Smashing Stereotypes: How Can I Repay My Parents' Debt? Questions Bengali Bride
Indian weddings offer an abundance of customs and rituals, many of them confusing and outdated. While we often debate on how well-founded these rituals really are, how many people have actually challenged them?
The rebellious bride
In a viral video, a Bengali bride is breaking all stereotypes of a ‘delicate bride’ by refusing to ‘repay all debts’ to her parents before leaving the house, because how can you ever repay your parents for all that they have done for you?
The video footage begins with the ritual of ‘kanakanjali’, in which a woman is supposed to, according to tradition, throw away a fistful of rice to her mother, saying she has ‘repaid all her debts’. The woman in the video, however, refuses to perform the ritual, saying it is impossible to repay one’s parents’ debts and challenging the age-old tradition.
A ‘vidaai’ or farewell after a marriage usually involves a lot of tears, but this bride, donning a traditional red Banarasi saree and a beautiful smile, changed our perception of a farewell. She left her parents’ home cheerfully, saying she will be back whenever she wants to.
Various pages have uploaded the footage and it has garnered millions of views and shares since it was posted online.
The Logical Indian take
While orthodox traditions like these have garnered a lot debate, it is indeed inspiring to see a woman rebel against and challenge a ritual which makes no sense at all.
Our parents are our pillars of strength and they raise us with all they have, and throwing a handful of rice to repay their debts is perhaps the silliest tradition ever. Besides that, the fact that a typical farewell always has to involve tears is also misleading, because leaving the house after marriage does not mean leaving it forever. The woman posing at the camera with a smile on her face is motivating and inspires all future brides to follow her footsteps.
The very belief that a woman becomes almost a stranger to her parents after her marriage should have been challenged ages back. A marriage surely is the beginning of a new life, but that is true for both the man and the woman. The woman’s house remains her own, and she has the right to come back to it any moment she wishes to, without an invitation.
Just like a marriage ceremony is full of smiles, so should a farewell be, and this woman has set a perfect example to it. She is receiving the much deserved applause and appreciation for her gesture.