Baljit Singh

Paraya Dhan focuses on the mentality that gets instilled into young girls’ minds that their only purpose in life is to get married and begin taking care of the husband’s family. Her value then equates to how much dowry her father is able to afford in exchange for a groom. Although many middle/upper class families and those in the diaspora like to think that dowries do not exist and were left behind in the motherland, this series depicts otherwise. Hiding under the umbrella terms like “culture” and “tradition” - treating the daughters in the household like they will soon become another’s “property” remains as prevalent as ever. With the use of black and white photographs and colourful illustrations, the images strategically draw the attention of the viewer to the subject - that although appears to be human, is in fact just a pile of material items. Paraya Dhan aims to get the viewer to question the things they’ve been taught and become critical of traditions that are doing them more harm than good. When you empower your daughter you empower the woman she will become. The day you treat her like she's not a burden, is the day her value will be placed on things much more than how much money or gifts she brings in