Being a part of this society, I am a part of well many societal practices. This could include working for animal rights, supporting women empowerment, spreading awareness about the need for girl child education, preventing female infanticide, bringing to light consumer rights’ etc. but I am greatly affected by the institution called marriage. A ceremony, which involves mingling of different cultures, sociology, ideologies and a diverse strata of people. Marriage is one social practice that has a globally diverse nature yet is universal. Marriage is formalized at a wedding ceremony and is generally recognized by a legal authority or head of a tribe. This process is responsible for progressive development of society. Marriage brings about a variety of changes in the lives of people sharing the bond. People marry for reasons such as emotional, social and economic stability.

In different cultures and countries it is celebrated in different forms. Beginning with India, here there are different cultures such as Hindu, Bengali, Muslim, Punjabi etc. In Hindus the ceremony is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur. Here the man and woman are formally married as “var “and “vadhu”. A knot is tied and they take seven rounds around the pure fire which is the witness to their marriage. Then the “var” applies a crimson red powder called “sindur” on the bride’s forehead. In Bengali culture, the bride covers her face with beetle leaves as both the bride and groom go around the fire. It is after one night of marriage called “kal ratri” that the groom is allowed to see his lawfully wedded wife. According to Muslim culture the “Miyan” and “Bibi” are seated in different rooms and the Qazi asks each of them about their will thus formalizing them in a relationship called “nikah”. In Punjabi culture the “munda” and the “kudi” take four rounds around the resting place of their guru in a gurudwara. In western culture, the bride and the groom exchange rings and vows, and are announced man and wife by the presiding priest. Even though the ways of unification are different it is very appealing to see how people adjust according to their partners’ need and requirements.

History is even more intriguing. History says God created a man called Adam but since he was lonely he created a woman to accompany him called Eve. First thing to notice is God could have created either men or both women but he did not. God then told them not to eat the fruits’ of a certain tree. If God had wanted them not to eat the fruit from a certain tree he would not have called their attention to the said but he did. When Adam and Eve disregarded his warnings, God doomed them to death. Petrified by what was to come, fear lead to their unification presently called marriage and thus evolution of human matrimony.

Where on one hand marriage has benefits such as providing emotional or financial backup there are also some adversities. Its’ been taken for granted that after marriage the woman will have to leave her household and shift to a new place with her husband. In some autocratic cases men think of themselves as superior beings and then arises cases of women being burnt or tortured for money. However, it is marriage alone that brings new culture and a new generation into existence.

Cherry Agarwal