Standing by your convictions at a dinner party debate can be awkward enough. But really living by them, even if that means making real sacrifices, is a true test of strength. Remya Ramachandran lives in Thrissur, a large city in India. According to Buzzfeed's tale of her no-longer-happening nuptials, she is opposed to dowries, the practice whereby a woman's family gives money or goods to her future in-laws when she gets married. Last week, Ramachandran announced that she had called off her own marriage after her fiancé's family demanded a dowry. She explained in a Facebook post (which Buzzfeed translated into English): "To all those asking for the date of my wedding, the family that before the engagement had said that they only wanted me, post the engagement, they were demanding 50 sovereigns of gold and five lakh rupees. As I am staunchly against dowry and because I believe that buying anything for a man and his family who are so unreliable is a loss, I don’t want to continue with the marriage."
After the post spread online, Ramachandran posted another message, this one in English, to explain that she didn't want to demonize her would-be in-laws, but rather hoped to challenge the practice of dowry itself.
Ramachandran's message has indeed sparked a conversation. An op-ed piece about her post in The Times of India points out that her message has brought back a hashtag campaign against the practice, #saynotodowry. And the public response to her story has shined a light on the practice globally, just as she was hoping it would.