Srinagar, Oct 9: The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to ostentatious weddings in Kashmir getting replaced by simple ceremonies and less guests.
Single plates have replaced big tramis in which four people used to sit together and relish wazwan, special Kashmiri cuisine. “Many things have changed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March this year. Simple marriage ceremonies have replaced fat weddings. Hundreds of people used to attend the wedding functions but now the number has been restricted. The consumption of meat and other items has also gone down,” said Farooq Ahmed of Rawalpora.
Muhammad Shafi, a professional chef said, “The COVID-19 has rendered many wazas (professional chefs) jobless. The wedding season this year remained subdued due to COVID-19. Our earnings have been hit and our helpers have been forced to look for other jobs.”
Shafi hoped that the change which has occurred will be temporary and normalcy would return next year. “If single plate system becomes a permanent feature it will eventually lead to guest list being cut short,” he added.
Farash Ahmed, whose sister is getting married next week, said that everyone has advised him not to follow the trami system as a precautionary measure. “I want guests to feel comfortable and secure. This year most of the weddings have taken place with a few guests only. We are also following the same trend,” Ahmed added.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “During the past may years people in Kashmir have been talking about making weddings simpler, but these talks have remained confined to discussions only. Instead of becoming simpler weddings have become more expensive affairs with one or other thing getting added every now and then.”
He said, “The outbreak of COVID-19 has proved it beyond doubt that if people want they can make weddings a very simple affair. The ceremonies, which have taken place after the administration lifted the restrictions on gatherings, have been small. Despite small gatherings people have got married and they have started their new lives. Holding a grand wedding is no criteria for marriage to be successful.”
An observer said, “People in Kashmir should realize that the pandemic has provided them with an opportunity to get rid of the customs that have been prevalent for so many decades. The COVID-19 has taught us many lessons and we should learn from these. We need to make our lives simpler. Soon or later the COVID-19 will go but it has taught us many lessons and we need to remember these forever.”