The video of a badass Bengali bride has gone viral on the internet for challenging old traditions and refusing to cry during her bidai. Social media cannot stop raving about this boss lady who can be seen coolly performing ‘Kanakanjali’ ritual. In this ritual, as the bride steps out of her parents’ house, she throws a handful of rice over her head symbolises a repayment of all her debts to her parents. In this video, a relative can be heard prompting her to say that today she is repaying her parents’ debt. To this, she promptly replies, “You can never repay your parents’ debt.”
- A video showing a Bengali bride saying, “you can never repay your parents’ debt” has gone viral.
- Brides are expected to be sad during their bidai, a ceremony which marks their departure from their parents’ home.
- But can marrying into another household really dilute your gratitude and love for your parents?
- While boys are taught to feel eternally in debt to their parents, why does the society expect daughters to throw all that debts away with a handful of rice?
This bride's response on being asked to say, "today you are repaying your parents' debt," during a wedding ritual has gone viral – and for the right reasons.
A 'Buri Ladki' salam to this badass bride!
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— The Quint (@TheQuint) January 30, 2019
A relative can be heard prompting her to say that today she is repaying her parents’ debt. To this, she promptly replies, “You can never repay your parents’ debt.”
Usually, the ceremonies associated with the departure of a bride from her parents’ home are very emotional. They symbolise severance of ties on some level, as the daughter leaves to be a daughter-in-law in her matrimonial house. But in modern times, most daughters refuse to believe that matrimony alienates them from their parents. Once a daughter, always a daughter. The bond that they share with their parents isn’t that delicate, that a couple of ceremonies can sever it. But no matter how you feel about it, it is a tradition for girls to cry during their bidai. In fact, not shedding copious amounts of tears is frowned upon. Such a bride is called ungrateful, shameless, heartless and whatnot.
Which is why the attitude of this modern Bengali bride has struck a chord with so many. Women today loath such rituals, which lack relevance in today’s context. But alas, there is still a section of our society which doesn’t approve when brides challenge outdated traditions. Not many like a bride who is bold and not demure and who refuses to cry during her bidai and goes away cheerfully, promising to be back soon. The reason being that the very foundation of matrimony lies on the concept of women severing bonds with their parents and adopting a new identity and a new family.
The feelings of love and gratitude for parents can’t simply be switched off.
While men are conditioned to feel eternally in debt of their parents and take care of them to the best of their capabilities, a woman is taught to throw all her debts away with a handful of rice. But as this Bengali bride says, you can never repay your parents debt. Thus, we need to stop telling our daughters that they belong with their matrimonial household after their marriage. That they are under no obligation to care for their parents once they start a family of their own, because this is so not true. The feelings of love and gratitude for parents can’t simply be switched off.
Daughters are not only turning caregivers for their parents, but they are also refusing to dilute their bond with them after marriage. If we hail a son for being attached to his parents, why can’t we extend the similar courtesy towards a daughter? These days parents give children equal love, equal opportunities and equal comfort. Then why must we expect a daughter to forget all that she has gotten from her parents?
If there is one thing we can take away from this Bengali bride’s viral video, it is to thrash regressive traditions with a swagger. Brides are no longer obliged to cater to the traditions which they do not identify with, so they won’t. And that no amount of social pressure can force us to distance ourselves from the people whom we owe our very existence.
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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.