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Wedding in, but treat is out

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A 60-year-old wedding invitation that requests guests to bring their own ration to the feast.
A 60-year-old wedding invitation that requests guests to bring their own ration to the feast.

Staff Reporter

KURNOOL: It may sound incredible but it was an acceptable social norm that guests attending a wedding function were to supply ration for the food they consumed to the host during wartime in pre-Independence days.

An expensive Second World War thrust on India by virtue of the country being the colony of the British. This coupled with recurring famines led to serious food shortage compelling the colonial government to place restrictions on the grain stock in each household. The ration permitted for a household was insufficient for hosting a dinner after wedding even for influential landlords.

The hosts invariably printed on the wedding invitation that guests should supply their ration to the host early so that sufficient grain was available by the time cooking started. In many cases, families celebrating the wedding organised grains and other provisions on their own but to avoid audit by officials, foot note was printed on the invitation card requesting for the ration.

When a meeting was organised here a few days ago to retrieve rare manuscripts from the public, A.V. Reddy, medical representative, presented an wedding invitation received by his father's brother in 1945 which contained the foot note. Mr. Reddy, who was surprised at the strange footnote, inquired with the elderly people who traced it to the restrictions placed by the British.


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