hindu succession law didn’t recognise a married women’s right to her natal family’s property. Recently the laws may have changed, but socially, her claim to her family’s home and wealth is dependent on the goodwill of her brothers. This skews the power dynamics of a girls marriage further, it makes her more dependent on her husband. Women who love for legal separation, often face rejection from their parents and siblings who refuse to “take them back.”
    Things in recent times have seemed to change, urban families have started to invest more in their daughter’s education. Financially independent daughters are taking care of their elderly parents, single or married. By making empowered choices, raising awareness, questioning sexist traditions can only change society. It’s time to change the idea that daughters are not something to be “given away.”

    Gayatri Somvanshi
    Participant
    @gayatri
    #31854
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    It’s not really a change to have such a concept when the girl itself in her maternal home is treated as an object that can be given away or treated as an outsider. It’s also amusing how our society proudly proclaims kanyadan as ‘shresth daan’ and bidaai as the most emotional phase when these customs are actually objectifying women.
    We all know there are really popular sayings that claim how a girl is an outsider who will be soon handed to a different family . People need to know that brides are not given away but respectfully welcomed in a new family. The phrases need to be changed.
    Problem is with portrayal of these customs is shown as great and emotional and very sacred in those TV dramas and movies .Also the songs based on these customs habe phrases which constantly make people believe that girls are meant to get married off.
    But collectively I think we should change these customs. We have people like Dia Mirza who have clearly taken bold steps to not perform kanyadaan and bidaai customs.I believe marriage should be the happiest day of the girl’s life as it is meant to be. Not some kind of process indicating she is practically given away like an object with gifts to the groom. Marriage should be a celebration marking the beginning of new life for the couple and we should tell people that we are not giving away our daughter but she is respectfully welcomed in her new home. Apart from Kanyadan and Bidaai there are also other traditions , customs and rituals which actually are contributing and creating fake scenarios or wrong perspectives a girl is seen from. We also need to stop these customs and the customs which are for fun should be treated as fun only.

    nehachitroda
    Participant
    @nehachitroda
    #31959
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    Brides are ‘given away’ this word clearly states that women are treated as property or a thing and when a time comes i.e., during marriages they are given away, does it really mean that women or girls don’t have their own individuality? It is often said to girls at their home that this is not your house and family because you have to be with someone and they will be your family, but it’s the most traditional thought.
    During marriages, they are given away and this is so-called because while marrying someone parents are handing over their daughters to other and then they don’t hold their right over their daughters, this is common and very laidback thinking of society. Just like dowry and other gifts which are taken and given, girls are also treated as a ‘part’ of marriage ceremony but in real terms, they are not a part because they are ‘whole’ of which marriage is made, it makes female hurt a lot when whole her life, she was attached to them and all of sudden are said that you will be given to that family or like that.
    Many things she is already sacrificing and if her parents treat her as a given-away thing, then her individuality is gone. If marriage is a celebration of the best thing about two people and for two people then it should be done as in that celebratory way and with good thought which makes her happy too.
    Brides should not be considered as giving and take away things but as important people of the marriage. And most importantly we should change our perceptions and thoughts and make others understand that marriage should be made a happy and memorable day by giving her importance and respect.

    VIPASHA .
    Participant
    @vipasha
    #31978
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    India wedding is very special of occasion . A lot of rituals is held during marriage . The gifts given to the groom family to bride family things were exchanged . But marriage is the only occasion in which a living thing is given to the another party that is “THE BRIDE”
    The practice of sending off girls in marriages has been going on for a long time. A girl is taught from childhood that she is the property of someone else’s house, the wealth of someone else’s house, which can stay here for a certain time and once she get married, will be sent away. But a boy is never told that she will move to another house after marriage .Since childhood, a dharna sits in the minds of children, a girl has to leave her house, after marriage, a boy has to bring his girl from someone else’s house. Because people believe that the boy will increase their wealth, will increase their family, will give them a new Kuldeepak and will take their lineage forward. Under the old thinking and idea, people send off the girls in wedding and keep their boys with them. People think that there is only a boy who can take care of the house, the girl cannot be of any use, she will not be able to help them on any work.
    It is said to a girl in the maternal house that you are the trust of someone else’s house, you are the moonlight of someone else’s house and in the in-laws’ house it is told to a girl that she has come from other house , so foreign wealth is not the trust of our house.It is said at the time of Kanyadaan that now we have given away our daughter and have donated her, now she has no relation from here, now whenever she comes here she will come as a guest. There is very big misconception amount to society that girl need to be adjusted and should adjust everywhere it should be in her nature that’s why a girl is given away in wedding . Because society somehow knows that a man cannot adjust anywhere due to his so called ego .
    In Kanyadaan and Bidaai rituals , a girl is realised that she doesn’t have any home . Till the time of her marriage, she is a guest in her maternal house and after marriage she is a guest in her husband house.

    shaifalikapoor03
    Participant
    @shaifalikapoor03
    #31991
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    Talking in the societal tone, daughters are “paraya dhan” in their father’s house. People say that girls do not actually belong to their father’s house, it’s their father’s responsibility to send her to her husband’s house.
    Women have never been considered as a human being in this society, they’re always treated like a thing, that belongs to someone other than her parents. She’s the one who’s always being sacrificed for everything, she’s the one to sacrifice for the sake of everything even if she doesn’t belongs to it.
    A woman leaves her house to live with a few strangers and then she’s sometimes not even accepted there as well. Where do she actually belong? She sacrifices her everything for the sake of that one man she thinks will support her, love her and respect her throughout his life, but sometimes men do not respect her sacrifices and think of her as her duty. She does it all to make a few bunch of people happy to whom she didn’t even belong to, thinking of it as her duty.
    Women and men should be treated equally, when it comes to marriage. I think man and woman both should buy their own house to live in with utter independence, no one should sacrifice alone. Everyone deserves an equal amount of happiness and an equal amount of love and independence.

    Dharani Sri
    Participant
    @u19mae026
    #31992
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    Why are brides ‘given away’ at weddings?
    Can you guess what is the biggest driving force behind Indian people to migrate from their home?
    If you guessed as employment, try to guess it for one more time. The biggest migration is because of marriage. Can you believe this? But this is the fact. Among those migrants most of them are women. Why is this happening? Why can`t a man come out of his house?
    “It is not a common practice or desirable culture for a Hindu son in India to get separated from his parents on getting married at the instance of the wife, especially when the son is the only earning member in the family” said the Supreme Court (SC). In India, most of the families do not subscribe to the western culture, like boys should get out of his house after marriage. This is the main reason why most of the parents give away their daughters with other gifts to the groom.
    One more reason is that they have a mindset that male only can lead a family, he is the who can support the family with all their financial needs, he is the one who can form a lineage to their family. And this is followed since many years. If a woman insists her groom to come to her house after the marriage, she will be scolded. Parents insist their daughter from her very childhood that she will go to another house after marriage. But they never tell this any of the boys.
    Just think, shouldn`t a woman has a wish to serve her parents who has taken care of her from her very first day at this fairy land? In this 21st century we should change this. Or at least we should change the phrase ‘a woman is given away as the gift to the groom’ with ‘she is welcomed to another home’.

    Manpreet Singh
    Participant
    @manpreet
    #32020
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    In traditional weddings, the bride’s father will lead her down the aisle. If it looks old, and that’s because it is. This practice is referred to as, is that, when a woman, who was considered as owned by her father as her property, he gave it to her in exchange for a dowry. This is an old practice, in developed and in many modern brides are now given freedom, which is of great importance. The couple’s wedding is a token of love and support. In a more progressive way, both parents can lead the bride down the aisle or the bride goes away by itself. A lot of couples these days think carefully about how they want to fulfill the tradition. For many, this is the law of custom.
    Indian weddings are very different but still, practices such as kanyadan and bidaai are a traditional way of giving in the bride at a wedding. It’s like gifting away the bride in charity to the groom’s family. It is bad enough that a person has to give up her entire life, to go take care of another family just because she was born female. Men and women are still accepting and treating a woman as an item to be given away which is shameful. Some might argue that the rituals are not meant to treat the woman like property but, as a precious thing of the father, who makes sure her husband takes care of her. But in a marriage, both the partners should take care of each other.
    It is time that traditions like these should be questioned in light of the equality of our constitution. Traditions like these give further rise to grave social problems like dowry and bride burning. It is time that we should start treating our women as human beings equal to males. They should be given equal bargaining power at their own wedding.

    PALAK KASHIV
    Participant
    @palak
    #32025
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    In Indian weddings, there is a special ritual for giving away the bride called’ Bidai’ this ritual is very emotional for every Indian bride because they are leaving their own house and name identity and going in a new family, some people also change the name of bride in name of religious beliefs. Girls from childhood always hear that they are property of another house (parayadhan), the girl has to hear from everyone that one day she will have to leave her maternal home go to another house. Also, some of the groom’s family demands dowry while giving away the daughter. Men don’t have to go anywhere not they are a lineage of the family, that’s why in traditional Indian society people give more importance to males than females, this also reason that the education ratio female is less than males. The giving away of the bride this ritual is practiced all over the world, girls are okay with it because they have seen it happen with almost every woman, I think if they’re leaving their maternal and going to his husband’s house she deserves to be respected, loved and treated with care, not as a commodity. Nowadays many females do not change their surname but add their husband’s surname after their surname. Even now many women go to stay at mom’s house for the time they want to stay, earlier many women were not allowed to go without their husband and his family’s permission. Day of marriage is the happiest day of girls life, performing customs of kanyadaan and Bidai, should be the girl choice if she wants to perform or not. Also, T V. Drama needs to stop showing this culture and Bollywood needs to stop making emotional songs on this custom. people don’t need to blindly folded follow all the religious rituals and customs every time. Society will change when we will start to bring the change

    DISHA SAPKALE
    Participant
    @42disha
    #32039
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    In traditional weddings, their are many rituals that are kind of happiness but their is one ritual that will made everyone emotional called as “bidaai” which is very difficult for girls because they have to leave their family and go with groom it is not esay for girls. From old times it is saying that after marriage girls are “parayadhan”. Daughters live with their parents from birth spend lot of time with them. And one day they has to leave their family, their parents home where they have lots of memories. Not only this much girls have to change their surname and even first name after marriage. In today’s generation also groom family demands for dowry. Why? Girls are leaving their home that is not enough in that also they demad dowry. After marriage women is responsible for all the household chores and taking care of their in-laws. Why? Men should be also equally responsible for all household chores and taking care of family. Because of culture and tradition from old times that women are only responsible for home and men should earn for home is really not justified. Women can also do job and earn money for their family and children by being confident and independent. Family should support her like they support their son both should take care of family together by giving each other equal opportunity. In Some marriage women suffer from domestic violence but they don’t tell their family. If women tells their family then also family will still thinks about society first due to which they don’t tell daughter to come back home. For this, their should be Ngo’s and campaign for women who suffer from domestic violence or having problems in marriage. Women are not reason for family burden it is all about society thinking, traditions and inequality.

    Shubhangini Shaktawat
    Participant
    @shaktawat9
    #32058
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    Why are brides ‘given away’ at weddings?
    In the Indian society, weddings are glorified a lot. People believe getting married should be a woman’s only goal in life and once done, her life is successful and she is blessed. Then having a family and taking care of it and the household should be a woman’s only work and thing to look forward to in life. Also, women are objectified to such an extent that they are said to be ‘given away’ to the groom’s family. Women are objectified at their own home and sent away to another home where they are further treated like an object too. What importance does a woman’s life possibly even hold in the eyes of this misogynistic society? Another ritual in Indian marriages is called ‘kanya-daan.’ A kanya means a maiden and daan refers to donation or charity. Why is a woman’s marriage to a man being called a daan or act of charity? Why are women just said to be given away? A girl child is always called a burden or ‘bojh’ and objectified in mostly pro-boy families as the family has to ‘give her away’ someday and get her married into another family. Once she grows up and gets married into another home, she is treated like an object again when she is made to work like a slave.
    Both before marriage and after, everything is her responsibility. Everyone is dependent on her for everything. Then how does she deserve to be treated this way? When she is a maiden and stays at her parental place, her family does love her without a doubt, but she is called ‘paraya’ meaning a stranger because eventually she has to get married and be ‘given away.’ When she gets married and departs from her home and arrives into her in law’s place, she is still called ‘paraya’ because she has come from another home. When is a woman supposed to feel that she actually belongs somewhere; when she lives with her parents and they still do not accept her as their own or when she gives up everything in her life to settle with someone else in her in law’s place and she is still treated like someone they do not know? Our society needs to stop objectifying women and stop treating women this way. A woman belongs to whichever place she chooses, and gets married into whichever family she chooses. She is not being ‘given away’ and she never will.
    A woman myself,
    Shubhangini Shaktawat

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