Outdated customs making Uruzgan youth suffer

TARIN KOT (SW) – A number of young people in Uruzgan say that they have been waiting for years to pay for their wedding expenses due to bad customs and poverty.

They add that the high cost of weddings has forced many young people to go to work in other countries.

Shabir Ahmad, a resident of Uruzgan, says that he has been engaged for four years and has no money to spend on his wedding. He adds: “I have been engaged for four years and I don’t have enough money. I earn 200 afghanis daily. With this kind of income, should we provide our daily needs or should we pay all the money on wedding and all? Now, because of this problem, I am ashamed of my friends when I will pay my dues and get married.”

Nabila, Shabir Ahmad’s mother-in-law, says that she cannot give away her daughter in marriage without a dowry money. She adds that four years have passed since her daughter’s engagement to Shabir Ahmad, but he still hasn’t paid even one afghani out of 700,000 afghani worth of the dowry money. Nabila says: “He hasn’t brought the walvar (dowry money), it’s been four years. We have set 700 thousand afghanis for that. They are poorer than us and we are poorer than them. What to do in this situatio? Now that we have something, we cannot give it away for free. We are worse than them.”

At the same time, a number of religious scholars say that the reason for family problems and violence is the obscene customs and the amount of wedding money. According to them, the residents of some southern provinces believe that if they give their daughters in marriage without any reason, they will become worthless to their relatives or will be humiliated by others.

Abdul Rahim, one of the religious scholars in Kandahar, says about this: “Even though women should determine the walvar, but now no one pays attention to this right, nor does this right reach the women. Now that the economic and social situation is not good, determining a high amount of wedding money among men has become a competition and this issue has caused violence in many families.”

On the other hand, Aghawali Qureshi, the head of information and culture department, assures that with the cooperation of religious scholars, they are trying to prevent unsavory customs and traditions so that family violence disappears and young people do not face problems.

He adds: “Our provincial officials have tried and religious scholars have also helped us through mosques. This cooperation continues so that we can give general awareness to our youth and the people of the society and we can prevent these unpleasant customs. Traditions that cost unnecessary money leave the youth needlessly tired and in trouble.”

Although there are no accurate statistics of youth suicide, but from time to time, reports are published about these events, which are mostly attributed to family violence and weddings.