I have adapted a conversation from the famous movie Eat, Pray, Love to explain the concept of Dowry
So, Liz is at Guru Gita’s ashram in India where she meets 18-year-old Tulsi whose parents are ardent devotees of the guru and have arranged a match for her. She is lamenting to Liz that her life is over before she could set out to discover it – all thanks to her arranged marriage.
Curious Liz, asks questions to Tulsi about marriage and India.
Tulsi begins to outline how marriages are seen as the ultimate goal of every Indian woman and its pre-decided at her birth by her parents. The common mindset of most Indian parents is that a girl is “parayee” or belongs to another. The worst thing about having a girl born to you is the dowry that’s to be accumulated for her to be married off well – this is the scariest thought that plagues every parent at the birth of a daughter.
“Dowry? Whats that?” Liz queried.
” Gifts given by the girls parents to the groom and his family,” Tulsi replied.
“Oh, you mean wedding gifts. Even we have that at our weddings, the guests bring in gifts for the bride and the groom,” Liz said with a smile.
“No, No. That happens here too,” Tulsi said. ” But dowry is given only by the bride’s parents to the groom side as per their list of demands.”
“List of demands?” Liz asked perplexed. “Whatever do you mean by that?”
” Well, in India, the groom’s side decides what their social status and accordingly ask for an X sum worth of dowry in household goods, car, cash, jewellery, etc.” Tulsi explained matter-of-factly.
” What???” Liz is stunned. ” Whyever would any guy demean himself and his bride-to-be like that?”
” De-mean?” Tulsi is shocked. ” No, no. You misunderstand Liz. It’s a matter of social standing for both sides actually.”
” How does this work? What if the bride’s side is financially weak? Then how are the demands met? And how in god’s name is this a matter of social standing?” , Liz fires questions at Tulsi in utter agitation.
” Well, the boy’s family spend on his education and food to bring him up to a marriageable standard of being the perfect catch. And whatever they give, is also for their daughter who will be set up comfortably too.” Tulsi answered reasonably.
” So, essentially this is buying your groom!” Liz concluded sarcastically. ” My god! why don’t your parents just adopt the boy legally and you both stay with them. At least that ways, they will have you guys to take care of them for the boy’s parents certainly don’t believe in doing more after raising their son.” Liz’s sarcasm continued unabated.
This post is written on the prompt Dowry for Team Inkmagic for Blogbuddy 3.0 with Team Blogchatter
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