Common wisdom tells us that the institution of marriage is human and divine.

But in Sri Lanka, the pairing of police sniffer dogs during a mass wedding drew the ire of Sri Lanka’s culture ministry.


Culture Minister T.B. Ekanayake expressed his strong disapproval of a mass wedding of nine pairs of police dogs, which allegedly included symbols and items traditionally seen in Buddhist wedding rituals.

The grooms donned red ties, while the brides were fitted with shawls, hats, and mittens.

Although the police defended the wedding as their promotion of breeding these sniffer dogs, Mr. Ekanayake asserted that the rites “contemptibly devalued” the rather traditional marriage in the Buddhist context.

For Mr. Ekanayake, the use of the poruwa, a traditionally designed stage for Sinhalese weddings, was particularly unacceptable.

It is easy for critics to pinpoint the familiar notes of colors and symbols similar to those of Buddhist traditions. But for the police, the stage was used only for giving the dogs better elevation for photo-ops.

As for the wedding rings, vows, bells, and honeymoon, that’s anyone’s guess.