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Big Fat Indian Weddings and Social Responsibility: A Case

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Big fat Indian wedding

Photo by flickr/rsmith4321

Indians like weddings. Big ones: with all the pomp and show. In these occasions there are third and fourth degree, almost unrelated relatives and friends of friends of friends. From Indian standards, you are made aware that you are not doing that well in life if half your town is not present at your wedding. The matches made in heaven are also no less interesting than the festivities. These matches tend to be made by Auntijis (all women older than you by 5 to 10 years), Shaadi.com (and several other similar websites), love-arranged marriages, arranged-love marriages and once in a while by people being stupid enough (or smart, depending on one’s perspective) to really fall in love.

While these moments to remember can be made more personal or traditional or both, at a lot less expense, somehow investing in house, gold and big fat weddings is a national obsession. People take loans to pay for the arrangements and then there is a Stone Age custom of dowry. Even wedding invitations come with gifts and dry fruits these days. Guests at wedding have to shell out expensive gifts or cash as well, that tends to be compared after the event, to judge the affection of benefactor to the couple. It is basically a big fat event where everyone loses a lot of money. One can keep on writing more scathing critique of big fat weddings or even try to defend some of the good parts of this over-bloated new tradition but I am only interested in making a pragmatic and patriotic argument against excessive materialism.

While there is enough money in with middle class and upwards in the country very little of it gets spent on things that should matter. A large amount is spent on pomp and show. Why is that we are so averse to investing back in the economy and growing our own personal fortunes? The distant relatives that one usually never meets or cares about can anyway happily go about their business, without having to attend few more mandatory weddings.

If you think money is to spend and to hell with future investments, then too why spend it on feeding the well-fed? Why have a pretentious large affair? Make the spending count. Take a longer break than a touristy honeymoon. Go explore the world or for that matter, India. How many non-touristy destinations in India you have spent a week at? If you are conscientious how about opening a school or doing something for street kids or health care for poor? I can write several more suggestions but I am sure you can think of what matters to you. Anyway I need to stop writing, as I need to come up with a good excuse or an argument with my parents, who want to drag me to a big fat wedding in few hours and convince me that my India visit can be best utilized if they get to arrange a fat one for me too.

Dr. Sukant Khurana is a New York based scientist, artist and writer of Indian origin. His basic research involves neurophysiology, computational neuroscience, sensory perception, addiction, learning and memory, while his applied research extends into many areas of drug discovery and problems of the developing world. Both his visual art and writing explore the issues of modernization, displacement and identity.

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Spend All Your Time Online? Hobbies That’ll Get You More Hands On

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If you find yourself always online, it’s best to turn off the computer or phone and find something else to do. However, that’s a lot easier said than done! But if you’ve got a hands-on hobby in your back pocket, you’ll always have something fun and practical to turn to when you get bored. 

Staring at a screen all day isn’t healthy for you, and it’s good to find real ways to rest your eyes and get outside a bit more. As such, here are some ideas regarding the kinds of hobbies that’ll help you find enjoyment in things other than what’s going on online.

Woodworking 

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a carpenter, this is the first step on your journey to putting huge items of furniture together for your own home. Get a bit of wood, get a carving knife, and see how you can manipulate the material to make something interesting. Take precautions and protect your hands, but have fun at the same time. And while you’ve not got a woodworking shop yet, even just a small set of tools can help you whittle your way to new cutlery, decorative figurines, and incredibly personal birthday and anniversary presents. 

Building Models

Miniatures are a very popular hobby, and all thanks to the time and love we have to put into making them. And when you’re a fan of building your own models, you can move into other item builds, such as attaching 80 lower receiver jigs to a rifle project of your own. But to get started, all you need is a set of models to crack open, snip off, and glue together. Once you’re done with this, you can start painting them and even put together your own playing team. It’s not just a one step hobby you can then display in a cabinet – there’s a lot of nuance to explore. 

Gardening and Landscaping

Gardening is a totally free hobby to pick up if you’ve already got a garden. You can take cuttings from bushes, trees, and plants that you see out and about and then try to cultivate the same greenery in your own garden. Indeed, it’s a great way to blow off steam as well as get your hands dirty, which is something a screen just won’t allow! But if you prefer cutting back in the garden, you can try out landscaping instead, which will help you to design the outdoor space you’ve always wanted to relax in. 

Bake Your Own Bread

Baking is one of the best hands-on hobbies out there. Why? Because you get to eat something when you’re finished. And baking bread is quite the artform, so you’ll need to really brush up on your skills here. Plus, a freshly baked loaf every morning is always something to look forward to – it’s just the cleaning that’s annoying! 

If you’re always online, it’s time to break the habit! Get out and remind yourself there are other things to enjoy.

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Not Prioritizing Yourself Enough? Here’s How You Can Change It!

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In today’s society, there’s this push to promote self-care. While society five or maybe ten years ago would see the term “self-care” as something selfish, fortunately now, mental health has become a larger concern. While toxic positivity is being pushed out, and the whole “put yourself first” mantra is slowly beginning to reign supreme, there’s one question to ask. How exactly can one put themselves first? Also, how can these self-care changes even boost your well-being? These are some helpful ways to achieve that!

Understand Your Life Goals, Values, and Purpose

When it comes to putting yourself first, it’s important to begin by thinking of your life goals, your values, and what type of purpose you want in your life. While society once deemed people as “selfish” for even considering this, it’s your life, and you’re entitled to live your life the way you want it. Is one of your life goals to travel? Then that’s great! Keep aiming for it!

Identify Your Wants and Needs

Everyone has their own wants and needs, everyone does. What are yours? While it’s important to put other people’s wants and needs in front of your own (such as if you’re a parent), just keep in mind that you don’t have to do this all the time. So think about it, what are some small ways you can put your own wants and needs ahead without it jeopardizing anyone else. Maybe it can be something small such as getting more sleep, or maybe even something huge such as changing careers. It’s entirely up to you to decide.

Take Time to Get Your Headspace Right

A great way to get yourself into the right headspace is through the beauty of travel. This is actually one of the biggest ways that people are treating themselves and putting themselves first. Changing up your environment and your routine through the power of travel can be one of the very best ways to get yourself feeling recharged and just completely breaking away from what may be stressing you out. Whether you opt into a long vacation, weekend trip, or a day trip, just allow yourself the chance to breathe, take a break, and recharge.

Treat Yourself

There’s nothing wrong at all with treating yourself to things. Whether you’re wanting to gift yourself a nice car you shopped with through edmunds, a fun vacation, or anything else. There isn’t anything wrong with gifting things to yourself as long as you have the disposable income to do it and if it’s in moderation.

Opt-Out of Social Media That’s Not Good for You

Social media is a double-edged sword. It can be a great tool for connecting with people and staying in touch with friends and an extension of our personal brand. However, many people are finding that social media is not the best tool for their mental health and well-being. If possible, try to opt-out of social media if you feel it’s not good for you. And instead, try to spend more time in nature or offline activities like hanging out with family and friends.

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Building A Social Support System: An Essential Key To A Life Of Wellness

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Everybody needs somebody, even if you believe you thrive better as a lone wolf or prefer being antisocial. While having a support system around you will help you get through life, it also offers far-reaching health benefits. These include helping you deal with loneliness and even improving your chances to beat unhealthy addictions. A strong social system can also be very helpful when going through stressful times, battling chronic illnesses, etc. But how can you build a healthy social support system around you, and what does it entail? 

It’s important to first understand what a social support system is. It comprises friends, family, loved ones, and peers that you can call or rely on, especially in times of need to provide support, respect, and care. Having a support system around you can provide wisdom and guidance through tough times. It can also provide strength and hope with a generous supply of understanding and compassion.

Although research has shown that building a social support system can help you through the tough times, the last thing you want to do is try developing one only when you feel stressed and need assistance. Creating a social support system is something you should do when you’re not under stress or in need. This way, you don’t end up relying on the wrong people.

Start by making a list of those already in your life, including friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. When you are done with this, go through your list and highlight or underline those who have been supportive in your life and how. Next, make it a point to contact these people to check on them and find out how they’re doing. However, it’s important to note that you can also include professionals in your support system. For instance, counselors, psychologists, teachers, coaches, and healthcare professionals who have assisted you in difficult times, whether in the classroom, the gym, or in treatment programs you’re undergoing or already went through. 

Creating a healthy social support system also requires you to identify the barriers that have prevented you from creating healthy and meaningful connections with people. For instance, are you antisocial? Are you dealing with depression, drug abuse, or alcohol addiction issues that make it impossible to keep loving people around you? Once you identify your roadblocks to healthy social connections, find ways of removing them. For example, if you’re addicted to drugs and alcohol, you can find help through inpatient treatment programs. 

Another great way to build a social support system is to explore and embrace shared interests. It is easier to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who understand your emotions and can empathize in ways that others may not. For example, parents of a child with special needs will find immense support from other parents who share the same or similar difficulties. A great way to build such connections is by joining groups, associations, or clubs that share your interests and ensuring that you maintain regular interaction with the members. 

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