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Nov 17, 2016: Weddings are the most celebrated moment in a person’s life. It not only ties two individuals in a beautiful relationship but also brings their families and their cultures together. Therefore, wedding plans for a girl become very important at an early age even when she is unaware of its importance.
The day becomes ‘THE DAY’ for her when it comes to her wedding. A more sophisticated version of wedding are brought forward with the efforts of recently emerged wedding planners. They are kind of event managers and at times the sole planner of the entire fairy tale process. They not only bind the events but also shape the emotions of the families with a gentle touch of perfection. But the question arises are they really worth it?. Let us discuss this in brief.
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Planning a wedding is not a simple task. It involves detail planning and proper execution depending on the type and time of the event. Jayana Cooke, CEO of “EventTup”, an online market place for finding event venues says very precisely that “be sure that your planner is as detail-oriented as you are and has values and communication styles that align with your own”. This is the very first step to gain the trust of your client. Unlike other businesses it is not only a
Unlike other businesses it is not only a profit-making source but it is also a trust-oriented emotional approach between the client and the planner. Weekes: “Contrary to what I was told when I first got into the business, Type-A clients work well with planners; in fact, I think they make us better planners. However, you need to be honest with yourself about whether it’s something you can do comfortably.” Well, nonetheless honesty is an important factor of any business. The frankness between the client and the planner helps in building a better co-ordination.
Planners do have an inside track, which means they can sometimes save your money — but not always, says Cooke. If your budget is already stretched, but you could really use help, consider a day-of coordinator. According to Graham, “planners often offer multiple tiers of service. Be sure to ask for a customised service if you don’t see what you need on the planner’s initial price list”.
Consulting fees are the first step to start with your wedding. The initial plans are sketched out in the beginning and the rough estimate is given to the client. These meetings are a great opportunity for the wedding planner to upsell the client and recommend a Day of Coordination or even a Full-Service wedding package. Luckily for you, many times the client will realise they really do need more help than they had originally thought. However, these recommendations should be reserved until after the session has completed, as the client is paying you for your expertise, not your sales pitch. According to The Association of Bridal Consultants, the average total cost for a wedding consultant is $3,636 in the northeast and $2,635 in the south. The national average is $3,262
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TheKnot.com estimates the average cost of a wedding at $31,213 in 2014. Using Nancy Flottmeyer’s 10% rule, you’re looking at a $3,000 line item that is completely missing from your budget. Not having a clear understanding of your expenses can lead to overspending, so it’s best to keep the budget comprehensive and focused. Some wedding consultants get paid by the businesses they promote, so you want to make sure to read the agreement closely before signing.
Asking the consultant directly how they structure their fees, including whether or not they accept compensation from vendors, is a fair question, says Flottmeyer. “Ideally, the answer should be, ‘We recommend the best business for you,’” she says. They should be focused on connecting you with vendors that he or she believes are the best fit for your aesthetic and budget, not on collecting extra fees. Bonus tip for getting more for your money: “I always tell brides to treat everyone with respect,” Flottmeyer says. “When you do, the flowers get bigger, the band plays longer, and sometimes vendors might not charge you for little extras. It’s common sense—treat everyone kindly, and consider tipping or extra gifts as a thank you.”
Wedding planners try and plan the best wedding moment for you. They look into every detail starting from the venue to the thank you gifts. It entirely depends on the client as to what they want and how they want. If they want a simple wedding to tie their knot they can surely go for it. If they plan for a wao wedding to woo their guests this will incur to an extravagant wedding.
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A high-end wedding planner often charges twice the same price as an average wedding planner, who in turn use your budget judiciously for each event. With the high-end capitalism, all functions have become more a lavish oriented product than a simple custom event.
To reduce the effect of the extravaganza one should have an authentic taste. Marriage is more of a personal event than a professional event, it should be dealt in a very delicate manner or else it gets highly over magnified capitalistic affair and looses its flavor.
– by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon
Tenali Ramakrishna, or Tenali Raman as he is more popularly known is Birbal's equivalent in South India. A court jester and a scholar exuding great wisdom, Tenali Raman was known as one of the greatest courtiers in King Krishnadevaraya's court.
The Vijayanagar Empire ruled a large part of South India between 1336 and 1646. In the 16th century, the kingdom rose to prominence under the eminent leadership of King Krishnadevaraya. His continuous victories against his enemies ensured a successful and peaceful reign for his subjects. As a patron of art and literature, many crafts and cultural assets thrived in the empire.
Krishnadevaraya's beloved courtier, Tenali Raman is the finest example of the splendour of the Vijayanagar empire. He was born in Tenali, a town in Andhra Pradesh. He lived here until he lost his father, after which his mother brought him to Vijayanagar. He was discovered for his excellent wit and wisdom, and appointed in the court. He was one of the king's ashtadiggajas (collective name for the eight poets and scholars).
A statue of Tenali Ramakrishna near a Municipal Office in Andhra Pradesh Image source: wikimedia commons
Tenali Raman as a scholar, published great texts of wisdom, which have now become artefacts of the Kingdom of Vijayanagara. But his fame does not lie in these achievements. He is known for the mischievous jester that mythical folklore portrays him to be. Through stories, many writers have used jokes to impart wisdom and morals to many generations of people. The stories of Tenali Raman are almost legendary in the Southern peninsula.
Textbooks have been written with his moral stories in mind, and these days, many self-help book are also incorporating his wisdom. His most popular stories are, 'Mother Tongue', 'Cursed Face', 'Saluting the Donkeys' and many more. Through these stories, Tenali Raman, in some way, brought about social justice. Perhaps this is why he is most beloved by many people even today.
Keywords: Tenali Raman, Vijayanagar empire, Krishnadevaraya, Jester, Wisdom
It must be noted that different religions and societies in Southeast Asia have alternative narratives of Ramayana, one of the greatest epic.
Here are some of the versions of Ramayana!
Dasaratha Jakarta: The Buddhist Version
Interestingly, this version of Ramayana does not mention Ravana at all and in fact, there’s no mention of Sita’s abduction, too. In this version, Dasaratha is the king of Benaras and not Ayodhya. Also, Rama and Sita leaves kingdom and go to the Himalayas and not forests. Then, after twelve years, Rama and Sita return back to Benaras and get married.
Paumachariya: The Jaina Version
In this version, Lakshamana is the killer of Ravana and not Rama. Here, Rama is an ardent follower of Jainism, and so he cannot be the killer of Ravana. Also, this version states an army of warrior and not monkeys, as stated in Valmiki’s Ramayana. Another interesting feature of this version is that Ramayana is not shown as a villain, rather a magnanimous king and follower of Jainism.
Gond Ramayani: The Gond Version
Gond is an adivasi clan belonging from Madhya Pradesh in India. Interestingly, in this version, the story begins from where Valmiki’s Ramayana ended; when Sita is rescued from captivity. Also, Bhima, one of the Pandavas from the epic of Mahabharata, is mentioned in this version. Unlike Valmiki’s Ramayana, Rama is not the protagonist in this version.
Ramakien: The Thai Version
This is considered as Thailand's national epic, and is still taught in some schools in the country. In this version, Ravana is shown as a learned scholar and a noble king in this version. Also, Ravana’s pursuit for Sita is depicted as true love. There are a lot of similarities between this version of Ramayana and Valmiki’s version, but this version lays a lot of emphasis on Hanuman.
When a baby is born in an Indian household-they invite hijra to shower the newborn with their blessings for their blessings confer fertility, prosperity, and long life on the child. But when that child grows up we teach them to avert their eyes when a group of hijras passes by, we pass on the behaviour of treating hijras as lesser humans to our children. Whenever a child raises a question related to gender identity or sexuality they are shushed down. We're taught to believe that anything "deviant" and outside of traditional cis-heteronormativity is something to be ashamed of. This mentality raises anxious, scared queer adults who're ashamed of their own identity, and adults who bully people for "queer behaviour".
Hijras are a community of people who include eunuchs, intersex, and transgender people. They worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata. Most hijras, but not all, choose to undergo a castration ceremony known as "nirvana" in which they remove their male genitalia as an offering to their goddess. The whole community is vibrant with hundreds of people with hundreds of ways of expression, the true identity of a hijra is complex and unique to each individual. In India, hijras prefer to refer to themselves as Kinner/Kinnar as it means the mythological beings who excel at singing and dancing.
Hijras worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata.homegrown.co.in
The hijra community works systematically, the community separates itself from the outside world and teaches lessons to the young ones in secret. Each community has a guru and the other hijras are their disciples or chela. The "hijra ways of life" are taught to the disciples in a secluded environment where they leave their families and live with other hijras in the community. More often than not hijras are thought of as nothing different from transgender and often referred to as transgender; however, scientifically these two terms denote a different class of people. Hijras are a part of the whole community of people with various identities and of spiritual and cultural values meanwhile, transgender merely refers to those people whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned to them at birth, they are a part of the community and do not represent the whole community.
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Historically and culturally the community has existed in the Indian subcontinent as long as the civilization has existed. There are mentions of hijra in The Mahabharata, a holy book of Hindus. Shikhandi who was neither male nor female is a mythological legend. In another version of Mahabharata Arjuna, one of the Pandavas was cursed to be the third gender by Urvashi, when he refused to be sexually involved with her. In a story by Padma Purana, it is seen that Arjuna transforms into a woman to take part in Krishna's mystical dance which only women can take part in. The Hijra figures are prominent in Indian Mughal History as well, referred to as Khwaja Siras and known for their loyalty to the ruler, they worked as the sexless watchdogs of the Mughal harems. They held important positions in court and various facets of administration during Mughal-era India, from the 16th to 19th century. The Hijra community is a testament to the sexual diversity that is integral yet often forgotten in Indian culture.
If the whole hijra community was looked upon with enamor and respect in our history, what happened that when we come across the community we look at them with contempt and are filled with a mixture of negative, fear, laughter, and odd emotions. It's owing to the fact that under British Raj, the Criminal tribes Act 1871 hijras were criminalized and the law was made to eradicate the whole community. However, these acts were abolished by the Indian government after independence, and by 2014, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh all had officially recognized third gender people as citizens deserving of equal rights where the third gender means individuals categorizing themselves as neither male nor female. Even though the progress is slow but in 2015 Madhu Kinnar became the first hijra mayor in India was elected in the city of Raigarh.
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Although the hijra community was revered by society and is invited to births and weddings for religious and spiritual ceremonies, they still become victims of abuse and discrimination. Violence and hate crimes against the community have become common. They are deprived of education, job opportunities, seating in restaurants, etc. leading them to live in poor conditions barely surviving. They often have to resort to begging and prostitution to earn a daily living. The government has tried to address this issue by introducing bills for the protection of the hijra community, with prison terms and other punishments for those offending them, but there is little to no less effect on the social stigma against the community.
In India, the hijra community comes under the umbrella term LGBTQ+ and we notice that they lack voice and representation when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. We need to understand that when we fight for LGBTQ+ rights we fight for the whole community, we fight for hijras who have been victims of violence, hate crimes, and disrespect from none other than the people of our society. And although hijras are a part of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, they have an independent subculture of their own. It is worth every effort to know about them, to study about them, to befriend them, and to smile at them for they are every bit of human as we are and they have nothing but blessings in their heart.