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Customizing Vows

June 26, 2011

Everytime I saw an english movie I would see a couple writing their own vows, something that I found rather personal. At times there would be a tiff between the two cause one of them (usually the groom) wouldn’t take them seriously. I could really never understand why it was such a big deal. Damn it is just a couple of lines!

I just came back from a wedding in Chandigarh, my college prof (just 29) got married. For me and my friends and the entire department it was the wedding of the millennium, bigger than Kate-Wills wedding! This was a person whom we never thought we’ll see get married. A gorgeous, intelligent, self-made person with a dynamic personality who loved her freedom and ran away from any shackles. It was at her wedding that I really understood the importance of vows.

No not about making them personal or heart-warming though that too is very important. I don’t know how many pheras have you sat through, for they are late at night, really really late. But if you have  and bothered listening to the pandit while he is explaining the vows to the famished couple you’ll realize that they are SHOCKINGLY sexist, orthodox and ridiculous.

“Aap apne pati se pooch kar ghar se niklengi aur logo se milengi” (you will take permission from your husband and then set out of the house or meet friend). I’m sorry but in todays world, or any world for that matter I think it is ridiculous. Why should the wife be answerable to the husband like this. She isn’t his slave or anything. she is an individual who has the damn right to her freedom. She has the freedom to work, speak, choose and do anything, anytime, anywhere in anyway.

I feel, always have, that a lot of burden is put on a women. Not just the burden of responsibility but random, degrading burden mean to tie her down.

Why should the woman have say ‘putram labham….’ yada yada? I’m glad that she in her mind said putri! If the couple has a daughter what is wrong with that. And why should she have to pray for a son? Its not up to her its up to the mans x/y chromosome!! So it is he who should be praying and not her, in case someone really needs to pray.

These two are just two small instances of an entire 2 hour long saga of overt sexism and shamefulness. The long winding ceremony, draining the the life and energy out of the couple on their THE DAY OF THEIR LIFE.

I believe that we all must   read our vows carefully beforehand and edit them in order to make sure that they are in sync with our sensibilities. If Kate or Diana choose to cut out the ‘obey’ part we too must make the effort of cutting out similar sentences though I have a feeling  we’ll end up cutting 99% of them for they all filled with sexism. Moreover it will also make the entire ceremony short and crisp.

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