No more big fat weddings for Kashmir: Govt limits number of guests and food served

The Jammu and Kashmir government has banned the big fat weddings to curb the wastage of food in these social events. The numbers of guests and meal courses risen phenomenally in recent years and Kashmiri’s often spent their entire life savings either on a house or a wedding.

The restructuring, announced by the state government on Tuesday, is aimed at the number of guests invited for weddings, engagement parties to avoid wastage of food during these functions.

Chowdhary Zulfikar Ali, minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD), said that weddings in recent years have become a ‘nuisance', which are at the heart of creating social tensions, between different sections of the society, apart from being a major source of wasted food, throughout the state.

“Now you can only invite 500 guests for a daughter's wedding and 400 for a son's wedding. For the ring ceremonies people can invite 100 guests,” Chowdhary, said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

He said if the implementing agencies found anyone violating the government orders they will have to face the law, “We will soon introduce a legislation which would make it possible for us to punish people who violate the orders. It doesn’t matter who that is: whether it is bureaucrat or a politician.”

Kashmiri weddings are prolonged and lavish celebrations where tonnes of meat and rice is consumed which allegedly causes sharp rises in local food prices during the fall. The big fat weddings are considered to be an important measure of ones social status. However, when the militancy erupted in the valley, lavish weddings were largely avoided, but as the militancy started ebbing in the valley, the trend of the big fat wedding has started picking up.

The menus in these weddings routinely run to 20 to 35 courses and the burden is usually on the bride’s family. Families can often spend years trying to pay off debts incurred in providing wedding they deem worthy of their daughters.

The famous Wazwan has now become a huge burden on the pockets of parents. “One customer (a businessmen) asked me prepare 37 dishes for the guests on his daughter wedding. It was good business for me but what about those who can’t afford it,” Abdul Rashid Baba, a famous chef from old town of Srinagar, said.

“This is a good step and we are not against it. Traditionally the platter is served with seven dishes and then the subsequent dishes are added top the plate,” he added.

Baba says that although because of the unrest last year the Waza community in Kashmir has to face a loss of more than a hundred crore but people like him, would support the government move.

The state government has asked the deputy commissioners of the state to implement the decision and ensure its full implication. The government has also restricted number of dishes served during the wedding: seven non-veg and seven vegetarian dishes can be made available in marriages besides two items of sweets or ice cream.

Updated Date: Feb 21, 2017 19:26 PM

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