My Wedding!



Murali did his undergraduate degree in molecular biology with a minor in biophysics from the National University of Singapore (NUS). He then changed direction and did his Masters in Philosophy also at NUS. Now, he is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Warwick.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Congrats! 🙂Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    We should totally start doing “Kasi Yathirai” in the states. I mean, if it weren’t patriarchal and appropriation besides. You guys should totally stop doing that!

    We should start doing that.

    Saptha Padi is also beautiful. I mean, it’s also patriarchal. You guys should be more like us here in America. Stop doing stuff from your culture and start doing stuff from ours. It’s still beautiful, though.

    (I’ve never seen a fake wedding cake outside of the displays in a bakeshop that specializes in wedding cakes. It’s supposed to be a reasonable facsimile of the cake you’ll eventually get instead of something to impress the rubes in the back of the hall.)Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      Your reactions mirror my own. The vows are beautiful and poetic and loving, but also really heavy on the traditional gender roles. Burt and Murali’s posts below provide valuable context to that. It feels regressive for the present day, but it’s progressive for something a few thousand years old.

      Although one can view them as somewhat metaphorical and a broad description of married live as a partnership. I would guess Murali doesn’t actually own cows.

      I hope you and your wife will be very happy, Murali. Thank you for sharing this.Report

  3. Avatar Maribou says:

    This was very interesting and I appreciate you sharing it. May you both be very happy.

    @jaybird FWIW, I think the American (inferior) equivalent to Kasi Yathirai is the traditional photograph of the groom trying to escape out a window while others hold him back. (Remember Dman’s wedding?) I never encountered this in Canada but I was never quasi in the groom’s party in Canada either. Equally patriarchal, a lot less community-building.Report

  4. Avatar Joe Sal says:


  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Step 3 is interesting — the groom promises to earn money to bring in to the household; the bride promises to manage and control the money. Step 5 is congruent with this: though the husband is empowered to take the lead in economic transactions outside of the home, he must not dispose of the household’s cattle without the informed consent of the bride, for to do so would intrude upon the bride’s sphere of control of the household.

    In a more modern society, it’s somewhere between quaint and condescending. But in the context of the not-liberated, pre-industrial society from which the tradition takes its roots, this exchange of vows was probably thought of as both progressive and protective of the role of the woman as an economic actor and as a human being, vesting her with agency, authority, and responsibility. A substantial sphere of ultimate control is allocated to women, and both parties are enjoined to consult with one another before whichever one of them exercises the ultimate control in which they are vested. Patriarchal, yes… but with nuance.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      1. Well if the Saptha padi is authentically Vedic (as is claimed by the priests) then this is not merely pre-industrial, but iron-age. For the iron-age, this is way ahead of its time.

      2. Are you reading it as “cattle, (which is) our agriculture and business” instead of “cattle, our agriculture, and business. If the latter, then the wife has control over all or almost all familial assets and not just the portion of it which is cattle.Report

    • That’s similar to an argument one of my undergrad professors made about divorce laws in the Korean Yi dynasty. The laws forbidding divorce were according to him intended to protect the woman from the husband eschewing all his obligations. (My professor wasn’t defending the law. He was noting that the law, in addition to other patriarchal laws that eroded women’s rights, had a more complex heritage than simply patriarchy.)Report

  6. Best wishes to you and your bride!Report

  7. Apparently over here, it is common that even though there is a cake cutting, no actual cake is cut. The whole thing is made of plaster and there is a groove for the knife to go in so that it looks from really from away that you cut a cake.

    What a travesty!

    That said, congratulations and best wishes, Murali!Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Mazel tov.Report

  9. Avatar Will H. says:

    Here is the States, the wedding tends to be quick.
    It’s divorce that takes a long time.

    Funerals have changed rather recently though.
    Hearing older people talk, the church bell used to ring when someone died, and you could tell whether it was an old person or a young person that died by the way it rang. The body would then be sat up in the living room, so people could come by to pay their last respects. A pepper sauce on the fingertips to keep the cat from nibbling was standard.
    The body went into the ground fairly quickly after that, and I was told that it was pretty much a certainty that people had been buried alive.
    These days, a funeral will drag on for days.

    Makes me wonder where our priorities are at.

    And congratulations.
    I am very happy for you.Report

  10. Avatar CK MacLeod says:

    Can’t abide seeing an unlucky 13 comments on this post any longer: Congratulations, Mrs. and Mr. Murali!

    Forthose critiquing the Iron Age patriarchal sexism of the ceremony, I agree that a more modern view would be preferable. All this stuff about man, woman, gods, economics, households, etc., can be presumed very hurtful to those who lack parents, families, home, religion, fixed gender-states, aham-buddhi, and cattle.Report

  11. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    Congratulations! I love weddings 🙂Report

  12. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Sorry for the late comment here… I found this post extremely interesting. When you have a good marriage it is the best thing there is. I wish you lots of happiness and a long and happy union.Report