By Riza Poudel
Us Nepalese didn’t believe in pre-weddings functions until quite recently. It all boiled down to “The big day”! However, times change and inevitably, so have our traditions, for the better I’d say! We’re becoming more accepting of foreign traditions, integrating them with our own, while keeping our core values very much intact.
Technology has played an outstanding role in creating exposure to new ideas, thus leading to an extravagance in our religious and cultural obligations. Access to limitless information from all over the world has undoubtedly influenced our own lives. After all, we wouldn’t want to be left behind in the aesthetic world of ‘Instagram’ & ‘Pinterest’ now, would we?
This enhanced communication has brought on a massive change in the way we’re “supposed to celebrate”. Let’s take the example of celebrating Mother’s Day & Father’s Day. I would see my parents and my relatives buying lots of local sweets, fruits, saree sets and so on consisting mostly of traditional items. Now I see the new generation, myself included, buying gift baskets and festive balloons, going out for dinner as opposed to enjoying traditional home-made cuisine, and eating cake among other things. Speaking of cake, it feels like its special “Birthday” significance seems to have stretched to any and every occasion. I suppose one could attribute that to a reflection of the west.
Celebrating big events now are at an entirely different league. The amount of time and money people are willing to spend at weddings is astounding. The introduction to celebrating pre-wedding functions, as decadently as the wedding itself, has been widely accepted and appreciated by the Nepalese society. We also have adopted several Indian traditions and made them our own. This was relatively easy because we already share a lot of customs and rituals. In fact, the brides specially look forward to celebrating Mehendi and Sangeet because this not just gives them the sense of being the center of attention obviously, but they can also actually spend that time having fun with their friends and family. Enjoying delectable snacks and dancing to Bollywood tunes is something nobody wants to miss. Such inter-cultural approaches have led to a refinement in food, décor, attire, aesthetics, and in overall festive zeal.
The assortment of traditions certainly has created job opportunities for so many. Event planners are the new need of the hour for individuals and organizations wanting to throw a big party. Planners are able to bring to life all manners of events, the grander, the better, overseeing and coordinating all aspects to create the event of the client’s dreams. Luxury is always desirable after all, and even more so now, with the population having ever more resources at their disposal. All in all, this integration of traditions not only promotes diversity, but also encourages people to look at traditions as a way to actually celebrate instead of the mere fulfillment of ritualistic obligations.