Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The two sides to a Story...


Just as how chivalry seems to be dead these days, Bhutanese weddings are turning out to more than just a social gathering in comparison to the sacred meaning these ceremonies had many, many years ago.

Dating back to 50 years when our grandparents or even when some of our parents got married, marriage was considered a holy matrimony between two couples that fell in love or had arranged marriages. Correct me if i’m wrong but in contrast to that, now days the sanctity of marriages is losing its traditional value and becoming more of convenience. Tradition is certainly losing its place in society especially in a place like Thimphu.
Early days, they didn’t have grand ceremonies but rather the groom would ask the bride’s parents for their daughters hand in marriage and thus consented would be proclaimed husband and wife. Even today, in the villages of Bhutan there are no such celebrations for a wedding but rather there are no parties nor would a feast be given. Instead the village would get together to give a small simple lunch for those who come to congratulate the newly proclaimed husband and wife. In most cases, there would be no such wedding but only in the case of when the girl would give birth, she would be considered as married.

For some since their parents lived in the villages and they in the city,  it was hard to get consent so they never really got married officially but started living together. As Agay doye says it “ Getting married wasn’t as complicated as these days...”

Tradition here has picked up that one throws large parties that assemble gatherings where you invite people you both know or don’t know and give lunch during the tenday and dinner for the rest of the community. In contrast if there was a wedding in the village or those days, a small lunch would be given and at night they would consume alcohol and offer advice to the newlyweds of their new life together.
There is a sense of community unlike now days here in Thimphu where everything has become individualistic and people are greedier and all motivated towards having more money. They feel that in dzongkhags such as Thimphu people throw away money unnecessarily to celebrate weddings and any occasions while in the villages tradition still remains intact with the people!
“There won’t be any huge party or a feast but some would prepare lunch meant for small gatherings and that was it...A simple Bhutanese wedding...” says Ap Tenzin. For him in the earlier days and back in his village in Trongsa, people still stuck together as one community and everyone would contribute one way or the other. For example, take building a house; the cost was minimum and the procedures was simple. We didn’t have to ask anyone for permission like now days to build in our own land as we had the right. The better off people would build three stories and those who couldn’t build just one story with Bamboo. Even the roofs were made from bamboo explains Doye and Tenzin.

Thus, impermanence and simplicity is what we all must strive for while still being kind and thoughtful!

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