TODAY -

Marriage Glitz : Burgeoning Glamour In The Nuptial Ceremonies

Seram Neken *

Jatra puba (marriage procession)
Jatra puba (marriage procession)
Warning: These images CANNOT be reproduced in any form or size without written permission from the RKCS Gallery



It was as if the Goddess Durga arrives in the wrong season. A new trend of greeting the bride with crackers, bombs and rockets has started in Manipuri weddings nowadays. Apart from spraying notes on the Sankirtan performers, the marriage parties have started spewing unlimited cash on the grooms and brides during the marriage ceremony. Unbudgeted marriages of the wealthy and powerful have begun to hit the middle class in Manipur society.

To a number of important figures, marriage ceremonies have become the platform to demonstrate their wealth and power among friends and relatives. Heavy expenses in weddings of their sons, daughters or other wards have become a symbol of their prestige and position in the society. For those who can afford, marriage functions turn out to be a big extravaganza. Although the so called poverty-stricken families are not affected by the trend, the middle class families suffer a lot in trying to imitate the fashion.

A number of nuptial ceremonies of high-profile politicians and bureaucrats, extraordinarily wealthy contractors and suppliers, in the recent past, have been arranged in a manner as glamorous as the important state functions. Costs involved in decorations, catering, conveyance and all other arrangements of their weddings are too big to be assessed in public. The amount of dowry (gifts presented to the bride) in cash and kind have shot up to unexpected levels. Recent marriage functions hosted by high profile persons such as Ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats have been proof of the burgeoning glamour.

Right from the engagement day, the boy's family has to open the treasury in the form of "Mangol Kaba" in which delicious fruits and edibles are brought to the girl's family. To mark the consensual nod, the boy's family has to arrange another offering for the so called "Waroipot". On the eve of the actual wedding, "Heijingpot" or "Heijing Kharai Lannaba" has also become an expensive ceremony on the part of the groom's party.

Among the wealthy families, there have been instances of gifting costly jewelries like necklaces costing in terms of lakhs of rupees to the bride on "Heijingpot" day. In return, the bride's parents also present precious gold chains to the grooms while coming for the "Bor Baton Touba" (formal invitation of the groom).

In case of elopement, the boy's side has to equip the girl with costly attires from head to toe during the "Nupi Thinba" on the next day of elopement. The process becomes the same in "Hejingpot", "Luhongba" and "Mangani Chakouba". To an average family, the cost of a Heijingpot function ranges from fifty thousand to one lakh, while the so called high profiles spend even to the tune of five to ten lakhs of rupees.

Ahead of the wedding day, there is the tradition of sharing a sum of money to the bride's family for purchase of traditional attires for the to-be-married woman. Rupees thirty to fifty thousand has become the average sum for an average family, while the wealthier spends for it to the tune of lakhs. "Kujaba Yaba", a tradition of tying knots has also been unnecessarily expanded to cover gifting between parents and near relatives of the bride and the groom, thereby making an expensive episode with increasing glamour attached to it.

Other episodes such as "Aaunpot Thinba", "Pham Konba" and "Phiruk Nungshang Kaiba" have also involved expenses, the quantum of which is increasing day by day. "Mangani Chakouba", the Manipuri tradition of feasting hosted by the bride's family on the fifth day of wedding has also turned out to be a wasteful function nowadays. Delicious menus are arranged, huge people are invited, and lots of eatables are wasted, only in the name of prestige. Often, the groom's side shares huge amount to the bride's family for this occasion.

As regards dowry, the cash and kind have gone extra-high nowadays, particularly in the high profile families. Things unheard of in the past have surfaced today. All kinds of electronic gadgets right from wide screen televisions to four wheeler vehicles, from the land plots to extraordinary jewelries - ten lakhs, twenty lakhs and thirty lakhs have become the order in average middle class families.

As for instance, the mere accessories of a bed demand hefty sums tuning even to one lakh. To "Esei Sakpa/Sakpi" (sankirtan performers), "Arangpham" (professional arrangers), "Poloi Setpi"( Make-up) etc., an assignment at marriage in VIP families has served as a reaping day.

Over and above all these, the bridal families as well as the groom's have resorted to glamorizing the wedding ceremonies with blasting crackers, rockets and bombs. Cash notes have begun to rain on the on-the-stage bride and groom, manifesting the show-off competitions between the two parties. Decorations at the venue of weddings are really glittering, the expenses of which are counted in lakhs. The style and glitter of "Mandop Khanba" have followed imitations of alien traditions.

Ballons, garlanding, carpeting, ceilings, sitting arrangements etc. have been elaborate enough to retain the VIPness of the families. Traffic management on marriage days have become a herculean job, as important persons with personal escorts attend the marriages in queue. It is really dramatic and glitz to witness wedding ceremonies in VIP families.

However, assuming marriage as the status symbol is a matter of loading heavy fiscal burdens on the head of parents particularly of the middle class. In the near future, unnecessary flexing of muscles on nuptial ceremonies will invite the social evils of dowry and class hegemony in Manipur society. It is high time we make the tradition simple and meaningful as much as possible.


* Seram Neken wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao as part of 'The Voiceless Speaks' column
This article was posted on April 02, 2014.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Contribution of Rani Gaidinliu
  • Police Day Marathon #2: Gallery
  • Kayada Ningthijaba Eseino :: Review
  • Stop religious encroachment of Kangla
  • Cry of a Dying River - 50 :: Poem
  • Money- laundering and juveniles
  • To drive or to be driven
  • The barricade cordoning CMO
  • October 31 rally : Manipur is a reality !
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #2 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19 : Gallery
  • Tribes, Castes & Development :: Book
  • Durga Puja celebration in Manipur
  • Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis
  • Life did put me into darkness :: Poem
  • Matrimonial sites: Dangerous proposals
  • Absentee in history
  • Of KTC and demand of UMLA
  • Pari Imom (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Chunglenyanba, Awa Leima :: eMing
  • Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 #1
  • 7th anniversary of PCRM
  • Funding TB response is smart investment
  • The Broken Stone:: Poem
  • 15 Ceremonial Horses handed to Myanmar
  • Needs for realizing the truth
  • Time to put education on track
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #1 : Gallery
  • Kuki Black Day: desperation to Nagas #2
  • Finance knowledge to make better decision
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Bunglawn Remembers Dr Kalam's Visit
  • No baab tree :: Poem
  • Official website of Sangai Photo Festival
  • Beauty care with natural ingredients
  • Deportation of Rohingya against intl law
  • Noting efforts to put MU on track
  • MU: Teachers/students released : Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Ithai Barrage Impact on Environment
  • Rural development as career option
  • Put the kibosh on ochlocracy
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in women
  • India International Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Marketing Assistant @ PiCiDi, Canchipur
  • 'Ram Madhav is wrongly briefed' : NPF
  • Uniforms for school teacher: What purpose?
  • Marangwon at @Mt Khorung #3 : Gallery
  • Police Day Marathon #1: Gallery
  • I call it life :: Poem
  • International day for Disaster reduction
  • Contested territorial demands in Manipur
  • WhatsApp & mobile usage study results
  • Physics Programme in Nowgong College
  • Rejoinder to NDPP [15 October]
  • Stop bluffing Nagas
  • The state of the states
  • Gearing up for Oct 31 rally
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #4
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #2: Gallery
  • X-Jam -Extreme Sports & Music festival
  • Urban Local Govt in Mizoram :: Book
  • 3 perspectives in context of present Manipur
  • Figures in the Shadows :: Poem
  • To UNC, Zomi Council, Hmar Inpui on ST
  • HC acted in good faith for MU
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • The undeniable subtlety of Atingkok
  • Kuki Black Day: desperation to Nagas #1
  • Let me shower moonlight :: Poem
  • On allegations issued by NPF : NDPP
  • Challenges to the digital dreams
  • Eyes now on K Yugindro
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #3: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #2 : Gallery
  • Meetei Tribe wont grab land of Hill Tribes
  • Making a tangible difference
  • Contradicted journey of IPC Section 377
  • Free open defecation & open pee
  • Act East & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Vacancies at Multimind Software
  • Waiting for "Sorry"
  • Out Yugindro in Jarnail Singh
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #1 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Management Convergence at Mizoram Univ
  • Observation of World Mental Health Day
  • Cry of a Dying River - 49 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is free from compulsion...
  • 7th AGM / Cultural evening of AMAND, Pune
  • Forsaken farmers - food for thought
  • Second police raid at MU
  • NESO opposes Indo-Nepal Treaty in NE
  • British Council, NEC sign MoU
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #1: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #1 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919
  • University :: Poem
  • Remembering class boycott 2009-2010
  • Hair stylist as career option #2
  • Training of Trainers on Gender Justice
  • Manipur University fresh violence by police
  • MU Crisis- admissions and omissions
  • Issues besetting State before LS polls
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba #2 : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Opening of Moreh-Tamu Border Gate
  • Forest Cover of Nagaland :: Book Review
  • Ingocha Chingtham: Cycling from Mumbai ..
  • Blood Transfusion service- future in Manipur
  • IT Enabled Employment Generating Course
  • NDPP condemns statement of NPF
  • Beyond the reality
  • Need for MUTA to approach Court
  • Kang Tournament @Kongba #2: Gallery
  • Elangbam Sonamani : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Celebrating the rights of wildlife- Are we
  • The sky's gone wonderful :: Poem
  • Communal Harmony and Integration
  • Opportunity for India in Indo-Pacific Region
  • To be a good man
  • Education : Why no private players here ?
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • MN Singh promoted as IG of CBI felicitated
  • Loktak from different perspectives #2
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • The Journey of Happiness :: Poem
  • A personal discourse of Manipuri people
  • Improper use of loud speakers in Manipur
  • Art Exhibition @Art College #3: Gallery
  • Sudip Kongbrailatpam -recording engineer
  • Dismantled 9th times & safer in 10th times
  • Remembering Irawat: Are we following ..
  • State Level Archery Championship 2018
  • Stop religious encroachment at Kangla
  • Navratri (festival) make up
  • khongjang changsinnaba sem sarey : ST
  • MU crisis: Emerging questions
  • Lining up five days blockade
  • Dhol Chollom @Sangai Fest: Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #2
  • Maroi napakpi in Manipuri dishes
  • National Integration Tour Team
  • Cry of a Dying River - 48 :: Poem
  • Ending antimicobial resistance to #endTB
  • Condoles death of Pu Kaikhokam Kipgen
  • Rejoinder to NDPP (5th Oct) : NPF
  • Responsibility required - not restriction
  • After Thuingaleng Muivah who ?
  • Paddy dry up due to deficit rainfall
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #2: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram : RAW in WAR Award
  • Agribusiness & Carbon Management : Book
  • Is Gandhi (ian) relevant today ?
  • Guidelines for Hostels for Children
  • ATM based frauds : Router compromise
  • 'Rio's announcement as just mockery'
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • 'Chadong' - the victim of development
  • Poles apart : Pandey and Singh
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #2
  • Why has Egg become Danger for Manipur?
  • Speech by Atif Anik on Irabot Day 2018
  • Wounded tree :: Poem
  • Hair stylist as career option
  • Synopsis of Sizo Festival 2018
  • Traffic regulation still a Flop show
  • In the evening of his life : Th Muivah
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba : Gallery
  • World Bamboo Day #2: Gallery
  • Where have all the lights gone ?
  • Mahatma and non-violence
  • Detention of students/professors of MU
  • Gandhi Jayenti at Itanagar
  • IBSD cleans Imphal City
  • MU: Abide by wisdom of Sr citizens
  • Power of humility
  • Ghost of Pandey : Four teachers suspended
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #1: Gallery
  • October Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Looking at Loktak from perspectives #1
  • Morning - a Haiku :: Poem
  • R&V Art House curates 'Land of Polo'
  • Show for football fans at NEUFC Fan Park
  • Indigenous People: Stand against Fascist
  • Clarification on Tamei Residential School
  • Organic Farming Tour to Sikkim
  • System error- or is this real democracy
  • Autonomy for Naga- Stakeholders on board
  • Th. Muivah hospitalized
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #1: Gallery
  • Choidev Chongba @Kang Fest : Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #1
  • The day after Sahnit-Ni
  • Cry of a Dying River - 47 :: Poem
  • Observation of World Alzheimer's Day
  • Benefits of almond oil for the hair
  • NEUFC Fan to host musical performances
  • ..but Irabot may still shed tears in heaven
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irabot :: Read all about
  • Tingmila Doungel : Manipuri Boxer
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.2) :: Book
  • Genesis of Naga-Kuki clash in early nineties
  • 9th Children's Cultural Meet 2018
  • Parakram Diwas : 2nd Anniversary
  • International Visitors Leadership Program
  • He calls state Govt as unrecognized..
  • Tough stand of Govt noted
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #3
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Oja Nandiram with 'In Memoriam'
  • The resurgence of Hijam Irabot
  • Love for post of MU vice-chancellor
  • Condemns arrests of MU student/teachers
  • Spot Enquiry by MCPCR Team
  • Seriousness with sincerity matters
  • 48 hours bandh on, then what ?
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #1 :: Gallery
  • Hijam Irabot - Our 'Icon of Revolution'
  • Food preparation among Zeliangrong
  • Is it the final countdown to #endTB?
  • Let's give time a chance :: Poem
  • If Buddhism Is Not A Religion Or Philosophy
  • Using false identity to mislead
  • In response to CM's appeal
  • CM's call against bandh
  • MU: Hunger Strike[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Irabot's letter to Assembly :: 18 Oct 1948
  • Ringui Village, Ukhrul :: Gallery: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Tuilha Kol waterfall #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS