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Food is one of the essential elements of all marriages in India

Food is one of the essential elements of all marriages in India; obviously other than the religious rituals required to seal the heavenly bond. It is rare to witness wedding ceremonies without dinner or lunch being served; this is true not only for India but also for other various other countries. If you are rich then there is less to worry about but if you are not then you are bound to suffer from sleepless nights; assuming that you are getting married.
My concern however is not whether you can afford to serve ‘food’ to your guests at a wedding or not but the fact that in a poor family can we really afford to waste food in marriages. Some people in India go to sleep without food almost every day; the poverty line is deeply embedded in the fabric of the society. There are only 60% families in my country that can happily eat three meals a day and sleep without worrying about the next day.
Food wastage in Indian marriages 

Marriages in India are generally lengthy and do not end in one day; there are different celebrations and cultural rituals that include food as an essential element. Imagine having one week or even 3 days of festivities that include feeding the guests and if you compare the food eaten with the quantity of food wasted by the same guests; the result will be equal or the latter will gain the upper hand.
My concern is conservation of food wastage so that the same essential and basic commodities can be used to help out the poor and needy who are in abundance in India. It is not strange that a country where people are willing to commit crimes and sleep on an empty stomach; a considerable portion of the population is willing to spend an ample amount on wasting food in marriages. It is my personal observation and those who are familiar with my country will agree that the amount spent on serving food in marriages is enough to feed several families for at least a month.
Some people indulge in ‘showing off’ while others do it for the sake of ‘family honor’ but we all have seen how guests fill their plates and leave half of it in the waste bins. There are different solutions that may lessen the effect of this so called social evil; one is that at the end of the ceremony all the left over food can be preserved and then distributed among the poor and the needy. There are other possibilities too; we can curtail our food dishes and give the same amount in charity to those who need it for sustaining their lives.

If we still want to serve our guests with food at marriage ceremonies than perhaps having a one dish menu is also a feasible solution. This can considerably lighten the burden on those who take loans to feed those mouths who are already filled and if you are luckily rich then you can use the same money to help a family to self support itself. This is all a matter of choice and if we want to eradicate poverty; stopping food wastage in marriages is one good thing to begin with.


  1. I can definitely see your point--at the very least give the left overs to the poor! The same could be said for almost any country-not only India! There are many many very poor and hungry people right here in the USA--donating leftover food from "affairs" to food pantries or direct to the homeless would be a very good thing. Donating to a food charity instead of having such a large affair also makes a lot of sense.

  2. This is interesting. I know all weddings have food but I wonder what would happen if food was not served. Why should people who attend weddings expect to eat? If someone is poor they may not have the money to be able to afford a ton of food to please the guests. Coming to a wedding is to support the bride and groom not to eat in my opinion.

  3. I've been to an indian wedding and there is always way too much food. Donating to the needy when done is such a great idea.

  4. Wow..looks like a really nice spread for the nuptials. Not your typical fish or chicken, of course.

  5. Great looking spread of food for the event. And taking care to feed those less fortunate with the remainder is always good karma.

  6. Does the Indian culture have their food catered for a wedding or does the family cook it? I am planning a wedding in the USA, but it is so expensive!

  7. Ha-ha That was funny, How can a family cook that much food? Whole family can't cook for minimum 500 people!! Food catered by event organizers or by a hotel. Even a standard marriage will cost you more than $27000, so just imagine how much expensive Indian marriages are. :)

  8. I find the Indian culture so fascinating. I had no idea that wedding festivities last for days. I can't imagine all the waste and money spent needlessly to end up in the garbage. I think your idea of a one dish meal is very feasible. I also agree that food could be donated to the needy.

  9. My boss is from India, Came over when he was 13 I believe. He always talks about how amazing it is and how everyone he knows that still lives there appreciates so much all the stuff he takes over to them! I have seen photo's of Indian weddings and as as beautiful as they are I can totally see where you are coming from!

  10. I can see your point. Very interesting, I am learning new things all the time coming here to read :)

  11. I agree, there are a lot of places that are guilty of this. Heck, here in America we throw away a lot of food that used to be allowed to go to the needy. Got to love new DHEC laws that make handing free food to needy people at the end of a shift illegal! :/

  12. Wow, feeding people for days must be hard. With my own wedding, I had people donate food- it was kind of like a potluck. It was amazing. Each dish was special because of who made it. Weddings need to stop being about social standing and more about the joining of two lives. Maybe if it was more about the union less people would get divorced, especially here in my America.

  13. I very good idea to share the left overs. Perhaps serve smaller portions on smaller plates.

  14. there is a part of my country that needs to feed people for 3 days, 3 meals... sometimes there is a joke around that if you meet a woman from that place you need to save for ten years haha but its not really that case.
    for me when I get married I would still do the traditional way.

  15. In the US, we also have food at the reception that is after a wedding. There is usually so much food and I am sure some of it gets wasted....

    What about funerals. Many times after a person is buried, it is customary for the family to invite other family members and friends to a dinner. More wasted food!


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