Sunday, April 30, 2006

Pakistani Weddings - The Saga that is

This article is long overdue. Despite being an incredibly handsome unmarried 20 year old stallion who has never even come close to tying the proverbial knot, I feel I have more than enough experience in the realm of Pakistani weddings to be able to write an article or two or three about how weddings work in our sub-contracted Indian culture. Think of this as a sort of wedding guide for those young, soon to be married Pakistanis, and indeed, those poor unfortunate non-Pakistani souls who, unbeknownst to them, have incurred god's wrath and decided to marry into a Pakistani family. Shudder.

The Fights

No Pakistani wedding is complete without a fight or two. Be it the guest list or the color of napkins, there is always something to have a good ol’ fashioned battle royale over. Although normally inconsequential, these fights can sometimes boil over, with people (often close relatives) refusing to attend the wedding and canvassing others to do the same. The reason? No one (boycotees included) are really sure - though it most probably has its roots in the fact that the day of the wedding (planned 6 months ago) has fallen on the same day as a senior auntie’s dentist appointment. Said auntie was well within her right to ask the bride’s parents to change the day of the wedding. The parents refused outright, resulting in some 'izzat' related problems for the auntie and other members of her clique.

The Wedding Card

Always a joy to read the spelling mistakes and seventy-seven names crammed into a wedding card the size of a postage stamp.

An example:
Mr and Mrs Ahmed rekwest the pleasure of your company at the Walima Seremoneee of their beloved shon,


Grandosn of the late Tariq Ahmed and Maryam Hussain. Newphew of Hasan Khan, Cousin of Tanveer Yusuf, Ex-husband of Fatimah Raja, Friend of Ameena Sarwar.

The Guest list

Ahh...the guest list. Your social circle tops well over a thousand. Unfortunately, the Royal Albert hall was booked out on June 17th so you had to make do with the local town hall instead – capacity: 250. For a reason unknown to anyone bar god himself, desi parents are compelled to invite all sorts of barely related weirdos to the wedding.

Remember that questionably homosexual 'uncle' you met at your cousins' BBQ? - Yup, he's invited. Your close friend of 15 years, Ahmed? No space for him unfortunately.

Guest list are hard - their construction requires a lot of time, effort and patience. They also require common sense, something which in a wedding household is strictly at a premium. So stupid, idiotic, and downright barmy decisions will be made.

The Rituals

The rituals...deep breaths. All great cultures have weird and wonderful wedding customs. The Jews hold the groom up on a chair and dance round him - sweet. They proceed by breaking a glass - small scale vandalism, but again, sweet nonetheless. Pakistani wedding customs on the other hand range from theft and force feeding to eerily disturbing levels of emotional blackmail.


The theft of course, comes in the form Grand Theft Khussa. For those unfamiliar with indo-pak culture, the wedding celebrations cullminate in a somewhat bizarre ritual where sisters/cousins from the brides side steal (yes, that’s right - steal) the grooms shoes. Like a swarm of shalwar kameez clad locust, they swoop in,literally wrestling the shoes off the poor sod’s feet. He is left there, bewildered - in a state of shock. He has essentially been mugged by a group of sissy girls in front of his family and friends. If the loss of dignity wasn’t bad enough, the groom is now obliged to pay obscene amounts of money for the safe return of his begins the bargaining. What would you pay for the return uncomfortable shoes that reveal your short stature? £10...£15 at the most. Yet for some reason, the idiot groom ends up forking over £300 to get his shoes back. It is the ghetto equivalent of being mugged for your Nokia 3210 and being forced to buy it back from the mugger at over 10 times the market rate. Does nobody else find this disturbing? I swear, come my wedding day, I would rather walk out of the banqueting hall bare foot, than pay for the shoes I never wanted to wear in the first place. Or better yet, maybe I’ll fight back. Let’s see how brave the girls are when I decide to throw a few punches. One black eye = saving of £300. Well worth it if you ask me.


At some point in midst of wedding fever, the sodding groom will be force-fed ladoo (an Indian sweet, spherical in shape...mucus orange in colour. See picture) by a group of about 33 barely related 'aunties' . Each auntie will turn up with about half a ladoo, ceremoniously forcing it down the grooms throat. In a period lasting no more than half an hour, the groom will have eaten the equivalent of about 10 boxes of Ambala - adding an extra 7 kg to his weight in the process.

The Number of Events

Pakistani weddings have enough events to confuse most attendees into believing that they have been invited to the wedding of a grand Venetian prince, not Mr. Khan’s 20 year old son. The mendhi, the pre-mendhi, the pre-pre-mendhi, the registration, the shadhi, the nikkah, the valima, musical nights, laptop evenings, egg and spoon race...arrgh. By the time the wedding festivities are over, the happy couple have had 3 kids - with twins on the way.The


Perhaps the single most annoying person on the face of the earth. The semi-professional cameraman scours the wedding hall, 1987 camera in hand with an absurdly bright light attached. He will invariably catch you when you are stuffing your face with kebabs, or when you have a few grains of rice stuck to your chin. His light is almost blinding; comparable, perhaps, to a near death experience, yet he still keeps it on full blast, with an astonishing disregard for the pawns in his sordid Bollywood debut.

The Clothes

The bride comes in wearing a red bed sheet embedded with sequins and the groom is dressed like Aladdin. I am yet to see a Pakistani wedding where something other than this is the case.

The Segregation

Oh boy. Segregated weddings just do not work. The intention is fantastic, seperate the men from the women, minimise free-mixing, promote Islamic culture. Great. Unfortunatley, this holy intention isn’t shared by all. The organisers seem to think that a mere silk curtain will prevent wife-seeking loners from the men’s side from venturing into enemy teritory. The sanctity of the curtain will last for about half an hour after which the first breach will occur - usually a close male relative/uncle. Before long, the curtain will fall - much like the berlin wall, with folk flocking to either side rejoicing in their liberating victory over the tyrant organisers. A bit of advice – segregation will only work with an electric fence. And perhaps a few dogs patrolling the buffer zone.

And so, there we have it. A guide. A review - call it what you want. When is comes to the circus show that is a Pakistani wedding, there's always one looming on the horizon.


  • i noticed that you corrected one spelling mistake...but there are a bunch more!

    besides that criticism- great article.

    By Anonymous jihadofthenafs/hijabihoodlum, at 10:29 pm  

  • its a hoot all right......good read!

    By Blogger Bobby, at 4:14 pm  

  • A very good read :) YOu write some pretty amusing stuff! Keep it up.

    By Blogger Shehzaadi Sarvat, at 4:08 am  

  • do you know you are metro's blogger of the week?...deservedly so!

    By Anonymous omasa, at 5:20 pm  

  • Wow! you have the nerves to identify each process, cool! I hope you understand that most of that was quite dated!

    Most of the weddings that I attended last year were as dry as Church weddings. Which part of Pakistan are you from?

    However I perfectly agree with the Electric fence! At the end of the ceremony the segregation is a full mix! lol

    Addios :)

    By Blogger SinisterKind, at 1:04 pm  

  • Thank you for all your kind words...and a very very very huge thank you to Osama for alerting me to the fact that I made Metro blogger of the week! - Much appreciated.

    Feel free to to publicise my work, be sure to include the source!!



    By Blogger TAT, at 1:26 pm  

  • great stuff this, all of it in fact... don't suppose you've ever ventured into hounslow...?

    By Blogger amna, at 4:47 pm  

  • That was a good article and ur right no matter what you'll do desi weddings will not stay segregated...ever.

    By Blogger Nureen, at 3:08 pm  

  • the groom is dressed like Aladdin.
    aladdin's real hawt

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:45 am  

  • That article made me laugh out loud - very well done! I, too, however, must join the calls for a superior process of weeding out grammatical errors - Pakistanis not Pakistani's. Sod's feet, not sods' feet. Unless there are many sods sharing some feet.

    But pay no heed to my pednatry if you are not moved by it; the article was still bloody funny.

    By Anonymous Murasaki, at 1:17 am  

  • haha... very well written and absolutely hilarious.

    By Anonymous Aleena, at 1:20 pm  

  • lololololol!!!
    that was great!

    AND you forgot, that the male cousins tend to serve food to the female side of the wedding, so hey...they get to see all the women...there goes the segregation again.


    at my brother's walima, we hired out TWO halls.
    one for women, and one for men.
    it was at my school's premises.
    the primary section of the school as its own hall, and the high school section of the school has it's own hall.
    it worked well.
    so men and women were separated by 1km.
    and it worked.
    no transgressions!

    By Blogger Fatima, at 3:37 pm  

  • hahahaah reallly nice article....truly everything happens in india also except that pre pre mehndi thing..gud work keep it up!

    By Blogger CooL MuslimaH, at 11:53 pm  

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  • haha we had a segregated wedding with an armed security guard outside the women's enterance! ;)

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  • Interestingly hilarious, with your own dose of typos. Or is it typoes? :-p

    By Anonymous Jabagaba, at 2:16 pm  

  • Haha, good funny article! Keep it up!

    By Anonymous maryam_lfc, at 3:17 pm  

  • cool!really funny man!i had a good laugh.keep writing mate!

    By Anonymous fatima, at 4:15 pm  

  • Sorry bro, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. When will British Pakistanis stop hating themselves and their culture?

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