Maayra – Should This Continue?

I am proud of what I did last week.

My niece (brother’s daughter) was getting married.  We have a tradition called ‘Maayra’ in our community where the bride’s maternal uncle  (maama) offers valuable gifts to his sister (bride’s mother) and her daughter (bride).  This basically is with an intention to contribute towards the wedding expenses.

Taking the bride’s mother in confidence, I approached her brother with a request:  “In this marriage, if you approve, we’d like to do away with the tradition of Maayra

After consulting his family members, maama said that they were fine with that. But in turn, would also like to not have related formalities like ‘Bathhisi’ and ‘Saama Levna’. These are small functions where the sister symbolically invites her brother’s family to the wedding.

Since our side of the family was okay with this, the entire Maayra and related programs were eliminated from the wedding.

Now imagine this.  If this maama has 6 sisters and each of the sisters has 2 or 3 children, the maama will have to offer gifts at each of these weddings – let’s say on about 15 occasions. It just does not end there.  He will also be a part of the Maayra, though on a smaller scale, at the weddings of each child of each niece as ‘Bad Maayerdar’.  Some of the maamas will probably spend a good portion of their lifetime-earnings in Mayraas.

Though this tradition is prevailing since ages, it has become irrelevant in the present time, as the disparity between the rich and the poor has increased widely. In cases where the Maama can afford, they can follow this tradition.  But it sets, a keep up with the Joneses syndrome, or an inferiority complex of sorts, for those who cannot afford it financially.

In cases where the Maama cannot afford, he begs, borrows, pledges his jewelry or property just to fulfill this tradition.  Rates of interest for such borrowings are normally so high that he is sure to be doomed under the burden of paying just the interest.

Is this a fair tradition in the present day situation?

I feel proud that all the Maayra formalities were  eliminated atleast in this wedding. I wish others are inspired and follow similar steps for reform in Society.

Writer  : Badri Baldawa

Editor  : Meeta Kabra

This entry was posted in Contentment and Happiness, Financial Discipline, Social Reforms, Traditions and tagged , , , by badri. Bookmark the permalink.

About badri

As I approached 68 (2013), my son, Anand insisted that I had proven enough in my 45-year long career and it was time I took life a little easier; enjoy traveling (that I love) and social life. Yet, I somehow wanted to contribute positively and was exploring my options. My son-in-law, Navin suggested that I should write and share my experiences, “being a self-made man, you should tell the next generation how you overcame various obstacles to reach this position, in both, business and social circles.” He pointed out that while I was sharing my experiences with family and friends, as they approached me, a blog had the potential to take your voice to many, many more. He also insisted that I start mentoring youngsters who were new in their businesses. I was convinced. I offered my services pro bono, as part of a Guidance Program. Also, I started writing on this blog, bringing out figments from my memory as experiences that might be of value to the readers here. My daughter Meeta is sweet enough to spare her time to edit what I write. As a youngster, I thought one meal a day, one set of school uniform a year, a public place to study, lack of finance and basic shelter would keep me from achieving my dreams. To compensate, I started giving 110% of what was normally expected. Yes, 110% even in bad deeds! This worked. The very limitations started inspiring me in different phases of my life – meritorious results in studies; strength to shoulder family responsibilities; satisfied employers; establishing a successful business of my own; and in my adventure trips and other travel plans. Having done what I wanted to, I agreed it was time for me to expose myself! I felt, through this blog, I could and should share my expereinces. Hopefully, readers would find some bits useful and if not, they’d enjoy reading. Look forward to interact with you. Happy Reading, Badri Baldawa

9 thoughts on “Maayra – Should This Continue?

  1. Yes, its happy reading Sir, thanks for sharing, should not continue such tradition.
    We do not have Maayra, Dowri systems in Nepal,

  2. I agree with YOu Pankaj. Traditions could be maintained in simpler way so that everyone can afford it. What I intend to suggest is do not make it a tradition to gift the things in public display as it creates complex in those who cannot afford it.

    In this case, the parties were prepared to even do away with that little formality

  3. Hmm … I don’t agree with you here … we should keep these old traditions … this gives importance to the Mother side family in the function. Which is very hard to get in our current situation.
    Although, I agree that this does not need to be expensive. In fact ‘Mamamji’ does not even have to pay anything. In marriage, we buy more than one set of cloths, all we need to do is to pack one so ‘Mamaji’ can hand it over in ‘Maayra’. No cost just a tradition.

  4. Badri:

    I am enjoying reading your blog. Is it Hari’s daughter who is to be wed? If so, please extend my congratulations to him.
    (Wedding referred to is actually the daughter of my 6th younger brother Rajendra Kumar)

  5. Your new blog is impressive.

    If Mayraa was to help the family then it is redundant today. Great blog !

    We need to learn and remove these archaic customs. Hope you keep picking such customs which have outlived their utility and enlighten us all !

  6. I agree with you Govind. That is the way I wanted. In fact the intention while proposing was to retain the traditional formalities. But when the subject was discussed, before I could complete my proposal, the otherside was so much more forward in his thinking that he made me to lay a full stop just halfway itself! I appreciate that inspite of his ability to maintain full fledged Maayra, he was prepared to take blame from Society, but wanted to support the cause!

  7. Dear Badriji,

    Once again it was nice to read your blog as usual.
    I absolutely agree with you and wherever possible such customs should be done away with in this modern time. Truly your act would be inspirational for lot of people and wish your act becomes more and more contagious.


  8. We are proud of you of what you did, what i feel is if possible we should continue bathsi and traditional way of welcoming of brother by brides mother, but all maayra should be just for tradition like one saree, or 101 rs like,

    so the tradition is also saved and no financial burdan on mama………and of course if the bride is poor and mama is rich he is always there to help no probs with that i think

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