India needs women entrepreneurs more than it does flashy weddings. Support your daughter’s career first, rather than obsessing over her wedding!
In India, the wedding day is considered to be the most important day of one’s life – for apparently no logical reasons. I have always had apprehensions regarding this widely unquestioned notion.
Especially for girls, the wedding day is thought to be the ultimate festival that she and her family have been preparing towards, for ages. And these expectations remain unaltered despite her individual opinions and choices.
On the one hand, this lookout proves to be a cause of huge unadmitted stress among girls’ parents and on the other hand, such an outlook is a hurdle for women to achieve financial independence.
The community has set a benchmark for the wedding. It must be the right mix of pre-wedding photo and video shoots, not-really-candid-but-looks-candid haldi ceremony pictures, Bollywood style sangeet night, pompous wedding processions, dowry-disguised-as-exorbitant-gifts and a grand reception. And this is a standard protocol that every bride and groom and their families need to follow.
If there is a dearth of resources, they better arrange it because if not, that would be a social disgrace. One of the most upsetting truths about Indian parents is their daughter’s Wedding Fund, which they start saving for since she is an infant. Are our social structures so flawed that they cloud our reasoning and prevent us from understanding our daughters’ ambitions and prevent us from being her ultimate support system?
I believe that the root cause of the problem lies in the way marriages are viewed. Togetherness and love demand celebration. The happiness of spending your life with your partner and starting that beautiful journey in the presence of your friends and family is paramount. However, it is one of the many milestones of life and not the only one.
Your daughter’s first day at school, her graduation, her first job, her impactful work at an NGO, her promotion and many more such moments in life also demand to be celebrated. Are your daughter’s countless study nights and immense perseverance not worth honouring? She has earned that degree, that valedictorian award, that promotion and each and every achievement in her academic and professional life with sheer resolution.
She does not deserve to be constantly nagged about her wedding plans as soon as she turns 24. Instead, ask her about her career plans and support her in the same. Her education is not a tool for you to find an ideal groom for her. Her education has made her capable of finding one on her own and co-financing the wedding with her partner.
Just a few years back, one of my friends wanted to start her business and asked for the investment from her parents. Her parents would rather use their hard-earned money on her wedding than invest in their daughter’s business. Where do the business acumen and astuteness disappear when it is time for the investment that can actually yield a substantial return and the pride of raising a bold daughter?
Unfortunately, the picture is quite the opposite in the case of a boy’s parents. They hardly worry about his wedding and would always prefer to invest in his venture. Because they know, some naïve parents of a hardworking girl are saving for their son’s wedding and will probably invest in his business too.
We need to understand that our children view society through us. We must create a congenial atmosphere in our homes where our daughters’ achievements are applauded, and they are independent to flourish the way they want.
It is time to convert that Wedding Fund into Financial Independence Fund because India needs women entrepreneurs more than it does flashy weddings.