Spiritual life: The silver lining for restricted Hindu weddings

Diwali celebrations at VHP Temple, Hindu Centre Ilford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Celebrations at VHP Temple, Hindu Centre Ilford before lockdown - Credit: Arnaud Stephenson

Few will forget the dark evening in March 2020 when the prime minister made the unprecedented announcements that weddings would be banned.

Few saw such an announcement coming and it threw a £14 billion wedding industry into disarray. The easing of the restrictions in relation to weddings has been slow and currently no more than 30 people can attend ceremonies, with the shindig at the reception subject to severe limitations.

There is no denying that times have been difficult for the couples due to get married and the wedding suppliers.

However, for couples, the wedding-related Covid-19 restrictions could have a silver lining.

Pranav Bhanot wants all faith communities to put a greater focus on mental health issues.

Pranav Bhanot wants all faith communities to put a greater focus on mental health issues. - Credit: Archant

For the first time in living memory, these unusual times could assist couples to focus more vigorously on what Hindus call the Vivah Sanskar or the sacraments performed during the wedding ceremony, instead of the pomp, fuss and razzmatazz that can often be found associated with a big Hindu wedding.

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Smaller and more simple wedding ceremonies have the potential to offer couples the ability to give more careful attention to what Hindus consider an important stage of life and the beginning of a lifelong union.

Many Hindus believe that a marriage is more than a union of just the couple but also the union of the two respective families.

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With restrictions of no more than 30 guests in attendance at weddings, the current measures offer a rare opportunity for intimacy, meaning and depth to such ceremonies, which were quite often an afterthought in many pre-pandemic weddings.

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