“Rishta” (match-making) Pakistani culture

The time has definitely changed. People are well-informed. Technology, liberalism, equality, and feminism are ruling over everyone’s mindset but still, we are enslaved by our old social norms. No doubt, we are living in a patriarchal society where the girls are exhibited in front of families searching for a “perfect bahu” for their sons. Culture still remains the hardest chain to cut out. Groom’s family hold the divine right to reject the would be groom without any valid reason.

Tradition prevails

Traditionally it is a social norm that Moms of potential grooms visit the girl’s house to see if she is a fit “match” to marry their sons. Time has changed a lot but cultural values are yet intact with full force. It seems that nothing is changed for decades. Things are changing fast. It is a ripe time to get rid of the anti-social evil practices of ‘Rishta culture’. This issue really needs to be addressed as a priority. Arrange marriages do not mean insulting the potential brides. Why do always girls need to appear in front of the groom’s family like the old-day slaves presented to buyers? Why does the bride’s family have to bear all the marriage expenses in the name of “Dowary” to feed the limitless number of people in the name of ” Barat”?

Appearance to impress

The Arab culture has much to appreciate as the groom is mainly responsible to bear the whole expenses of marriage. But the sub-continent culture is quite opposite to the arab culture. The bride’s family here has to make huge expenses in the name of marriage. They are under social pressure to save their honor and to impress the groom’s family. The girls are asked to get prepared to appear before the groom’s family in an admirable special dress to serve the tea to guests. The appearance is meant to impress the groom’s side guests, especially the groom’s mom. will ask their daughter to dress nicely and sit properly in front of them like a showpiece. The host family remains flattering to the guests and praying tight-lipped to win the chance for their daughter. Parents will do their best just for the sake Good luck of their daughters.

Select a slave

Do you know what the worst of its? It’s the part where the boy’s family will examine your daughter from head to toe. They would want her complexion to be fair, and her height and weight to be ideal (as if we are in control of these things). Moreover, she should also know how to cook but on the other hand, she should also have a professional degree and by then her age should not be more than 25 and even when she has a professional degree, it depends on their permission, whether if they let her pursue her career after marriage or not. It is the groom’s family to make future decisions for the bride. Only in very rare cases does her version of the opinion matters. She has to adjust to the satisfaction of the other family making all the compromises they expect from her.

You would think that this is enough for them to finally have a perfect bridel. No it’s not!

Worth analysis

Once they are done scrutinizing your daughter’s physical attributes, housekeeping skills, and educational background. They will move on to other disturbing things. They will notice your house, whether it’s rented or you own it, your crockery, your furniture, how much property you own, how much the father and other family members earn, and in case your father has passed away then how much pension you get from your father’s office, how many cars do you have and their models, your house consists of how much yards. The reason behind all these questions is to make an estimate about dowry! to check the worth of the family and draw an estmate what they can skim out the kitty.

Expectations unlimited

Is it not enough to find a decent educated girl which belongs to a ‘Shareef’ (noble) and respected family? Why is this not enough for you people? Wait for it, they have a statement, “we liked your daughter a lot but…………” And you can never fill in this blank because you never know! Furthermore, If the girl is too pretty they can reject her too by saying how will we manage her “Nakhray” (tantrums). According to our society, they are “Larky waalay” (Groom’s Family). They have every right to reject the girl for a petty matter. The people do not even realize the mental trauma those girls are going through because of their, imbalanced, inhuman bad-mannered behaviour.

Every person likes to be called a liberal but when it comes to “Rishta” all their liberalism and equality just vanishes. They want the best to their self-defined standards. Do people even look at themselves before pointing out flaws in someone else; do you even think you are worthy of that much perfection?

Tit for tat

Basically, the culture of finding a perfect life partner with all the privileges has become very common in both sides. There are girls too, who look for everything perfect, a six-figure job, a good-looking well-settled guy with perfectly enviable family background. It is not bad to demand a perfect life partner but judging someone’s ability to be competent on the basis of the physical parameter is not acceptable. Sadly, this culture has taken up the minds of both sides. The privledge only rest with the empowered girls or the families stronger than the groom side. When will we change this culture?

Let the rationality reign

I am not saying that boys should appear in front of girl’s families. I don’t support that kind of feminism but there can be a midway to solving the burning isse. There is a way, society just has to accept and follow that trend. Both families can arrange their meetup in any restaurant and also can split the bill. It would be much easier or simple because tying knots has nothing to do with materialistic things. It shocks me how people can judge someone’s qualities in just one meeting. Their qualities cannot be defined by their physical appearance, for sure! Their weight, and height or complexion has nothing to do with how much they can spread love in one’s house.

I still can’t understand why this is so difficult to get married or maybe it’s not. Maybe it has become difficult to find your spouse because society is in search of self-styled perfection. Who will stop the craziness. Stop it.

Try to step into other people’s shoes, “Kyun kay aap bhi beti waly ho sakty hain. (you can be a girl’s family).

Photo by Kumar Saurabh

Urza Omar
  • Urza Omar
  • The writer has a proven track as a mentor, motivational trainer, blogger, and social activist. She is the founder of mindclassic.com a blog intended for avid readers.