“Life isn’t long enough for love and art.” – W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”
Growing up, I struggled to understand aspects of my identity (as most adolescents do). Topics like race, gender, and expression were infrequently explored in elementary school or high school. Later, I turned to poets who experienced similar struggles with regard to their identities. These poets wrote eloquently and concisely, but beyond that – they understood.
By articulating their lived experiences, poets like Rupi Kaur, Nayyirah Waheed, and Warsan Shire empower women regardless of race, religion, or colour. The accessible nature of technology allows artists of diverse backgrounds like Kaur, Waheed, and Shire to post content with ease. In turn, technology has allowed artists to delve into the complexities of topics such as femininity, oppression, sexuality, and identity. Today, I credit literature as being foundational to my sense of self-worth.
Today is International Women’s Day, which means it’s a day to celebrate all of the bad-ass, inspirational, and independent women in our lives (we should be doing that every day, though). On that note, I’ve compiled some of my favourite quotes from women who I find inspirational and bad-ass.
On Girls Education:
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Indian weddings are like the Valentine’s Day of the wedding industry: both are expensive days meant to celebrate love. A recent documentary called Little India, Big Business paints a fairly accurate picture of the Indian wedding scene. These events tend to be elaborate, long, and costly.
To be honest, I think I’ve attended at least 10-15 weddings. You know what happens when you attend as many weddings as I have? It all becomes routine. Blaring music? Check. Expensive clothes and makeup? Yup. 500+ guests? Almost always.
This is not to say that I don’t love attending these weddings or that I don’t see the value in them. An Indian wedding is just as much about bringing together the families of the bride and groom as it is about the bride and groom themselves. It’s a lot of fun to get together with family, and it all makes for a great bonding experience.
Where do we Draw the Line?
This is where things become blurry. Every year, weddings become more elaborate and more expensive. But where do we draw the line? Does the cultural value of an Indian wedding warrant the increasing costs? Or do people deal with the financial burden so they can keep up with their friends and family members? It would be a lie to say that part of it isn’t a competition.
Growing up, I never really fantasized about having a perfect wedding, let alone a perfect traditional wedding. Now, just the thought of hosting a wedding in such a competitive environment is overwhelming.
One thing that makes no sense to me is that if you don’t keep up with the extravagant wedding tradition, you get shit for it. My uncle, who is a doctor, decided to have a smaller wedding, and he was gossiped about. People said, “if he’s a doctor, why can’t he afford to have a larger wedding?” Seriously, why are people like this?
The line between appropriate and too extravagant is obviously subjective. Don’t get me wrong, I love my culture, and I love love, and I love other people’s love. What I don’t love is a competitive culture. Or when no one talks about the fact that not everyone can afford to hold an extravagant wedding that costs upwards of $100, 000. Not to mention the financial strain that it has on newly married couples. There’s so much pressure for weddings to be bigger and better each year that, in my opinion, it’s become far too easy to lose sight of what’s really important.
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