• Monday, December 17, 2018

Reverse dowry system in Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by Mian Babban, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Mian Babban

    Mian Babban FULL MEMBER

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    Since the cultural setup of the present day Pakistani society is an amalgamation of many communities and ethnicities living together, the constituents of the dowry tradition vary among communities and ethnic groups. Mainly, there are two major categories of dowry transfers such as transfers from the family of the bride to that of the groom, broadly termed as 'dowry', or from the groom's side to the bride's, broadly termed as 'bride-price'. Both the practices have long-rooted ethnical backgrounds, relevance and significance in the cultures they spring from. Often gifts from relatives and well-wishers and items of personal use are categorised as dowry.

    For instance, in the Punjabi and Urdu speaking communities, it is traditional for the bride's family to transfer a sizable amount of dowry to the groom's family at the time of marriage. This comprises items such as furniture, crockery, electronic items, the bride's trousseau, gifts for the in-laws, etc. In a joint family setup, it is not uncommon for the bride's dowry to get absorbed in the household and used by everybody, especially the electronic items. The size of this dowry and number of items depend on the bride's family's financial position, the family traditions and whatever is in vogue. For instance, in certain sub groups of the Urdu speaking community, bridal dresses are purchased by the groom's family, whereas the groom's dresses are purchased by the bride's family. Furthermore, a bari in the form of dresses is given to the bride by the groom's family.

    Similarly, in the Punjabi community, great importance is given to the quality and quantity of the gifts to the in-laws. Besides clothes, the bride's family may include gold jewellery for women in the immediate family. Even a car or a motor cycle is provided to the groom as part of the dowry. Furthermore, in some of the sub ethnic groups in the Memon community, accommodation is provided to the groom, especially the Kathiawaree Memons, in the form of a flat or a house. However, these norms are not standardised, established or compulsory practices, and are also not exclusive to any one community.

    On the other hand, there is a reverse dowry system in the Pathan and Balochi community. In Balochistan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the groom's family is required to pay the Mehr amount in advance and bear almost the entire expense of the wedding. This amount is called Wulvar or Sar (bride's price or head money) for the Pashtun and Lub for the Baloch. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the jirga usually settles these details at the time of the engagement; the amount is then paid to the bride's family before or at the time of marriage. However, the dowry that the bride brings is usually meagre. The idea behind this custom is to provide some relief to the bride's family.

    Likewise, among the Sindhis, there is the tradition of leti-deti where the bride's family provides her a dowry. Recently, there has also been a shift in the trend in the rural areas of Sindh where the bride's family, hailing from a low socio-economic background, asks the groom's family for money. They then use this money to make wedding preparations and arrange for dowry.

    As stated earlier, the tradition of dowry is by no means a phenomenon exclusive to the subcontinent or South Asia, it is a global phenomenon. The tradition of reverse dowry springs from Afghanistan, where prospective husbands have long paid a 'bride- price' for their wives. In Iran too, the Mehr usually comprises a large sum. The groom also additionally pays the bride's mother a 'bride-price' titled sheer baha i.e., money for the milk. In Saudi Arabia, a substantial amount of mehr is given to the bride, which is sometimes used by her family to purchase clothes and items of personal use, distinct from her bridal clothes. The mehr is also accompanied with jewellery and ornamental items, which are displayed at the time of the wedding. In Sudan, the Mehr is called mukadam and is used for making the wedding preparations.

    Over the time, traditions have changed, evolved, even lost their meanings. There are ethical and religious rationales for all types of dowry customs but also the possibility of abuse. Traditionally, dowry is considered important for giving a head start to the newly wedded couple. It is sad when the very customs and practice to provide security to a woman and means to a man can be used to exploit them. When dowry determines a chance for a woman to marry well or to marry at all, and when the 'bride- price' is set too high for a man, then such customs become a curse.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/537353
     
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  2. TheLahoriGuy

    TheLahoriGuy FULL MEMBER

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    How about no one pays up ? Its a marriage not a business dealing for gods sake.
     
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  3. 313ghazi

    313ghazi SENIOR MEMBER

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    This is a part of our culture i really want to see end. It can only end if the wealthy, celebrities and upper middle class end it. All societal trends and fashions start and end with them, the rest of the society just follows, wanting to keep up with the people of status.

    When i got married we specifically requested the brides family to not provide a dowry, especially as we were not going to live in Pakistan long term. They still ended up sending a few things. We did the same when my brothers got married. People like us have to be the change we want to see. It takes a lot of courage and trust to break out of this patriarchal system.
     
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  4. nang2

    nang2 SENIOR MEMBER

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    reverse dowry makes economic sense. after all, the bride's family is losing a labor. and the groom's family should prove its capabilities.

    The same had been practiced in China for a long time.
     
  5. Armchair-General

    Armchair-General FULL MEMBER

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    According to Islamic traditions, the groom has to give a dowry, and that too directly to his wife not her family. This acts as a safeguard for the wife's economic condition in case of a divorce.
     
  6. DESERT FIGHTER

    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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    In our culture.. the “reverse dowry” is used by brides family to pay for the wedding costs etc.

    @Mian Babban
     
  7. Spring Onion

    Spring Onion PDF VETERAN

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    :D they do not know the groom in KP is hard hit
     
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  8. nang2

    nang2 SENIOR MEMBER

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    in China, the wedding cost is covered by the groom's family as that is where the ceremony will be held.
     
  9. New World

    New World SENIOR MEMBER

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    reverse dowry system is the islamic system. if i'm not wrong that the time of Khalifa Abu Bakr or Omar there was an issue of dowry, where women were asking alot dowry and some men were unable to pay dowry and they made complain to the khalifa...
     
  10. nang2

    nang2 SENIOR MEMBER

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    and the khalifa would laugh at them? :)
     
  11. New World

    New World SENIOR MEMBER

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    No, there was a serious debate on Dowry and Women had upper hand in that debate.. I don't remember exactly about the outcome.
     
  12. TheLahoriGuy

    TheLahoriGuy FULL MEMBER

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    Culture or religious context does not matter. There should be no dowry from either party. Weddings have been reduced to a competition as to who gives a bigger bribe (because let's be honest its just payment to the grooms family to "accept" the bride). The wedding culture over all has become cancer in Pakistan. Both parties sell their blood if they have to all because "log kya kahain gay".
     
  13. Talwar e Pakistan

    Talwar e Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    The wedding culture in Pakistan greatly harms the economy.

    We over-do our wedding celebrations and the costs are huge.

    In most countries, it's a one-day thing; where there is a mild and inexpensive celebration.

    All you really need is to sign a contract, no need for a one week process.
     
  14. nang2

    nang2 SENIOR MEMBER

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    It actually surprises me that people could even think of women having upper hand in this case. How insecure those men could possibly be? If one woman asks more than he can afford, find another woman who may ask less. The very intent of marrying that woman only is by itself putting the man at lower position. In another word, he puts himself at lower position first and then complains the woman having an upper hand. This is just absurd.
     
  15. New World

    New World SENIOR MEMBER

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    you are thinking from men's point of view. think about women point of view, suppose i made an agreement to give Haq Mahar(Dowry) of a Rs. 1,000,000 or a flat of 2 bed. and if GOD forbid i divorced her than i will have to give either Rs. 1 Million or a flat of 2 bed, so that after divorced she should live happily for sometime.