Inside the big fat Indian wedding: conservatism, competition and networks

There were pastitsi’s in the over. It has been the required 10 minutes. The pastitsi’s are still wearing that white frozen pallor. I am waiting for them to get golden.

Since everyone has gathered in the dining room. Hovering around the oven. I play ‘Radha’ to dispell the heaviness – and we dance. Which then makes me curious – and I have another look at the British Royal Wedding.

In that search in youtube I notice a whole list of other wedding videos. So this is a thing then – a personal movie genre. The wedding video is a thing.

I decide to go have a look to see if someone had done some work on the Indian wedding video. I did not find a video piece – but found this, a tour-guide take on the actors in the wedding network.  So I am posting this to myself as a placeholder.

If you know of someone who has done some work on unpacking the wedding video – tell me about it in the comments.

As a prominent “fixer”, a middleman of sorts for the political and social honchos, whose job it is to introduce influential figures to one another to expand their networks, told me, “The most effective meetings are outside the meeting rooms”. At one wedding, on citing the presence of a senior politican, the fixer said to me, “This indicates that he [the politican] is willing to negotiate the business deal or else he would not have attended the wedding.”

Attendance at weddings is not only a matter of prestige and power for the host but also for the guests, and a snub of non-invitation may transform into an open feud lasting many years.In one such incident, a leading exporter “forgot” to invite a real estate baron to the marriage of his son, straining not only their social and business ties but also of their networks. It took more than a decade and multiple attempts by common friends to restore their relationship.

The politics of invitation most certainly resonates with the politics of businesses and survival.The elite Indian wedding, therefore, is not simply an ostentatious celebration involving an unabashed display of money and taste. It is about competition, conservatism, and assertion of power. It is nothing less than the coronation ceremony of an elite status.

Source: Inside the big fat Indian wedding: conservatism, competition and networks

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