Fear of getting stranded due to Covid-related travel restrictions and uncertainty are the main reasons, they say
The ongoing Covid pandemic is changing our lifestyles in ways that we could never imagine. The newest trend to have emerged is of Non-resident Indians in the Gulf, opting to tie the knot in the country of their residence. Unlike earlier times, they are not flying down to India in order to get married.
The uncertainty of lockdowns and travel restrictions are forcing couples to take this step in order to move on with their lives.
Marrying abroad would have been an unthinkable proposition in pre-pandemic times because we all know how Indians love big weddings, armed with never-ending guest lists and enough food to feed an army. But now they are agreeing to small ceremonies with limited guests in attendance.
Melissa, a young woman from Mangaluru, who recently got married in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while speaking to Times of India said, that she got married in UAE because of the prevailing Covid situation in India and the uncertainty surrounding travel.
“Otherwise, we would have planned our big day in Mangaluru itself,” she told The Times of India.
There are many like her who have already had their wedding and many more waiting to tie the knot in the Middle Eastern countries where they have been living and working for some years now. A couple who got married in Kuwait recently also spoke up about their choice.
“We could take leave and come to India to get married, however, our plans can get affected due to the restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is better in the Gulf, as there is less uncertainty, and we are not inconvenienced due to this,” they said to TOI.
Maria Rinna D’Souza, who works in Kuwait, and is a past president of the Kuwait Canara Welfare Association (KCWA), told the TOI that a lot of NRIs from Kuwait are getting married there. The ceremony is broadcast live on video conference apps, so that their relatives and friends back home have a chance to participate as well.
There is also a view that those who are deciding to wed abroad are well settled in that country with their fiancé as well as plenty of relatives working in the same geographical location. They feel that with a lot of friends and family members around, a big celebration is not impossible. But for those who are there on their own, these weddings are becoming lonely affairs.
The biggest problem arises when one of the partners reside in the Gulf and the other in India. There is a risk of losing jobs in case one is compelled to extend their leave, when they go home to get married.
From cutting up your old pair of shorts to make masks, to carving out restaurant seats for squirrels, these two years have seen a lot of unthinkable new occurrences. As of now, this trend of NRIs marrying abroad is a reality. It remains to be seen if this becomes the norm once the pandemic is over.