India May Ban Extravagant, Wasteful Weddings

In response to soaring food prices that are hurting the poor in India, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister KV Thomas has proposed curbing lavish weddings to reduce food wastage. According to Reuters, Thomas wants to introduce a bill limiting the amount of food served to guests, because he claims 15% of India's food grains are wasted at such events. "We believe we can preserve food grains for the poor and needy of this country by restricting its use at such extravagant and luxurious social functions," said Thomas.

Despite what our cable programming may lead you to believe, Americans don't have the market cornered on absurdly expensive weddings. The Guardian reports that in recent years, ceremonies have been becoming bigger, as the rich want to show off their wealth and others follow suit. According to the paper:

India's booming upper middle classes have been inspired to create their own displays. No wedding is now complete without at least three different cuisines offered to guests: north or south Indian, "continental" or European and a third, selected from Mexican, Japanese and Chinese, or chinjabi, as the local version of the latter is known.

Another new trend that hopefully won't catch on here involves using helicopters to transport the bride and groom rather than horses or decorated coaches.

Critics of Thomas' plan say a bigger issue is that there's too much corruption and wastage in India's subsidized food distribution system. However, attacking gaudy weddings is certainly easier and more fun than tackling those problems.

India Looks To Ban Lavish Weddings To Feed The Poor [Reuters]
Indian Weddings Too Big, Says Government [The Guardian]

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