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Wedding in Shangri-La

The cultural aspect of Bhutan has always been so diverse with complex nature and the marriage patterns and system so different across the valleys and hills that stretched from northern foot hills to southern plains and from eastern nomadic zone to western urban centre. Bhutan has witness the practice of monogamy which is classified in three popular categories – Childhood Engagement, arranged marriage and love marriage.

The popular traditional practice of childhood engagement and arranged marriages were based on family and ethnic ties which is slowly being replaced based on mutual love and affection today. Those days are remembered where the Bhutanese strictly followed the childhood engagement and arranged marriage accordingly to the desire of the couple’s parents which marked only a thin line of matrimonial problems and divorce cases. But, with the new mindset of generations on track, love marriage is a floating pattern that has over shadowed the traditionally practiced marriage culture. More or less the custom procedure and ethic of marriage has not changed much in comparison to the earlier times, besides the infusion of slight taste of modernity. According to the custom, marriage does not necessitate the bride to go to the bridegroom’s house like the mandatory norm that still exists in the Indian system. It entirely depends on the preference and most commonly looking at the convenience of the families of each household. Even though, the marriage is organized in the traditional way with some blend of modernity in it, the values and ethics has always remained as the supreme guide.

A Bhutanese wedding is much more than a simple exchange of vows and rings. It includes a number of religious rites and ceremony which represents the importance of the bond between husband and wife. The wedding requires elaborate preparation before the day of the wedding ceremony is scheduled and consulting the astrologer for the good or auspicious day for the wedding is of prime importance. Accordingly, the preparations are done either from the groom or bride’s side.

The events and occasions that the Bhutanese celebrates are not complete without friends, family and relatives surrounding the taste of cultural dance and melodious music. Likewise, the wedding is never over without the complete package of feast on the menu with a tag of different brand of liquor on the dining table. And the wedding program comes to an end with much fun and amusements. At the end of the day their relatives and friends leave for their home fully rejoiced and satisfied with the striking memories, while the couple back relaxed and happy.