The Dowry Debate

A little revisit of an older post of mine. 😃

It was fun writing about the whole Arranged Marriage  thing, and it brought another issue to my mind too.

What's she worth?

What’s she worth?

(source)

The whole dowry issue.  I don’t know what you might know about dowries, but in India, and within Indian families around the world, it is, and in some cases, was, thankfully, a custom of gifting the bridegrooms family with money and items, to basically bump up the value of their girl!

It’s common practice to give a girl a certain amount of jewellery, or gold.  This hails back to the days when a woman wasn’t educated, or didn’t work, have a career, besides being a home maker, a wife and mother.  The gold was there as a security almost.  If something was to happen to her husband, or she fell into any difficulties, that the gold was there for her to use, to better her life again.  A lot of women saw that gold handed over, given in good faith by her family, to the in-laws, never to see it again.

The reason I blog about it today is the same show me and the munchkins were watching, showed a family refusing to take anything from the brides family, the fact that they were giving their daughter, was gift enough.  In theory, this is a wonderful idea, however in the serial, it is a cover up, they don’t want to demand anything, they need the boy married off poste haste, to cover some criminal activity!

But it brought me to thinking about dowry, and demands nowadays.  Here in the UK I have noticed, that there is not so much of a demand for items now.  Mostly we have love marriages.  The couple would probably wed whether their family was happy or not, yet tradition still dictates that there is a certain amount of lehn dehn, give and take, involved. an outfit for the boy, an outfit each for the main females of the grooms family, and shirts or turbans for the menfolk.  Some get a small jewellery set, or rings too. but the weddings themselves are huge affairs, costing tens of thousands of pounds, so as a parent, you need to be saving, well, before you even have kids!

In India, from what I have heard and experienced, there is still a lot of it happening, even though it is frowned upon.  Not only do you need to give your daughter , who you have lovingly brought up, into a strangers family, but they want a car, a fully kitted out kitchen, new sofa set… oh, all manner of things! And if the boy is in high demand, this can be a bartering tool to go from that three door car to the 5 door 4×4!

Anti-Dowry

Anti-Dowry

(source)

So many families, using the wealth that is their sons, to gather even more! It amazes me, some people have no shame!

The other thing that is happening is that you get people with their visas for abroad, and permanent residencies, coming back home and then selling their kids hand to the highest bidder… that is a whole other topic that I will blog about at a later date!

Seriously??!!  You know, when we got married, my in laws didn’t ask for the earth, we just did the basics. It wasn’t needed.  Its not like they lived in poverty and needed a leg up, by way of gifts from the daughter in laws family!  As much as you get a daughter, the other side gain a son.. isn’t that give and take enough?

When our time comes, I know that what would be of utmost importance to us, is that the children be happy. I couldn’t put a price on my daughter, or son’s head or anyone else’s either!

But I Smile Anyway...

Kids Logic Part 49 – Europe

They can talk sense, sometimes, these kids!

In the UK at the moment, the papers and news shows are repeatedly showing articles and items regarding Britain’s EU Referendum.

Just yesterday my colleagues and I were talking about it, saying that really we have no idea what is best. The with business acumen say we must stay for, the economy.  But the speak in such high faulted terms that Jo Bloggs on the street won’t listen, so that point falls on deaf ears.

Many people, fed up with the immigration mess the country appears to be in, say get out of Europe, close the borders!

But it’s hard to get a rounded picture for the average person. There are many implications with staying in the EU, but also many issues that will rise with leaving.

Who knows how the country will vote?

This morning, Lil Man, who is a worldly wise 10 year old suddenly gave me his opinion.

LM: We should stay in Europe!
Me: Why?
LM: Because it’s better for us all.
Me: How will it be better? I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m genuinely interested in what you think.
LM: Well, if we stay in, we have more allies, and much better defences against terrorism.

There you go. A 10 year old nowadays can’t even have a simple innocent childhood, as he is already thinking about things like terrorism.

But I think he has a valid point.

What do you think?

I Have A Little Secret… But I Need A Little Input…

  
…I’m working on something… Hopefully I can realise my dreams in a slightly different way…

My novel Wedded Stress has hit a block purely because of time, but I fancy being published, still… So I am taking inspiration from my Blogily, amd possibly publishing some bits I have written…

What I want to know from you is, 

A) Poems only?

B) Short stories only?

C) a compilation of both?

What would be more appealing to you?

I even have a possible name… But that will only be revealed if I actually do this!

My Create Space account has been set up…. I just need to fill it!

They keep me sane!

You know when you are swallowed whole by family?
Your individuality disappears as you are swallowed with a new identity?
You are no longer “you’, instead you are someone’s wife, someone’s daughter in-law, and eventually someone’s mum?
Well, OK, I know not everyone feels this, but there are a lot of Indian women who have found themselves in that position.
And as for motherhood being all consuming, that covers a much wider range of women.

After I had Lil Man, I took a year out, and then we were in a position that I could reduce my hours, and work part-time. This meant squeezing all I needed to do in 3 hours. It didn’t leave much time for socialising. I worked, quick chats, then left to go home to be mummy again.

Again, another year out when Lil Princess arrived, but this time the office had decided, rather thoughtlessly, to move location, where it just wasn’t feasible to do part-time. Luckily, with my in-laws support with the children, I was able to go back full-time, and realised that, along with the money being better, my sanity was being restored! I was no longer just mummy, but I was me again. Those hours between 10am and 6pm didn’t revolve around the children or conversations about the children, naps, feeding, nappies, and family, but I could talk about whatever I wanted, without interruptions. I could swear if I wanted!

Around the kids and family I needed to be sane, strict, sensible, controlled, with a smidgin of fun thrown in. Now I had whole days where I could almost pretend I wasn’t a parent, until 6.30-7pm… Then I would have the rush of being mummy intensivly for an hour or so, then being the good daughter-in-law and wife before bed, only to get up and do the same the next day. Not so great.

Now, being in school I believe I have it even better. I work school hours, so have plenty of time with my  family, and the hours at school, I am not the kids mum, unless there is a problem, which isn’t often. I am Ritu. (Or Mrs Bhathal to the kids). I have a wonderful relationship with my colleagues, the conversations behind the staffroom door can be hilarious! If I’ve had enough at home, I can forget it and enjoy my day at work, or garner the perspective of someone unassociated with the family.

I feel I finally have my sanity back. I have my individuality back. I am me again. And I wouldn’t be able to say that without the people I work with. They accept me for me, who I am, and the children at school too. They think (know) I’m a little loopy, and I love that!

I love being a wife and mother. There is no greater blessing but it’s good to know that that isn’t all I am. There is something else that is important, and that is me being me.

How old am I?

I’m intrigued… 

Tell me, how old do my readers think I am…

If you’ve followed for a while, you might actually know…

But I’d love to know my perceived age…

Am I regarded as mature, or young….

You tell me! 

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