Thursday, September 22, 2005

More cultural differences from India

In this BBC article "India's rent-a-guest wedding agents", I learned that there is some sort of personal stature assigned to both the number and "quality" of guests that attend a wedding in India. At least one company, the Best Guests Centre, has popped up to fill this void.

The amount charged per guest is varied according to what Mr Syed described as the "level" required, and how smartly it is wished that they dress.

Three categories are offered, with the highest - at around 600 rupees - being be-suited guests who are tall, well-built, light-skinned and who can converse well.

My currency converter says 600 rupees is $13.69 US today. I don't know if that is a lot of money in Rajastan, India or not. Most of my friends getting married are having the problem of trimming the guest list to reduce the cost of the hall, dinner, etc. This is why the article was interesting to me.

According to the article the number of attendees at a typical Indian wedding is dropping largely due to a phenomenon we have been seeing in the US for a long time. People move away from where they grew up. Given the costs of travel many relatives do not come to the weddings that would have when people basically lived and died in the same 50 mile diameter. India is also a very large country and the relative cost of travel and lodging across the country is probably (total guess here on my part) at least as high if not higher than ours. I often forget how unusual it is for the average American to go to the airport given that I do it all the time.

Just interesting, no point to be made here, move along.


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