Thousands marry in big Indian wedding

2011-02-02 18:08

kalahari.com

Amravati - A total of 3 600 couples got married en masse in western India on Wednesday, organisers said, in a ceremony designed to raise awareness about poor farmers hit by debt and crop failures.

Some 2 433 Hindu couples, 150 Muslims, 749 Buddhists, 15 Christians and 253 tribal people tied the knot in an open-air ceremony in the town of Amravati, about 150km from the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra state.

Mass wedding ceremonies are relatively common in India - although not on such a scale - with couples in poor, rural areas taking their vows with others to cut down on costs.

Local lawmaker Ravi Rana, who was one of the grooms and the chief organiser, told the Indian Express newspaper on Tuesday: "I come from a region that is known for farmers' suicide. I myself come from a very poor background.

"I thought we could marry along with several such couples. If a people's representative leads by example, it will send a good signal."

The Press Trust of India news agency said that about 1 000 couples were from farming backgrounds, with about half having parents who had committed suicide.

Exact figures about the extent of suicide among farmers are difficult to come by, but the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai in 2009 said as many as 150 000 debt-hit farmers had killed themselves in the previous decade.

Unification Church


The response of Indian politicians and the media to the phenomenon was satirised in the acclaimed Bollywood film Peepli Live last year.

A spokesperson for the organisers, Amol Chavne, told AFP that handicapped people and dwarves were among the brides and grooms at Wednesday's ceremony, which it was hoped would set a new Indian record for a mass wedding.

The event, which drew huge crowds, with women dressed in colourful saris and men in suits and fantail turbans, was only half as big as two weddings in South Korea last year, which each saw more than 7 000 couples tie the knot.

The couples were members of the Unification Church founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who has held mass weddings since the early 1960s.

In Amravati, police were out in force to hold back crowds that had gathered in and around the venue.

Staging the event was expected to cost $430 000 - $650 000.

Chavne said the couples' marriages have been registered.

"There was a social welfare officer recognised by the government who completed the formalities," he added.

Read more on:    india

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Paarl - 17:32 PM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    BUSY CONDTIONS at Huguenot tunnel - EXPECT DELAYS
  • Monday Camps Bay - 17:27 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Northbound
    DELAYS though central Camps Bay area
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3515.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.