Behind the Grandeur: Socio-Economic Drivers of Pomp in Himachal Marriages



Explain the main socio-economic reasons behind the increasing trend of pompousness and exhibitionism in marriages of Himachal Society.  (HPAS Mains Question Paper 2022 – GS 1, Q.15)

Several socioeconomic factors may be ascribed to the rising tendency of pompousness and exhibitionism at weddings in Himachal Pradesh. Following are some of the most important reasons:

1. Increasing income and wealth: In recent years, Himachal Pradesh has seen tremendous economic development, with growing income and wealth levels among the people. This has resulted in a rise in wedding and other celebration expenditures as families strive to flaunt their affluence and social position.

2. Shifting social norms: There has been a trend in societal norms towards a more opulent and ostentatious lifestyle, especially among the younger generation. This has resulted in a greater focus on extravagant shows of wealth, such as during weddings.

3. Competitive pressures: Families compete for the most magnificent and memorable wedding. This is especially true in regions where marriage is seen as a means of establishing social prestige and reputation. Consequently, families may feel compelled to spend more money on weddings to stay up with their peers.

4. Media and advertising influence: The media and advertising have a considerable impact on moulding society’s attitudes and values. Expensive weddings are often portrayed as a symbol of riches and success in television programmes, movies, and ads, which might impact people’s expectations and goals.

5. Status Symbol: Expensive weddings are seen as a status symbol and a chance to flaunt one’s money and social position. This may result in a culture of ostentatious spending, in which individuals spend significant quantities of money on weddings and other events to display their status and significance.

6. Increase in consumerism: Consumerism has become an integral part of society, focusing on acquiring and displaying material possessions. Weddings are no exception, with families spending significant sums of money on clothing, jewellery, and other wedding-related expenses.

7. Changing cultural values: Changes in societal and cultural values and norms have also contributed to the trend of pompousness in marriages. Weddings used to be simple affairs that focused on uniting two families. However, as consumerism and materialism have grown in importance, weddings have become more lavish and expensive, focusing on material possessions and the display of wealth.

Several socioeconomic factors, including the rise in disposable income, the perception of weddings as a status symbol, the influence of media and popular culture, the increase in consumerism, and social pressure to conform to traditional gender roles and expectations, are driving the increasing trend of exhibitionism in marriages in Himachal society.

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