**Note I am not an expert on this topic or Nepali culture. I want to know what Nepalis know about this tradition of brides on their wedding day as I do not know a lot about it.
In every culture, weddings are joyous celebrations for the couple and family.
A few years back, though, I had a conversation with some Nepali friends and Rabindra about Nepalese weddings.
Most Nepalis have told me that when a woman is married in Nepal, it’s not good for the bride to look happy or be smiling etc and they should be looking down to the ground a lot, not making much eye contact.
Obviously this is not the case in all weddings in Nepal but it’s interesting because I’ve heard this explanation from many Nepalis, both from the village and from the city.
My first thought was “oh my, this is shocking” then secondly I thought this must be a forced marriage of some kind which she is clearly distressed about because surely every bride should be happy on her wedding day 🙂
But you see in Nepal, when a woman gets married, it signifies that she no longer belongs to her own family and instead she now belongs to her husband’s family and must live in his home instead.
Generally, Nepali society says women should be crying because they have to leave their family and go live with their in-laws permanently.
A newly married woman would most likely be worried about moving out of her parent’s home and taking on their new role as a ‘buhari’ (I can totally understand this, I would be too!)
Even my own mother in law made a comment about this as obviously I was so happy on my wedding day.
My husband translated what she said and that was “in Nepal it would be unheard of to see a bride dancing and being happy on her wedding day” (she didn’t say it in a bad way toward me, more of a ‘this is so different’ way.)
I asked other Nepalis about what they thought of this and they said, traditionally, yes a Nepali bride will cry and be unhappy because they are leaving their family.
Some also said that in Nepal, any bride that was happy and having fun on their wedding day would be labelled as “crazy”. Geez how things are different with the western way and the Nepali way….
It may also have to do with the fact that in arranged marriages (the way most weddings are done in Nepal), that brides don’t know their future husband too well and have never lived with him before, so there would be apprehension and nerves about how they will get along now that they are married.
Most of my Nepali friends who have had arranged marriages look sad in their wedding photos.
I honestly don’t know what to feel about this. Surely, if you want to be married then you would be happy on your wedding day. Right? Yes? No?
Maybe they were upset because they were unsure about being married at that age. To me, I think, well it’s probably not a good idea to be married if you are not ready but there is no such level of thinking like this in Nepal.
I’ve been told that by crying (in a bad way, not like happy crying like I was) on your wedding day, it doesn’t mean they are sad to be married. Really?
But then I think, most women in Nepal are expected to marry quite young even though that’s not what they want and surely they would not fake cry.
I can’t help but think that surely if you are happy about being married, that you wouldn’t cry on your wedding day ??
I’m not sure if women who have love marriages cry as much or at all. That would be interesting to know if anyone has insight on this?
To my readers, is it true that in Nepali culture, women are expected to cry/look sad in photos on their wedding day?
Do they cry because they are unhappy or just apprehensive about moving out of their family home for the first time?
Do you think if a bride cries unhappily that she should be getting married at all?
Do women who have love marriages cry too? If so, why?