Two nights ago I was having a conversation with someone in Bangladesh. I happened to mention to him that I was going to head out to a wedding.
"Ah, another wedding." He replied. "You guys miss the proper fun we have in weddings in Bangladesh. Weddings in your Canada can't even compare to weddings here."
Now, given that a) he has never been to Canada and b) he finds every thing from Bangladesh to be better, the comment did not surprise me. I have long been used to people from Bangladesh who somehow think everything from there is the best (only the best flowers grow in Bangladesh which is God's own country, watered by God's own rivers in a natural paradise designed personally by God). Of course give them an immigration paper and they are the first one out of there, but I digress.
So, it got me thinking, are weddings more fun in Bangladesh?
Now, there is no doubt that weddings in Bangladesh can be a grand, lavish affair.
Even though more than half the people live below poverty line, those who can afford spend huge on weddings. Labour and flowers are both cheap. Especially when those desis living in the west go back to have a reception, with the favourable exchange rate they can host a grand affair.
Literally, you can throw money at everything and get it done. Being Bangladesh, it's also not hard to come across good mehendi and desi make up artists who will do a good job of making up the bride.
Of course the art of "make up" in desiland seems to be to dump a whole lot of white powder on the bride to make her look like Casper the friendly ghost but again, I digress.
However, lost in all of this pomp and show are the small, touching, intimate moments that make a wedding memorable.
In Bangladesh, it's not hard to imagine a crowd of 1000 people attending a wedding reception. Why, and whether you really know your father's co-worker's daughter's husband is a moot point. They will be at your wedding. Here, people limit (or should limit) their guest list to people that actually matter to the couple.
In Bangladesh, literally no one has the time for anything. Everybody seems so busy, leaving the office at 7 in the morning and coming home at 7 at night. You want something to be done for your wedding? Relax, throw some money and hire some people who do this day in day out.
Here in Canada, you rely on your true friends and relatives. Need a song or a skit performed? Get (and coax) some friends. Want a sari designed or imported? Ask another friend. Need such and such stage decoration? Go talk to this aunty. People and friends come together to organize a wedding. Aunties and women go together for wedding shopping and everyone pitches in for some of the work. It's a small affair - the way it's supposed to be - and it involves everyone.
Personally, I enjoy a wedding where it's people I know performing to some skit or some dance, even with mistakes, rather than some flawless performance by a hired hand. However, Bangladeshis are impressed by pomp and show, and therefore to them I leave their perfect weddings.
I think we have much more fun in Canada.
Pictures courtesy Google Images.