Video of a marriage ritual in Nepal shared with false claims

By: Ankita Kulkarni
June 8 2023

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Video of a marriage ritual in Nepal shared with false claims

Source: (Twitter/@ScreenMix,@xxzz44858)


The Verdict False

The video shows a bride leaving her paternal house for her husband's home after her wedding. The woman will not be "buried alive" as claimed online.

Claim ID b1cf6183

A video circulating on social media shows a woman in Hindu bridal attire being carried on the shoulders of two men in what looks like a carriage. The woman can be seen crying and refusing to be moved ahead by holding a tree branch. Arabic text written on the video roughly translates to “#Iddah if her husband dies, they bury her alive with him.” In Islam, Iddah refers to the mourning period after a woman is widowed or divorced, during which she is not allowed to marry another man. Sharing this video on Twitter, an account called ‘ScreenMix’ captioned it in Arabic, "A circulating clip of one of the tribes in India, it is said that it is one of their traditions that if the groom dies, the bride is buried alive with him!! (translated)."

In Fact
A reverse image search led us to a TikTok video posted by user ‘laxu sapkota’ on May 18, 2023. The video is captioned "Bajhang Bihe" and includes several hashtags such as #nepalitiktok, #bihe, and #bajhangnepalNP. The video has over 88,400 likes. 

In the Nepali language, "bihe" means marriage when translated into English. We also found the same video posted on the Instagram account of ‘laxu sapkota’ on May 18, and the caption here reads, "Traditional Marriage Ceremony of Bajhang, Farwest of Nepal. Where girls used to cry while leaving there home. This was video about How hard to leave born homes and parents (sic)." We went through the account and found other videos from the same marriage ceremony, and the same girl can be seen in other videos that were posted between May 18 and 20. 

We also looked through the LinkedIn profile of Laxu Sapkota, and according to his profile description, he is a documentary photographer, documentary filmmaker and a digital content creator, and hails from Bāgmatī, Nepal. Logically Facts contacted the photographer, who confirmed to us that he is the original creator of the viral video, and the video is now being shared with "misleading information." “The video was shot during a traditional wedding ceremony in Bajhang, Farwest, Nepal, and shows a newly married woman crying on their wedding day as she is about to leave her parent's home and move to her in-laws permanently,” Sapkota told Logically Facts.

Furthermore, we also found several YouTube videos which showed similar scenes from another marriage in Nepal, as seen in the viral video. A YouTube video posted on the channel ‘Amit Digital Studio’ included similar visuals of a bride going to her husband's home, a ritual that is called ‘bidai’, and the caption to the video states, "Nepali Amazing Wedding Bidai 2078-01-10." We could also make out that the carriage in which a bride is carried is called a ‘doli’. The tradition is also similar to the one that is followed in India during many Hindu marriages. 

All this makes it clear that the video does not show a woman who is about to be buried alive after her husband’s death.

The Verdict
The video of a Nepali wedding ritual called ‘bidai’, where a bride leaves her paternal house for her husband's home, has been falsely shared as the practice followed by some Indian tribes of “burying alive” a woman after her husband’s death. This is a false narrative, and therefore we have marked the claim false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before