19 November 2017

SUDANESE WEDDINGS: Do the Math

http://www.picstopin.com/

(Source: www.picstopin.com)

In a starving country like Sudan where most wages do not match the cost of living and make it impossible for people to maintain even the most basic standard of living, I find Sudanese families’ unrealistic expectations of wedding ceremonies very strange.

Girls, with all due respect, if your fiancé is earning less than $200 per month, how can you expect him to pay for a wedding that will cost a minimum of $5000? Grab a calculator: 5000 divided by 200 = 25 months = a little more than 2 years. I used to work as a doctor in Sudan, and my monthly salary was a little less than a $100. If I was still working there it would take me more than 4 years to save up that kind of money, and only if I lived in a cave, walked to work every day, hunted birds and small animals for sustenance, drank from the river, built a fire for heat, and never shaved! If we factored in living expenses, I reckon that an average Sudanese employee would need about 5 years to pay for a wedding.

Sadly, reality is even bleaker than these calculations. Since it’s always about competition and ‘the show’, no family would accept a modest wedding for their daughter. “He got married in the most expensive hall, got the best singer, bought the bride’s mother a car and the bride a $7000 sheila! Our daughter deserves a similar or better wedding ceremony!” and before you know it, you’ve bargained with your daughter’s future, lost “Mr. Right”, forcing your daughter to stay home for a couple more years before she realizes that she is getting old and decides to settle for any option available.

Meanwhile, expensive weddings and lack of time bring us back to the same impossible mathematical equation. No family is willing to wait 5 years, so people are still getting married. But how? Easy! Sell the car, work extra time, stop eating 3 meals a day, borrow as much as you can from your friends and family and never pay them back, and buy some cheap antidepressants – you don’t want to waste too much money on drugs!

And why do we have so many functions? Henna, fatoor al’arees, jirtik; why are we weighing ourselves down with all this extra expense? Sorry, grandmothers of Sudan, but these customs are just not feasible anymore. Why invite 1000 people if only 300 of them really care about you and actually want to attend? Why do people have to spend (read: waste) their life savings in one night, leaving them nothing to start their new life with but debt! It’s anti-Islamic. If you have excess money, give it to the poor instead.

I am not saying that people should not get married. I am saying they should sit down and do the math. No need for the 10,000SDG band that sings for all of 2 hours; get a stereo instead, and spend that money on an amazing honeymoon with your love.

Don’t have more money than sense, have more sense than money.

5 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply to sudanese girl Cancel reply

  • Waleed
    27 February 2013 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Ya right!!!!
    Good work, brilliant calculations, but everybody knows that and every girl knows that
    People kept saying same words and having same conversations for ages and they still do the same..
    Dr Yasir, this mentality would never change in this life , may be in the next century
    It looks like you are not in Sudan any more, not sure if you are marrid or not, if not then get ready for the (BIG ISSUE)..
    Its really sad …
    God help us

  • sudanese girl
    27 February 2013 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with u.. But it’s more complicated I’m afraid.. Maybe a working class employee can’t afford this.. But her friend’s “mugtarib” brother can!! It takes afew brave individuals to change such concepts..
    P.s: with the expences they pay, I bet brides’ fathers agree with u!!!

  • Taggy
    26 May 2013 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    You are absolutely right and it is 100% doable. My husband and I carried this out to the word. One day wedding. Only invited people that we had seen in the couple of years before the wedding and “sheila” was stuff we needed, without keeping count. Not a single elder complained. We made it clear that this was what we wanted and people respected that. Alhamdulillah, we had our special, personal day.
    We were able to afford our honeymoon and even managed to buy furniture while there, as we hadn’t insisted on that before. The extravagance of waste held no appeal for us and the justifications remain absurd. Keeping up with the Joneses. What Joneses? People are eating out of the trash! Think of those Joneses instead.

  • Yasir Elkhider
    14 June 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Lol@ waleed, yes im not in sudan ;p college in sudan, doing postgrads in china “where everyone has more sense than money” and no i am not married so i will get the email of taggy and follow her stepsm haha.
    – Sudanese girl.. ill try to do this, ill tell you if i succeed 🙂

  • mohamed ahmed
    20 February 2014 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    that is right and i agree with you

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