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A Rigmarole of Weddings: A Glimpse into the Past

What does it mean?

A wedding, also called matrimony or nuptials, is a union of or in between two people
acknowledged by society. This union establishes rights and obligations between the spouses
and between them and their in-laws. Throughout the history of any given culture and religion,
the definition of Wedding varies around the world between cultures and religions.

Where does the concept of Wedding come from?

According to the best accessible corroboration, it is suggested that the institution of Wedding is
about 4,350 years old. Most of the anthropologists, for thousands of years before that, believe
that families consisted of loosely organized groups of as many as 30 people, with several male
leaders, multiple women shared by them, and children. Society had a need for more stable
arrangements as hunter-gatherers settled down into agrarian civilizations,

For the perpetuation of the species, a system of rules to handle the granting of property rights,
and the protection of bloodlines nearly all of the ancient societies needed a secure environment.
The institution of Marriage catered to these needs.
For how long has this existed?
The earliest or first recorded evidence of Wedding ceremonies uniting one woman and one
man, dates from about 2350 B.C., in Mesopotamia.

About Twenty-three thousand years ago, humans began to grow their own food, revolutionizing
human relations. The most productive household arrangements were ones in which men and
women divided their tasks, which could be indicated by the invention of the plough over 4,000
years ago. The reason why men went out and worked on the land was that men were stronger
and less physically tied to children; Thus leading to women staying closer to the home and
caring for children and engaging in a myriad of other chores.

It’s Evolution.
It was approximately 23 thousand years ago during which a Wedding became the union
between two people that was recognized by their community. Typically either of the partners, at
the end of three or four years would begin to wander off to start a new family elsewhere.
Eventually, agriculture tied people to their land, meaning that at the end of the four-year period
neither men nor women had any inclination to wander off to find a new family. Hence the
couples stayed together and worked as a team to feed and care for the children they produced.
Couples were brought together for practical reasons, not because they fell in love, for much of
human history. Eventually, in time, many marriage partners came to feel deep mutual love and
devotion. But the idea of romantic love, as a motivating force for Wedding, only goes as far back
as the Middle Ages.

As we progressed with time, the concept, meaning or definition of Wedding changed and
continues to evolve. While arranged Weddings persists to be one of the most common types of
Weddings in India, there is a steady rise in Weddings born out of love.

Watch this space: Types of weddings in India.

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