law of the land – on social norms of nepali wedding

Government of Nepal had promulgated a law in 2033 BS. That’s, 37 years ago (1975 AD) – identifies maximum number of invitation to attend any celebration party or mass gathering (for wedding) at around hundred people. Here I discuss my personal opinions on pros and cons to my wonderful new discovery.

“Samajik Sudhar Ain – 2033BS”

I marry within next few months. There is a government rule that stops me from inviting more than 50 people in “janti” and at maximum 100 people in wedding reception. The rule is still in place, but no one seems to know it or follow it. For the last thirty five years, there are no cases filed against anyone who does not follow the rule. My problem is that now I know of this rule (and it bugs me). I now know the legal matters associated with wedding in Nepal. What is even more interesting is on how this law came about to be. The rule was put in place when Kings and Queens ruled Nepal. Imagine who in their right mind had this bright idea and a great foresight.

how is this law/rule wrong?

Nepal was Hindu kingdom up until few years back, and yes, Hindus have a great community sense. Not limiting myself to particular religion, I see joint family tradition, and huge community participation in almost every gathering. Even a small wedding or “bratabanda” (getting of age ceremony for boys) in a small hill or mountain village (with difficult pass and narrow trek paths) has around 50 guests. There are just too many relatives, friends and families on every invitation list. Our social dynamic makes us call the whole village to every small occasion. Enacting this rule, abrupt as it came thirty five years ago was bound to fail. I hear that, even the top government officials, army officials, ministers bypassed this rule. Today, very few know about it. Few points in favor of this,

  1. You certainly know a lot more people
  2. Your parents know even more people (you may, or may not know all)
  3. Your culture (most Nepali) has a far and wide reaching community participation
  4. Your neighbors are very important.
  5. There are lots of wedding reception you have already attended, to invite them all is a must.
  6. What would your friend think of you, if you didn’t invite him/her (or group of people)
  7. You work in an office. All (or most) must be invited.

how is this law/rule so good?

I seriously don’t want to call my third cousin whom I have only met twice in my life, both being in other wedding receptions. Personally, I don’t know her, and I doubt that I will ever know her (its not first, or second, come on). Few other points I favor,

  1. Obviously, Limiting the guest number is very economical.
  2. You know whom you are calling, and know him/her to be very important in your life.
  3. You can send out invitation to predefined number, and get a quick RSVP. (read below)
  4. You can select a smaller place, more comfortable, and spend the budget more on decoration or other stuff.
  5. You won’t have a rush hour – when almost all the guest come directly after the office hour (read below)
  6. Lastly, you can finally click good photos (comfortable pace) with all the guests.

Does anyone use RSVP (in Nepali wedding invitation card)?

For the past few years, there have been pretty amazing wedding card designs in Nepal. While I would love to design my own, I doubt that my mother will let me (I prefer minimalism and am against all-red-shade). Nevertheless, what bugs me, is the “RSVP” section is almost all the cards. For my personal inquiry, I wonder if anyone at all use this feature. Everyone seems to know what RSVP is, but somehow, no one seems to enforce it or follow it. I don’t think any family (organizer) know the actual number of people that would be attending the reception. Its basically a gimmick – copied and pasted. I hope it would change. (I would not be surprised if my wedding card has one).

Why is all the wedding reception in the evening?

The whole purpose to marry someone is to make it more holy (or religious, or love filled extravagant celebration). Shouldn’t this be celebrated in a broad day light, with good sun and clouds that are white? Why don’t the guest make time, for this celebration. Why do we always have to put guest first, and wait till five, so they finish their work, go home, change, and then come back to wish you. Isn’t any wedding first and foremost important to the couple, and then their families, and their closest friends? Most (if not all) do make their time on this day to be with you throughout the day. For me Primary guests are the close family members, Secondary being the closest friends. This idea of making tertiary guest all so important certainly bugs me.


P.S. – exams coming. Jan 31st. will reduce my posts for next few weeks. there are lots to write though. And few posts are already scheduled (function courtesy – WordPress).

Word "Nepali" in Devanagari Script.
Word “Nepali” in Devanagari Script. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published by prashant

adhere and assimilate. pursuing public health.

3 thoughts on “law of the land – on social norms of nepali wedding

  1. I have been following your posts for a while now…You writings inspire me to write 🙂 Keep inspiring!

    Nepalese wedding culture certainly is all about ostentatious display of wealth. रिन गरेरै भए नि भव्य रूपमा मनाउनु पर्ने मानसिकता ।
    I have never-never seen an R.S.V.P on any of the invitation cards that came my home. The R.S.V.P. stuff is simply non-Nepali..Nepalese people are just too kind to stoop down to that standard. Pun Intended.
    In recent years, people have become sensible enough to add a “कृपया जिन्सी सामान ल्याउने कस्ट नगरनु होला ।” line. No pun intended.

    Congratulations in advance for your wedding 🙂 My best wishes!

    P.S. I am looking forward to your post-marriage post on whether your civic sense wins over your social obligations or not.

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