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India marriage: Woman’s plan to ‘marry herself’ sparks debate

  • BFM
  •    
  • 23 days-ago

Sologamy, a wedding ceremony where people marry themselves, has been a growing trend in the West over the past few years. It has now reached Indian shores.

Kshama Bindu has a traditional Hindu ceremony due to take place on the evening of 11 June in a temple in the city of Vadodara, in the western state of Gujarat.

Decked up in her red bridal outfit, with henna on her hands and vermilion powder in her hair parting, the bride will do the customary seven rounds around the sacred fire, she tells me on the phone from her home.

Pre-wedding rituals such as Haldi (where turmeric mixed with oil is applied on the bride) and sangeet (music and dance) will be held earlier in the day. After the wedding, she will visit Goa for a two-week-long honeymoon.

The only missing component from all the celebrations will be: a groom. That’s because Ms Bindu plans to “marry” herself in what is perhaps going to be India’s first case of sologamy.

“Many people tell me I’m a great catch,” the 24-year-old sociology student and a blogger said. “I tell them, ‘I caught myself’.”

By marrying herself, Ms Bindu said, she would be dedicating her life to “self-love”.

“Self-marriage is a commitment to being there for yourself, to choosing the livelihood and lifestyle that will help you grow and blossom into the most alive, beautiful, and deeply happy person you can be.

“It’s my way of showing that I’m accepting all the different parts of me, especially the parts of myself that I have tried to deny or disown such as my weaknesses – be they physical, mental or emotional. For me, this marriage is really a deep act of self-acceptance. What I’m trying to say is that I accept myself – all of me, even the parts that don’t look pretty.”

Her family, Ms Bindu told me, have given their blessings and will be attending the ceremony along with her friends.

“My mom said, ‘Oh, you always think of something new.’ But my parents, who are very open-minded, took it in their stride. They said, ‘As long as it makes you happy, we’re fine with it,'” she added.

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