The Adverse Effects of Extravagant Weddings in Lahore – Research paper

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The Adverse Effects of Extravagant Weddings in Lahore Human Safari Khan Ms. Same Magma Academic Writing 204 Section H April 4, 2012 Lahore School of Economics Abstract In recent years, the trend of spending extravagantly on weddings has Increased tenfold and unfortunately has negatively Impacted our society. While most agree that the subject should be addressed, the solutions still lie In the grey area. This research paper explores both the negative and positive effects that result from these events.

The paper examines the effects along with popular public opinion on various aspects of the Issue and the government’s stance on the matter. The examination Indicates the areas of confinement and further points out that the severity of this Issue should be realized. An evaluation suggests a need for a comprehensive solution to this complex problem, mainly a stricter government regime should be Implemented and profound awareness should be created through different channels such as special programs, through schools and media, etc. Acknowledgments The research team would Like to give thanks to the following Individuals.

Dry. Safari Inaugurals Khan (Director General Wild Life and Parks), for being the Government authority for our research and taking the time out to answer our questions. The people who filled out our questionnaires and helped us In furthering our research. Ms. Same Magma, our academic writing Instructor, for helping us at each and every step of our research. Human Safari Khan for his research on the domain of News and actions taken by the Government authority’. Sundaes Shall for her research on the domain of “Costs of weddings as a ratio of Income levels and pressure from society’.

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Anima Skilled for her research on the domain of “Extravagant weddings as a social phenomenon and problem”. And Ezra ASPI for her research on the domain of “Positive aspects of weddings”. The Adverse Effects of Extravagant Weddings In Lahore going overboard with celebrations the biggest of which are wedding ceremonies. A Pakistani wedding, like others, is a ceremony to celebrate the union of a bride and a groom. Marriage is an important social celebration and people participate with fervor and zeal by spending in abundance their time and money.

A wedding ceremony has great importance in different cultures of the worlds. In Pakistan it seems to be to outshine one another resulting in negative budgets. Such unreasonable behavior is only to not lose face or deviate from the norms. Religion calls for simplicity while society and culture implores for lavish spending. This research proposes to find out the extent to which people spend on their weddings in relation with their income and the effects of such spending, whether positive or negative, on them and the society.

Young adults in this city have for most of their lives witnessed the wedding phenomenon, heard about it from their parents or read about it in newspapers and the trend noticed in the past 20-25 years is that more and more is now spent on these ceremonies. This is because the commodities and services found in unison with weddings have increased steadily, meaning a heftier bill. Taking a leaf from religion we see a demand for a simple ceremony to signify the wedlock of two people, a piece of paper (ninja-mama) to make it official and a meal for our immediate kin to celebrate the marriage.

Culture calls to stray from this firstly by having a range of ceremonies stretching on several days and now the incessant need to have bigger and better things to go with them. Hoping to find a solution to the “wedding epidemic” the research will look into the root causes of the problem and what steps can be taken to mitigate the effects. In aspiring to have the best “wedding experience” families go overboard by spending on vendors, catering, venues, decorations, musicians, photographers, photographers, choreographers and the person who brings it all together, the wedding planner.

Usually this conduct leads to excess wastage of food, clothes that are bought for individual days and cannot be worn again, time taken out to attend the ceremony, time taken to set up and time taken to plan it all. Due to this being a complex problem the time allotted for research may not be sufficient enough to adequately find a solution however various suggestions on how to proceed further are imminent. No prior research has been done on this so almost all of the findings will be through primary research to make it feasible and to cover all aspects and at best will shed and extensive light on the issue give the basis for further research.

The domains selected for this research are views and actions taken by the Government authority, costs of weddings as a ratio of income levels and pressure from society, extravagant weddings as a social phenomenon and problem, and positive aspects of weddings. Literature Review “In the northwestern Swat Valley, the increase in prices of Gold has discouraged any people to buy gold for Dowry which consists of gold is seen as investment by some people.

However, some politicians and mullahs discourage dowry and do not get the purpose behind it. It is seen by them as an unimportant spending. “(Express tribune, August 2011, Para 1) In this article, “There is no business like the marriage business” , the reporter Unman Tassels has canvassed how certain businesses that provide wedding-related services experience a boom during wedding seasons. These include marriage halls, tailoring, catering, Jeweler, decorators, cooking, rent-a-car, ailing.

The article details how sellers try to capitalize on this time period and corroborates this with quotes from them. It is a perfunctory but illuminating look on how wedding-related businesses operate in the city of Lahore. Even though it is Just a report that provides anecdotal evidence and is peppered with quotes, it still provides key insights such as the growing market space for wedding-related services, the seasonal nature of the wedding business etc. (Tassels, 2011, P 1) Unman Tassels, N. T. 2011) The article is mainly focused on how the wedding culture is influencing our society day by day and the idea and the of a big wedding which Just astonishes every girl and every boy even their families and the argument that this day only comes once’ makes the people to spend as much as they can Just to make sure that this day is memorable and during this thought process they forget that how much effort economically they will make this day to happen. Already the world is in a huge recession and poor are getting poorer. (Ezra, 25 January 2011, P 1).

Baton Ezra, B. A. (25 January 2011) In this article the author is mainly emphasizing that how food s wasted in huge weddings which are mainly taking place in the sub continent. As economic growth is taking place the people of the subcontinent are portraying their wealth with the means of their children’s wedding this provides a platform for the rich families to show their power and their affordability of dcore, food, dresses and a thing for people to talk about which in the culture is very popular. (George, 21 July 2011, P 1). Normal Gorge, N. S. 21 July 2011) The article ‘The lunacy of the Pakistani wedding published in ‘The Express Tribune’ talks about how large weddings are a sate of money and shows how people do not realize and do not plan that the money can be used for future planning for education, Jobs, buying a house, retirement, etc. The writer believes the excessive spending and celebrations an excuse to enjoy for a brief period of time and that it is an escape from the bring lives. However, the amount being spent to enjoy the weddings is too much and the writer believes it is a waste of money. (Termini, January 2011, P 1) Faro Termini, F.

S. (2011 January) Research Questions Primary question: What are the adverse effects of having extravagant weddings? Secondary questions 1 . Why is there a need for extravagant weddings? 2. What and how much is wasted? 3. Where does the money to hold such weddings come from? 4. Why not go for a simpler wedding? 5. What is the Government’s doing about the issue? 6. How can the size of a wedding be shrunken? 7. Is there any benefit derived from holding such large weddings? Methodology For this research, random sampling (where every unit sample in the population has an equal chance of getting selected) was used.

For the questionnaire a sample size of 30 was selected. Primary research was carried out through interviews and the questionnaires that were distributed. Secondary data included relevant information from the internet and newspaper articles. The qualitative data collected provided insight into the prevalent attitudes and mindset of the population shedding light on behavioral trends with respect to weddings whereas the quantitative data helped to of Data Positive Aspects of Extravagant Weddings In Lahore In this society, it is understood that if a wedding is to take place, it should be as grand as possible.

Upon being asked if throwing an extravagant wedding contributed to the psychological well-being of the hosts, 33% of the sample answered in the affirmative. Thus, weddings these days are celebrated with the utmost enthusiasm and vigor. The city of Lahore is known to possess such a spirit for weddings. Even though some people may be of the view that to spend huge sums on weddings is unnecessary, it is also agreeable that they have positive aspects as well. One of the brightest of these aspects is the fact that they generate a considerable amount of revenue for the wedding industry.

This in turn makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Ton van beck and Georgian Horn mention in their article, Wedding bells are ringing, “While not an industry in itself, the wedding business is a eye revenue contributor to a diverse mix of local businesses. ” (Horn & Beck, 2011) Secondly, for an event to be successfully organized there must be careful planning by experienced professionals whom require the assistance of manual labor. The need for this manual labor helps to create Job opportunities for the unemployed. This improves the living standard of the lower class and also educates them to an extent.

According to Mirror news,”A TOURISM boom sparked by the royal wedding could create 50,000 Jobs and make Billion for the economy. ” Upon conducting a survey, it as learned that people believe weddings are a great help in the creation of Job opportunities. Furthermore, research has shown that the gatherings at these weddings are massive having a minimum of 250 guests at each one. This provides a great platform for people to interact and socialize with one another which is the thought of many as shown in the research. This is a very pleasant and entertaining experience.

These gatherings often bring together distant relatives and provide an opportunity for people to bond with their old relatives or their extended families which is one of the reasons people look forward to them. People believe weddings are a good avenue for meeting extended family as well as match-making in some cases. Weddings are a change from the normal working routine so they are a means of recreation for people who are normally busy with their Jobs or schools. A wedding signifies the coming together of two families in a very strong bond of love and trust.

The Emends function in particular is very entertaining as there is a tradition of dancing to tunes along with the Banger dance which holds cultural importance not only in Pakistan but in the entire Sub-continent. These routines are quite entertaining and pleasurable to watch. The survey that was conducted shows that a considerable percentage of people believe that the entertainment is a very bright aspect of extravagant weddings. Extravagant weddings however, do have some specialties of their own which is why they are called extravagant!

Examples of these may vary from fireworks to huge halls to even luxurious cars for the bride and groom to depart in. This is definitely something you do not see every day and also makes for a memorable experience of the event. Moreover, there are taxes imposed on functions that are not finished before 10 P. M which add to the Government funds that may then be used for development and industrialization if correctly spent by the weddings and encourage investors and entrepreneurs to invest their money into the business while expecting financial benefits in return.

This improves the overall economic situation of not Just Lahore but Pakistan as a whole. This research shows most people are of the view that the creation of business opportunities is the most positive aspect of extravagant weddings. In grieving times like these where the economy is facing a constant downfall, poverty is increasing at an alarming rate and he overall situation of the country descending into the depths of being uncontrollable, these functions provide a change from all the grief and tension that has built up on Pakistanis population.

As stated before, the creation of Jobs is the brightest aspect as it helps to decrease poverty and increases education which is a fundamental need for the people because the stem of most problems that arise in our country is poverty which in turn results in our population not being educated enough to do something about the situation that Pakistan finds itself in. Lavish weddings as a social phenomenon and problem. The word “wedding” brings to mind an occasion for celebration and happiness, yet in Pakistan weddings are not only associated with feelings of pleasure but of immense negativity as well.

It has been a long established fact that weddings in Pakistan that are extravagant or lavish have been a cause for social problems. Families often concede to pride when choosing a suitor for their child and henceforth select a family in equivalence to their social status. This usually leads to families having to incur massive debts due to dowry payments (bride side), providing extensive gifts for arioso extended family members and hosting lavish wedding receptions.

For this reason the payments of dowries was outlawed but with the exception of Mar payments as these are religious in nature and is owed to the woman. However surprisingly in practice most women do not actually collect Mar. This however did not seem enough to mitigate the negative aspect as there are further problems that arose. Some of these include threats of security, wastage of electricity and food and of course more money. In the case of wedding functions ending late at night, they ere thought to be unsafe for two main reasons.

The first being that individuals traveling back in an understandable hurry to reach home tended to over speed and drive recklessly resulting in major accidents. The second reason was the threat of being robbed or kidnapped on the way while traveling through roads that are not well lit. In a time of such economic crisis as Pakistan is facing due to lack of electricity and immense load shedding, having events late into the night seems highly absurd not only for the people hosting the event but a detrimental ripple effect is caused for he rest of society.

Huge generators were employed so that the wedding would receive uninterrupted lights and music. The introduction of the limit on time introduced by the government should be commended and not condemned. It ensures that events finish early so that citizens may reach their homes at a decent time and relatively safely. And an immeasurable amount of electricity was conserved. It is not uncommon however for people to arrange functions in their own homes so as to bypass the pm time rule. The other major problem that still prevails however is one of food wastage.

A large amount of food is leftover at the end of every wedding function and which is usually Just dumped out when it could be going too much halls may argue that they would have to incur added costs to ensure proper distribution of food, however if the effort is made they may each have one special location close to them where food can be transported. But when events are held in empty plots and such it should be the responsibility of either the caterers to distribute food or the people hosting the wedding.

It may seem a tedious act but civic sense implores that people should go that extra mile to help out others in need. Resultantly the question then arises as to why do people feel the need to have extravagant weddings in the first place with over the top decorations, entertainment, seating arrangements and choreographers for dance moves? Is societal pressure such a powerful motivator that if it is not followed people feel that they will lose the respect of their relatives and friends?

This perception needs to die out and be replaced with one where it is individuals understand they cannot afford to impress society anymore. More thought should be put towards actually establishing a secure future for the married couple. The necessity of out-doing one another should also be put a stop to because it is Just no longer economically feasible to do so. A questionnaire was passed around to gather the views that people had regarding certain aspects of weddings.

It was found out that 47% of people when posed with the problem of a rising budget would chose to actually take out a loan to meet their cost but a majority of 53% chose to cut down their costs. However, only 43% of our sample had incomes over 100,000. When asked in their opinion what the reasons for lavish spending on weddings are, a majority of 47% attributed it to the pressure they let from family or society, and only 20% said it was due to a genuine feeling of happiness to share with their family and friends.

This gives us the greatest insight as to how far the perception of “societal pressure” has infected the population and being relentless in causing major problems for the people. 50% of the sample agreed that the money that is spent excessively on weddings and all the accessories that come with it would be better spent on fulfilling long term goals like securing for the married couple a financial future, by buying for them a house or opening for them an emergency fund, etc. And yet still 40% were neutral on the subject and 10% did not agree at all.

The reason for this maybe that many families feel they can provide the money host an extravagant wedding experience for the couple and also fulfill long term aims. In the matter of devising a proper waste disposal system 50% of the sample was in favor of this regime, 27% were neutral for the matter and a shocking 23% were against it. The question to be raised here is why such a number of people feel that food should be left indisposed of? Perhaps these people feel that there is not a significant surplus of food at the end of weddings, or perhaps that it loud be too costly for any such system to be implemented.

Costs of Wedding as a ratio of income levels and pressure from society The weddings that take place may not exactly be extravagant, when referring to low income groups, but they do try their best to ensure that much is spent on these events even when they cannot afford it. Many problems are faced as loans are taken which they are unable to return. All this is a result usually from pressure from society and to show that they are also capable of having a large wedding. This analysis will be of two main topics, which are, the mount of income spent on weddings and is pressure from society really an their views on these factors as well.

In the past, a wedding was celebrated with many traditions and practices but not much was spent. But as inflation is increasing so is the spending on weddings whereas, the opposite should be taking place. As time has passed, people seem to have more income and more chance of perhaps showing off to others that they can afford to celebrate weddings in an extravagant manner. Hence, as spending increased, the government decided to intervene and apply measures to ensure less is spent. However, these rules apply only for weddings that are celebrated in particular places.

Two main policies were implemented when the government intervened. As people tend to spend a lot on food which results in wastage of food, the government implemented the one-dish policy which has been followed and has helped in reducing wastage of food. However, the effectiveness of this policy has also been observed through questionnaires and research. The second policy that the government has implemented is the time limit of celebrating weddings till 10. As the wedding ends early, less is spent on food, electricity and so forth.

Although these policies are implemented they are not always favored by people and they tend to celebrate weddings in private places or at homes which results in unwanted excessive spending. Moreover, society also spends much on dowry and excessive spending on that is usually because of a desire to show off. Also, there is also much spending from families when giving gifts and also the families who have arranged the wedding usually end up spending a lot for giving gifts to the in-laws and so on.

There are many other traditions and practices that are followed which cause the people to spend a large proportion of their income on weddings. Families tend to say that weddings do not take place all the time so when a wedding is being celebrated it should be celebrated with enthusiasm and fervor and it should be as extravagant as it could get. However, future planning does not take place. If the amount spent on these weddings is reduced the money saved can be used for future planning, for the married couple.

Moreover, low income group people spend a lot but do not take into account the future planning. It is difficult for them to spend on their children’s’ education already and with much amount being spent on weddings hillside’s’ present and future education is overlooked. Education spreads awareness. The government needs to have awareness programs as the two policies implemented are not sometimes implemented perhaps because of strict checking or because the wedding has been arranged in a private place. Awareness will lead to much advantage for the society as a whole.

Although some people may be able to afford to spend so much it is not always necessary good, as the money spent could have been used for something beneficial in the future. Moreover, the amount of events that take place in a wedding also causes much spending by the families. Some people choose to celebrate weddings in a simple manner by having a small family reception or by having a Nikkei at the mosque. However, some people choose to celebrate by having many events such as Mammon, Nikkei, Dholes, Emends, Bart and William.

The three main events Emends, Bart and William already lead to too much spending and with the added events, spending increases by a large amount. Some people choose to celebrate all these events extravagantly which is not a need. Society needs to make fair decisions and analyses their current and future spending and decide in a proper adding in an extravagant manner and also have enough for future spending. Enough should be saved incase a lot for money is needed for future use.

Moreover, in a wedding, other than the events, unwanted spending is done such as spending on hiring decorators, having large dancing floors, for example, and hiring singers and choreographers. There are many other things that people chose to do that are not wanted. However, these things are usually Just done by high income groups. Affordability may not be such a problem for them but spending so much may not be an advantage for them in the future. Future planning is important whether it be for the married couple, for the family itself, or for the children who are getting educated.

Spending so much usually takes place because of a desire to show off and because there is a pressure from society. Some people believe that people who do not spend extravagantly on weddings is because they cannot afford it even when that is not the case. People who spend less are better off in the future. Moreover, complexes arise when families do not spend weddings extravagantly. Society needs to have a wiser and mature outlook on things so that it is easy for the whole society to carry out a elaboration. Views of the government and actions taken by them regarding extravagant wedding celebrations.

The government of Pakistan has been taking action against extravagant weddings and the wasteful nature of these weddings since 1967 by passing acts that restrict various factors that might create social pressure or are a form of wasteful spending. The acts are as followed: 1. The West Pakistan Dowry (Prohibition on Display) Act, 1967. 2. The Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Act, 1976. 3. The Marriages (Prohibition of Wasteful Expenses) Act, 1977. 4. The Marriage Functions (Ostentatious Displays) Ordinance, 1999. The Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious Displays and Wasteful Expenses) Ordinance, 2000. All these acts suggest that extravagant spending on weddings and the wasteful nature of these celebrations is not a new problem yet this problem still exists today. This research conducted an interview with Dry. Safari Inaugurals khan (Director General Parks Punjab). The purpose of this interview was to get the Punjab governments’ point of view on extravagant weddings in Lahore and to find out what actions were taken by them to keep these weddings in check.

Dry. Safari spoke as a representative of the Punjab government. The Punjab government understands the importance of weddings in the culture of Pakistan, however the Punjab government does not support over extravagant celebrations as it is a waste of resources. The reason for this stance is the current position of the nation. A few problems that Pakistan faces were mentioned like poverty and hunger. In the view of the government the pressure of an extravagant wedding is a burden on the poor and wastefulness of resources is strongly discouraged.

When asked about the actions taken the government Dry. Safari mentioned the one dish rule and the time limit rule set by the Punjab government. 1. The one dish rule is part of the Punjab Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious Displays and Wasteful Expenses) Act, 2003. ” This Act was passed by the Punjab Assembly on 7 February 2003; assented to by the Governor of the Punjab on 8 February 2003 ;”( Punjab Gazette Extraordinary, 14 February 2003, P 273 to 275). The act was introduced because of wasteful expenses on marriages and ceremonies marriage of any other person shall – 2.

Decorate or cause to be decorated any street, road or public park or any place other than a house or a building, where marriage ceremony is being held, with lights or illumination; 3. Explode or allow anyone to explode cracker or other explosive device including firing by firearm; 4. Display or allow anyone to display fireworks; 5. Display or allow any person to display dowry to the public eye. “( Punjab Gazette Extraordinary,14 February 2003, P 273 to 275). This act is meant to target ostentatious celebrations. Part 2 and 3 also act as security measures taken for the safety of the general public.

Part 4 is considered to safe guard against pressures of the society. Section 4 of the act is for the restriction of wasteful expenses. The Punjab Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious Displays and Wasteful Expenses) Act (2003) tastes that no one shall serve meals or other edibles to the persons in connection with a marriage except soup or, hot or cold soft drinks: one dish may be served at the William ceremony to a maximum number of three hundred invitees, including hosts, attending the ceremony (Punjab Gazette Extraordinary, 14 February 2003, P 273 to 275).

If followed to the word no food items can be served at any function except the William ceremony but through observation this research knows that such is not the case and food is served on most if not all ceremonies. “In the beginning of 2009, the Punjab Government announced it will strictly implement the one-dish law, namely that all wedding feasts are to be limited to one-dish in order to bring some semblance of egalitarianism in our society and uniformity between various segments. “( Rabbet, 10 April 2009, P 1).

According to the section 11 of the law, “Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act. “(PunJab Gazette Extraordinary, 14 February 2003, P 273 to 275). It can be said the government has used the section 11 of the act and has given some leniency by allowing one dish in all functions. A survey was conducted on the 1 lath and tofu January 2009 by Gallup Pakistan and released by Gillian Research Foundation on April 10, 2009.

The survey was on one dish weddings and the question of the survey was “Recently Punjab government has announced strict implementation of one dish restriction at weddings. Do you favor or oppose this step? ” (Rabbet, 10 April 2009, P 1). The results were as followed: Support 67% Oppose 15% Don’t Know No Response 4% According to Gallup Pakistan “The survey was carried out among a sample of 2901 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country during lath and 12th January 2009.

Error margin is estimated to be approximately + 2-3 per cent at 95% confidence level. “(Rabbet, 10 April 2009, P 1). A similar survey was conducted by Gallup Pakistan in 2003, then 26% of the sample opposed the one dish restriction. A fall of 8% can be seen. This may be because of change in the economic conditions with factors like inflation weighing into the equation. With 67% of the sample supporting the policy it can be said that the public is in favor of the act and supports the actions taken by the government against wastefulness nature of celebrations is the 10:pm time limit.

The 10:00 pm time limit ban is a standing order issued by the Punjab government. This order bans weddings celebrations to continue after 10:00 pm. “This rule was set up for conserving electricity and preventing late night robberies and terrorist activities. ” ( Salesladies, Monday, April 2012, Para 3). According to an article published in Pakistan today “Marriage halls’ owners have filed petition in Lahore High Court against the ban claiming that the government’s argument to order a cut-off time for weddings was baseless.

Marriage Halls Association General Secretary, Java Nanas had filed the petition. ( Salesladies, Monday, April 2012, Para 3). The research then inquired from Dry. Safari the results of the actions taken by the government. His response was that these actions are not generally liked by a substantial part of the public but these actions are not meant to be popular. He says that these actions are taken to make sure that food and power are not waste and as far as those factors are concerned these actions have been successful.

When asked what more can be done by the authorities his response was that a lot more can be done but in the society everyone has the right to make their win choices, if the person who is throwing the wedding is using his own resources and it does not harm others and as long as it is not a threat to national security the government has no right to intervene. The last question asked was what changes are expected by the government in the long run, Dry.

Safari answered by telling about the long run policies of the government regarding the issue, that is, to educate the general public about the demerits of such lavish celebrations. The Punjab government hopes to see educated decisions rather than emotional ones by the person who is throwing the wedding. Conclusion This research has led to the conclusion that extravagant weddings have various effects, both positive and negative.

The negative aspects of weddings include waste of food, a great amount of food is wasted in weddings as organizers try and make sure that there is not a shortage of food and no guest is left unfed and have plenty to take as seconds. Organizers tend to over spend when it comes to weddings. This research shows that most 57% of our sample has an income of less than rupees 100,000 and 70% of our sample would spend more than rupees 1,000,000 on a wedding. That is ten times the income supposing all those 57% made exactly 100,000.

Weddings become a matter of pride in society. One big wedding leads to bigger weddings, as organizers try to outdo each other in all departments. A majority of 47% of our sample thinks that the reason for lavish spending on wedding is pressure of the society or pressure from family. Pakistan being a developing country faces the major problem of electricity shortages. Big weddings use large amounts of electricity for decoration of houses, streets, air conditioning of wedding halls and various other seasons.

Extravagant weddings go on till the late hours of the night. Expense Jewelry and large amounts of money in the form of cash our carried at late hours, making weddings a target for robberies. Lavish Weddings cause the organizers to go into debt. 47% of our sample is prepared to take loans if they can’t meet costs of a wedding rather than cutting down costs. With negative aspects, there are a few positive aspects of weddings. Weddings are a way to share feelings of happiness with others. In Pakistan, weddings are not Just a union of two people; it is a form of