I Used To Dream Of My Telugu Wedding But These Customs Make Me Sick In The Stomach

Anonymous Anonymous in Culture Shock on 4 April, 2017

A wedding is a ceremony which every girl dreams of from a very young age. She wants to have a dreamy wedding and looks forward to spending the rest of her life with the man she is going to marry. When I knew nothing better, even I day-dreamed about my wedding. Except, when I think of certain customs in a Telugu wedding, it makes me want to hurl. Which genius cooked up such sick ideas that not only insults the bride, but her entire family too? 

Even in the 21st century, both the bride and groom’s families blindly follow these sick rituals, as if they don’t understand what’s going on.

The bride’s family is supposed to bear the entire expenditure of the big, fat, lavish wedding. Have you ever been to a Telugu wedding? The bridegroom and his family are practically guests who do absolutely nothing but enjoy themselves. It makes you wonder, right on day zero, if such a marriage is meant to be equal at all!

Aren’t both the families supposed to share the expenditure, divide work equally and have a fun-filled wedding? Bring it up, and you’ll never stop hearing abuses until the day you die.

The groom is received by the bride’s brother who washes his feet benevolently. And I sh** you not, you’ll actually find the bride’s father doing it with reverence, as if the groom has just redeemed his life as a father of a girl. To hell with the respect given to the bride’s family. They can suffer humiliation as long as the groom gets his desi pedicure.

The washing feet business doesn’t end there. During the wedding rituals, right before kanyadaan, the bride’s parents wash the bridegroom’s feet and sprinkle water over their heads.

Two adults as old as the groom’s parents bow down and wash the young man’s feet.

Washing or touching feet is done as a sign of utmost respect and humility. I cannot bear to see my parents touching feet of a guy half their age just because they have a daughter. 

Now why should the bride miss out on all the action? Once her parents have suffered through looking at the groom’s feet, there’s a short break when the mangalsutra is around the bride’s neck.

Then it’s the bride’s turn. She touches her husband’s feet and seeks “blessings”. She also vows to be an obedient wife and to always listen to his words like God’s order.

A guy doesn’t have to touch the bride’s feet but she has to. From the day they were born, men get away with everything. Don’t most families say nonsense like “It’s okay, we’re modern. We will allow your daughter to work after marriage”? Well then, why don’t they allow themselves to modernise their wedding rituals and step out of the stone-age? How is it that people can be so blatantly sexist and not even realise it?

If you claim to be proud of your culture, ban these sexist customs. I want my dream Telugu wedding, and I want it in this century.
Editor's Note:

Most brides, grooms and parents don't even realise what they are promoting through such customs. Share this story because we have to start somewhere to make a difference.