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Weddings

Because of the strict caste system in the valley, the initial match making is very carefully decided. Marriages outside caste are very rare and are met with strong resistance. In most cases weddings are arranged by the parents with the obvious consent of the people involved. Wedding ceremonies are usually full of colourful events with mehndi, baraat and walima being the main functions. Apart from these universal events there are some localized traditions too which are followed by the respective communities during their weddings. Having said this, due to the cultural contamination caused by close proximity to Punjab and the flow of wealth in the valley , the old and traditional wedding customs are slowy disappearing. A few decades ago the bride had to be taken in "Palki" with four people carrying it on their shoulders. Now this tradition is only limited to remote areas where there is no road access. The use of "Dhol" is still a must have item in weddings but the Army style bands are also becoming very popular on the day of "Baraat" if one can afford. The "walima" used to be a very simple affair where only a couple of dishes were on the menu and were prepared by a local cook. There was no serving cost as food was served by family friends and close relatives. This has almost disappeared. Now professional catering services are hired both for cooking and serving with a variety of dishes on the menu.

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