Sunday June 24, 2018
Home Business Wedding Busin...

Wedding Business: Extravagant Indian Weddings lead to expansion of the Sector in Canada

Indian weddings remain the extravagant affair they are even in Canada and cost an average of $100,000

1
//
636
Traditional Indian Wedding. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Republish
Reprint
  • The business of weddings has not even been affected by recession and the average cost remains a whopping $100,000
  • Everyone wants a piece of the industry and there have been many budding startups and one such notable venture, by Dave Singh, taps into by providing wedding attire
  • There are also hotels who have tapped into the business by holding crash courses for staff on South Asian wedding traditions

Indian weddings are a huge industry in Canada. A documentary “Little India Big Business” was aired on July 23, exploring the booming business sector in Vancouver. The documentary, by CBC journalist Bal Brach, takes into account how extravagant the affair has become.

“I was stunned to hear the average cost of an Indian wedding is $100,000 and most of the time, its hard working immigrant parents footing the bill for week-long celebrations,” Brach was quoted as saying before the documentary aired.

Shot from Little India Big Business. Image Source: CanIndia
Shot from Little India Big Business. Image Source: CanIndia

The business of weddings have not even been affected by the recession and the average cost remains a whopping $100,000. “Most of the time, it’s hard-working immigrant parents footing the bill for week-long celebrations,” Brach added.

Everyone wants a piece of the industry and there have been many budding startups. One such notable venture, by Dave Singh, taps into by providing wedding attire. Dave, who immigrated to Canada sometime in 2008, started with 12 clients in a business run in his basement, mentioned indiandiaspora.com.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

Now, 8 years later, he has 400 brides from all over the world who are set to buy his clothes. He has even opened stores in California and Toronto to keep up with his global clientele. His success has earned him the title of ‘Sabyasachi of Surrey’, Brach says, in reference to the renowned Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

According to by indiandiaspora.com, even hotels have tapped into the business by holding crash courses for staff on South Asian wedding traditions. Kevin Siegrest, director of catering at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, told media sources, “We’re working hand in hand with these event planners to really understand the traditions and intricacies.”

The Vice President for Multi-Cultural Markets and Alliances for Marriott International, Apoorva Gandhi too said, “As we see the rise in that population and the spending power, it’s something you can’t ignore.”

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

Social media has also added to the buzz and has allowed the wedding vendors to make a global impact. Most hair and make-up studios are booked up to 3 years in advance and the artists travel around the globe to provide their services to brides. Brach was quoted as saying, “It’s an incredibly lucrative business if you have the energy to compete.”

– prepared by Varsha Gupta of NewsGram. Twitter: @VarshaGupta94

ALSO READ:

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • AJ Krish

    The Wedding business has grown really big in the past few years because every rich Indian family wants to have a Bollywood Extravagant Wedding!

Next Story

Across Asia’s Borders, Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Dial in for Justice

The trial has been ongoing since 2013

0
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India.
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India. VOA

When Neha Maldar testified against the traffickers who enslaved her as a sex worker in India, she spoke from the safety of her own country, Bangladesh, via videoconferencing, a technology that could revolutionize the pursuit of justice in such cases.

The men in the western city of Mumbai appeared via video link more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles) west of Maldar as she sat in a government office in Jessore, a major regional hub for sex trafficking, 50 km from Bangladesh’s border with India.

“I saw the people who had trafficked me on the screen and I wasn’t scared to identify them,” Maldar, who now runs a beauty parlor from her home near Jessore, told Reuters. “I was determined to see them behind bars.”

“I told them how I was beaten for refusing to work in the brothel in the beginning and how the money I made was taken away,” she said, adding that she had lied to Indian authorities about her situation after being rescued, out of fear.

Thousands of people from Bangladesh and Nepal — mainly poor, rural women

and children — are lured to India each year by traffickers who promise good jobs but sell them into prostitution or domestic servitude, anti-slavery activists say.

Activists hope the safe, convenient technology could boost convictions. A Bangladeshi sex trafficker was jailed for the first time in 2016 on the strength of a victim’s testimony to a court in Mumbai via video link from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Convictions for cross-border trafficking in the region are rare as most victims choose not to pursue cases that have traditionally required them to testify in Indian courts, which meant staying in a shelter for the duration of the trial.

“They have always wanted to go back home, to their families,” said Shiny Padiyara, a legal counsel at the Indian charity Rescue Foundation that has facilitated videoconferencing cases and runs shelters for trafficking victims. “And most never return to testify.”

But videoconferencing is making it easier to pursue justice. Survivors have given statements, identified their traffickers, and been cross examined in at least 10 other ongoing international cases in Bangladesh, advocates said.

“Enabling victims to testify via video conference will lead to a possible decrease in acquittal rates for want of prime witnesses,” said Adrian Phillips of Justice and Care, a charity that supports the use of video testimony to help secure justice.

Even then, it is tough. During Maldar’s three-hour deposition, she withstood a tough cross-examination, showed identity documents to prove her age and countered allegations by the defense lawyer that she was lying about her identity.

Students Combat Human Trafficking
Students Combat Human Trafficking, flickr

‘Unpardonable’

Tara Khokon Miya is preparing her 27-year-old daughter to testify against the men who trafficked her to India from Dhaka, where she had been working in a garment factory.

“I almost lost my daughter forever,” she said, sitting in her home in Magura, less than 50 km from Jessore, describing how she disappeared after work and was taken to a brothel in India, and raped and beaten for almost a year before being rescued.

“What the traffickers did to my daughter was unpardonable,” Miya said, wiping her tears. “We seek justice. I nurtured her in my womb and can’t describe what it felt like to not know about her whereabouts.”

The trial has been ongoing since 2013 when the young woman, who declined to be named, was repatriated. The charity Rights Jessore is helping the family through the process, by providing counseling and rehearsing cross-examination.

“The best thing is her father will be by her side when she talks in court,” Miya said, finally breaking into a smile.

India signed a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh in 2015 to ensure faster trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and with Nepal in 2017, and laid down basic procedures to encourage the use of videoconferencing in court proceedings.

“The procedure is very transparent,” said judge K M Mamun Uzzaman at Jessore courthouse, which often converts its conference hall into a courtroom for videoconferencing cases to protect survivors’ privacy.

“I’m usually present and victims are able to testify confidently … it is easy and cost effective for us,” he said. “But the biggest beneficiaries are the survivors.”

Silencing Victims
Silencing Victims, pixabay

The future

Videoconferencing in Bangladesh has been plagued by technical glitches such as power cuts and poor connections.

“Sometimes the internet connection is weak or it gets disconnected during the testimony,” said Binoy Krishna Mallick head of Rights Jessore, a pioneer in using this technology to encourage trafficking survivors to pursue justice. “But these are just teething troubles.”

The bigger challenge, activists say, is to ensure survivors remain committed to the trial despite delays caused by a backlog of cases and witnesses’ failure to appear to testify.

Swati Chauhan, one of the first judges to experiment with video testimony in 2010, is convinced that technology can eliminate many of these hurdles.

Also read: Imagining Panun Kashmir: Dissent And Detente in South Asia

“Victims go through a lot of trauma, so it is natural that they don’t want to confront their trafficker in a court — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the trafficker to be punished,” she said. “A videoconference requires meticulous planning and it is not easy coordinating between departments and countries. But it is the future for many seeking justice.” (VOA)