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Traffic in marriage season

IFP Editorial: Given the frequency of ceremonies during the marriage season, it has become a burden for many and especially for those with little means.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 25 Jan 2023, 11:07 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

What is most frustrating during the marriage season is the traffic jams on auspicious days and it takes hours to reach the marriage venues. With a quantum jump in the number of vehicles in recent times, it is even more insane in the month of Phairen during which most marriages are held. As per the Meitei lunar calendar, marriages can be held in other months also except for four months of Chaturmas, during which Lord Vishnnu is believed to be in slumber.

Every parent wants the marriage ceremony of their children to be solemnised on auspicious days as fixed by the Panjis. So, naturally traffic jams happen on these days. There were even suggestions in the social media that the state government should declare a half-holiday on such auspicious days during Phairen so as to enable government servants to attend these events taking into consideration the time taken in the traffic jams besides the number of marriage venues one has to reach. In the rites of passage, marriage is also one of the three occasions during which absence is considered an insult by the immediate family.

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In the Meitei community, everything is elaborate in the rituals and ceremonies, be it among the followers of traditional Meitei religion like Sanamahi or Hindu Vaishnavism. Of all the rituals and ceremonies, one cannot do away with the ceremonies relating birth, marriage and death while other ceremonies are mere add-ons. However some rituals which should be strictly a family affair like Ipan Thaaba, Chak-umba, Nahut Nareng Tamba or piercing of the ear and Nagun Thangba or Coming of Age ritual have also become a community affair. Add to that, the extraneous ceremonies like Yum Sangaba and house-warming parties, birthday parties, wedding anniversaries and other extravagant add-ons and mind you it involves extra expenses for gifts from those who are invited.

With ever-rising inflation, the rates of mandatory Potyeng-sel has increased to Rs 500 and 1000. Anything below is ridiculed. Again, it has become a ritual for everyone attending to celebrate the performers of Nat Sankritan with Rs 10 note each. However, with the scarcity of Rs 10 note in circulation, it has slowly been replaced with Rs 20 note. Nowadays, it has also become a practice to celebrate the first-benchers in the mandap with the same Rs 10 or 20 note. Given the frequency of ceremonies during the marriage season, it has become a burden for many and especially for those with little means.

Even some VVIPs have started to complain, as for them they had to attend the ceremony of each and every family in his or her constituency. On the other hand, the overall expenditure in organising these rituals and ceremonies had increased manifold particularly in marriage ceremonies with extravagantly decorated pandals and catering services with exorbitant rates, wedding cakes, momos and non-veg items, on-site tea and hot snacks and lavish feasts during Mangani Chakkouba.

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With the entry of event managers or the modern day Arangphams, the expenses had gone through the roof. These events handle everything from erecting pandals and decorating them with extravagant paraphernalia, photography sessions and videography, organising wedding cake parties, catering services and what not. It was indeed lucky that they left the ritual part to the Arangphams. During Sradhha or Lanna Thouram, it has become customary nowadays to add a utensil or towel over and above the food items being offered and mandatory Dakhina. Indeed, the time has come for the society to fall back and think on extraneous expenses during such rituals and ceremonies.

EDITORIAL

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Tags:

imphal trafficmanipuri weddingimphal traffic jammarriage trafficmarriage season

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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