Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Bangladesh: An Expensive Wedding

A wedding is considered the most important event of a Bangladeshi girl's life and an integral part of the local culture. Nirjona describes a typical wedding:

(A) Bangladesh wedding is a huge arrangement. It is all about color, food and family gatherings. Not many years ago people used to invite the whole town to celebrate the wedding for seven days. Now-a-days it has changed. Now wedding is a four days ceremony…


A Bangladeshi bride: Photo: from flickr user www.MonjurulHoque.com used under creative commons license.

(The) first day of the ceremony is called the bride’s Gaye Holud. In our culture we believe that turmeric paste makes the skin soft and make bride more beautiful for the wedding day. This is the main reason this day is called Gaye Holud which means “apply body turmeric paste to the skin.” This day everyone wears yellow cloths.

She continues in the next post:

Day 2 – is called the Gaya Holud for the groom. This is the same thing for groom’s side.

Day 3- is the final wedding day. The wedding ceremony is arranged by the bride’s family. The bride and groom are seated separately. […]

Everyone wear very colorful clothes. Bride wear red outfit with heavy gold ornaments. Once the ceremony is completed then the groom takes the bride to his home.

Day- 4 is the last day – we calle it Bouvat. This is kind of a reception party arranged by the groom’s family.

But these celebrations cost a lot of money and usually become a burden for the family. Adhunika Blog discusses the issue:

In today’s high priced market of Bangladesh a wedding is not just finding your daughter or son their life partner, it is also a contest where the two parties tries to spend more than the other trying to portray a wedding scene from one of the popular serials or a Bollywood movie.

This new practice takes its toll over the middle class people of the country who want to provide their offspring a memorable wedding yet struggle with the expenses of it.


Bride covered in gold. Image courtesy Adhunika Blog

The blog provides some detailed statistics of expenses during a typical wedding and summarizes:

So all in all an average wedding today will cost a family a minimum of Tk. 5 lakh-15 lakh, (around US$ 7,150- 21,430), not counting any dowry items, well they don’t call it dowry anymore but the practice of giving the groom furniture, car, apartment or something else as gifts by the brides parents still remain a common practice in Bangladesh.

And finally, the blog reminds that a line must be drawn somewhere and how people can act for the betterment of the society:

While we are spending from US $ 150 to $700 behind things we are to wear at someone else’s wedding only $10 can provide one carton of high energy protein biscuits to support malnourished children for a month. $300 covers a years supply of antirectrovial drugs for one HIV positive child. $17 can immunize a child against the 6 major childhood diseases. Such statistics are immense, and if you are willing there are several organizations in Dhaka today who can advice you on contributing to the betterment of the underprivileged in and around the country with only part of the expenses of you lavish wedding.

14 comments

  • Knights

    wow, very pretty outfit and customs

  • What a lovely post. It’s sad how money becomes such a big issue. The last comment reminds me of the American website that tries to get people to ask wedding guests to give to charity, instead of other presents:

    http://www.changingthepresent.org/registries

  • It is said that best stories are said in funerals and weddings… This is maybe because all families, even when they live far away, get together to see how they get attached to another family. A wedding is a very revealing social event, and in societies such as Bangla, it is a piece of social life that reflects a lot what they think is important. Wonderful post…

  • Kim

    The wedding photos are absolutely beautiful.

    I was however, sad to read that financial hardship can be created from such a wonderful event. I agree it is time to consider that these funds could do so much good.

  • sonjoy

    YEH…REALLY ITS A ENJOYABLE EVENT FOR THE GUEST BUT I DONT THINK IT IS SAME FOR THE PARENTS OF THE BRIDE-GROOM IF THEY ARE FROM MIDDLE CLASS. WEEDING IS A TRADITIONAL EVENT FOR THE BENGALS BUT PRESENTLY PROBABLY IT HAS BECOME A JUST COMPITION INREGARDS OF EXPENCE.I THINK TIME HAS COME PEOPLE OF BANGLADESH SHOULD THINK TWICE WHILE SPENDING SO MUCH OF MONEY FOR THIS FORMALITIES.BENGALS MAY THINK TO BRING THE ACTUAL BENGALI WEDDING TREND………..

  • arfan mohammed

    i like this wedding it good i went to this wedding it is my friend sister wedding this name is kamal hussain

  • Saima

    i think we bengali’s seriously need to stop over spending on weddings…i would never wanna wear all of that gold…not my thing. Plus we have so many poor ppl. we could help in bangladesh.

  • Farhana

    I agree, a wedding is a religouse event and should not become some thing hard for people to do. The gold however is important, it’s a bit like giving a women a diamond ring, its important, however, you should only spend the normal amount regarding how much you earn, and what people of your social standing usualy can afford. The party is traditionaly huge, but doesn’t have to be speaking in the religouse sense, however due to cultural pressures people feel the need to invite everyone they can think of, and also make it a 5-7 day event.

  • Masuma,Joeita and Joeti

    I wish I had a big wedding. Mine was wa—-y different than many others and ofcourse 13 years ago I chose that kind of wedding. But now at this point of my life I feel like I should have had beautiful wedding pics to enjoy, for myself and for my children.
    Wedding ceremony is the best family gathering whether big or small, rich or poor.

  • Mrs. Long

    I would like insite into Muslim Banglideshi weddings. It is the same alll over, I think. Everyone spends more than they should and there is lots of family everywhere! I would like more information on a wedding where one is Muslim and one is not.

Cancel this reply

Join the conversation -> Mrs. Long

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site