Monday, 23 November 2009

Deafening music at weddings threatens the foundations of Sri Lanka’s society.

Deafening music at weddings threatens the foundations of Sri Lanka’s society. Primarily by weakening the growth of family networks which are essential to survival in a third world society. This is a serious threat to all Sri Lankans. Thankfully it is something we can all prevent if we act united — particularly since the mid year wedding season has begun.

As I have pointed out in earlier posts, weddings are the most efficient, extensive and effective social networking events in Sri Lanka. They are a critical components of the countries social infrastructure. They enable the revitalisation and growth of family networks.

Conversion is the central function by which these networking events accomplish their ageless role. Drowning out conversation by over amplified noise masquerading as music significantly degrades this vital activity. The result is an attack on core social infrastructure of our society.

The root of this evil trend — though it plays a part — is not poor audio engineering but a tragically superficial bout of stupidity. Namely, the ludicrous idea that the degree of noise pollution demonstrates the wealth and status of the families getting married.

This corrosive idea has already dug itself like a parasite into the economics of the wedding industry. Pricing for audio is based on loudness with venues competing to ensure greater levels of deafness for less. When Mrs C’s family were planning our wedding, they were offered a price-list of audio set-ups based of loudness. Apparently the wedding package person was shocked when he heard we wanted to keep the volume down so our guests could talk to each other.

Sri Lankans are responding to this threat through individual acts of ingenuity. Such as sign language, jotting down notes to each other or talking in the corridors. Others have prudently taken steps to protect their hearing. I have a relative who bought a pair of barely visible industrial grade ear plugs. He has to attend more weddings than I do which makes these a sound investment.

Obviously these stop gap measures are not sustainable in preventing a very real threat to society. The only course of action is for everyone to act united — as one country against this social pox.

What you can do:

  1. Ask for breaks in the live music with softer pre recorded music,
  2. Insist on maintaining a humane audio level for most of the event.
  3. Try to keep speakers away from tables
  4. Support friends and relatives pushing for quieter weddings.
  5. Scare off status obsessed relatives buy suggesting that loud music causes hair loss, and lowers male fertility

It doesn’t sound like much but it’s a start. Please do suggest more ideas in the comment box below.

Thankfully I don’t have to attend any weddings this year. Practically everyone in our immediate circle has got hitched or have been given up as “past expiry date”. The first wave of pregnancies have already sprouted. However, those still involved in the wedding scene, can make a defence through collective action. For the cynical levers out there I say Yes we can!