Pakistanis really hate fun

Pakistanis really hate fun

As a country, we have a lot more to worry about than a bunch of LUMS students holding a fake wedding.
16 Mar, 2023

A fake wedding thrown by university students has Twitter in a frenzy — and with everything going on in the country, why wouldn’t this be the thing Pakistanis fixate on?

Videos are circulating on Twitter and TikTok of a fake wedding at LUMS in Lahore. Students apparently voted to elect the bride and groom and organised a ‘batch wedding’ for them, complete with all the events that accompany traditional Pakistani weddings. For some reason, people on Twitter are fixated on this.

Log in to Twitter and you’ll see everyone talking about the ‘wedding’. There are people sighing in envy over the students’ antics and reminiscing over their own long-gone university days, as expected. Also expected were the hordes of people criticising the students for having fun.

Apparently, a fake wedding is detracting from their education. Students, the sanctimonious Twitter users say, should be studying 24/7, especially if they’re at LUMS. Having fun means you can’t be a good student, apparently. We don’t need to remind you of the incredible pressure on students today — there have been many, many sad instances in which that pressure grew too much to take. If students from one of the most academically competitive universities in the country want to celebrate and have fun after class, we really should let them.

Having fun won’t make them worse students — and if for some reason it does, it really has nothing to do with us anyway. What difference does it make to us if Ali or Amna at LUMS get a B instead of an A in their international relations class?

A fake wedding is also, Twitter claims, mocking the sanctity of marriage. We wish someone had told us earlier that a single fake wedding is all it takes to damage the sanctity of one of the most commodified institutions in the world — not the robust and very capitalist wedding industry. We’re rather confused how a fake mehndi, choreographed dances and a young twenty-something in an ill-fitting turban is apparently powerful enough to shake our society’s faith in marriage?

An argument can, of course, be made that Pakistanis are far too obsessed with weddings and this celebration cements it. But we already knew that. We didn’t need to see kids dressing up and playacting as a bride and groom to confirm how deeply entrenched weddings and celebrations of marriage are in our culture.

In Pakistan, there are very few avenues of recreation available to the common man. Weddings may be the sole venue where people are allowed to laugh, sometimes dance, have fun and just celebrate. It’s no wonder then that when it comes to having fun, weddings are some of the few events that pop into people’s minds. And while some could argue that having a fake wedding is kind of cringey, at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with any of us.

It was interesting to learn, through Twitter and the shared experience, that many Pakistani universities host ‘wedding’ events and have for many, many years. LUMS didn’t invent this tradition, nor is it the only institution whose students participate. It is, however, the only one whose videos went viral online.

Seeing Twitter so worked up over a bunch of university students having fun is laughable, given the state of our country right now. Our currency is depreciating, we’re no closer to an IMF bailout, there’s a literal war zone in Lahore, the lid has been lifted on expensive gifts to a long line of government officials, everything’s more expensive and we’re concerned about some university kids having fun on campus. It’s hilarious that our priorities are so skewed.

If, amid all these crises, some kids in Lahore celebrate the fake union of two elected peers, it shouldn’t even be on our radar. Why do we hate fun so much that seeing other people’s joy makes us want to pull them down?