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Kashmir: Baba Wayil, The Village That Outlawed Dowries

According to the village head, the elders have signed a document, which was amended in 2018 which mentions that the groom’s family cannot demand anything from the bride’s side.

Baba Wayil, a village in Kashmir has shunted the trend for extravagant weddings, with an outright ban on dowries. People in this village live ordinary lives, much like those of other small communities, but there is one major difference.

This village has rejected the notion of lavish weddings and has placed an outright ban on dowries, in a bid to return to a simpler time more in keeping with their tradition.

Baba Wayil is situated around 30 kilometers from Srinagar in Ganderbal district.  For the past 17 years simple weddings have been taking place in the village. Anyone breaking the rules is socially boycotted, barred from attending congregational prayers at the mosque, and refused a permit to be buried in the local graveyard.

As per the village headman, the instructions regarding the dowry were already in place for the past 40 years.

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