- Promisha Mishra
It was not the first time I heard the word bio-data but when my mother asked me a copy of it, I got amazed or I would better say that I was shocked. I could not even predict why she needed it since I have already a good job and I am satisfied with this.
Curiously, I asked my mother with smiles,”Mom, I already have a good job and I am satisfied with it. Why do you need my bio-data? You’re not getting a job at this age even if you go with my bio-data.”
“There are some social uses of bio-data too. I am searching a life partner for you and boy’s family needs your bio-data,” she replied.
For fixing a daughter’s marriage, the girl’s side should approach the boy’s house. This tradition is common in Madhes. Although we hear that the dowry gets fixed for the marriage there, I have seen that lots of dowry-less marriages are currently being done there as well. Being aware of all these traditions and changes, the use of bio-data for marriage purpose was completely a new concept to me. When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle got married, then girl’s photograph was all that a family needed to show to the boy’s side.
I wonder since when the idea of using bio-data started. I have no idea about this!
I had conversation with some of my newly married girlfriends from Janakpur. I asked them, “Have their family presented her bio-data when they went to the boy’s family for a marriage proposal?”
They replied me easily, “Yes it’s been in practice for long.”
I realized I am obsolete with no idea of current trends of fixing marriage. I recalled all the marriages I have been especially during the fixing but could not remember the use of a single bio-data. I had never thought if the bio-data could be used for marriage proposal.
It was my turn to print an updated copy of my bio-data. Currently, the employers do not call the word “bio-data”. Instead, they demand your CV along with a cover letter. This made me replace the “bio-data with CV. I wrote my personal details including my academic qualifications, facebook-link, and blog address.
Now I got confused. Should I write my job experience there and the name of the companies I have worked so far? Am I supposed to write my technical skills like C, C++, Java? Should I include my extra-curricular achievements? Should I also include my training and participation? What would the girl write if they demand a cover letter too? And the most confusing part I believe what would be the content of the cover letter? Last but not the least, should I also write about the references? If yes, who could be my referee?
The next, what if the boy’s family will ask me about the recommendation letter? What could be included in the recommendation letter? These are some of my confusions.
My confusions led me to analyze how time has changed. Ten years ago, a girl’s beauty and her father’s duty to pay dowry were the factors that could only be the cause of marriage. But these days, they care more about a girl’s education, her ability and skills and her achievements.
Recently I have attended several arrange-marriages in Janakpur and they were completely dowry-less and probably the bio-data might have been used for fixing those marriages. Marriage system today is getting changed.
Even the MA Sociology Syllabus of TU talks about Terai/Madhes, and it includes dowry. Their perceptions should be changed. Neither all the marriages in Madhes are dowry-based nor Madhes is all about dowry.
I am hopeful, someday all the marriage relations in our society would be based on compatibility between going-to-be partners and definitely, in-laws would be proud of their new member’s bio-data and would help her to make it better.
Ms. Mishra, writer and young speaker, who holds Bachelor of Engineering in Computer from Tribhuvan University Nepal, who is advocating for women and human rights. . She is the vice-president of Pro Law, an organization working for promotion of the rule of law in Nepal.