30 November 2010
Ethnographic Review #2
I chose to do this report on the article “Arranging a Marriage in India” by Serena Nanda. This article contained the beliefs of the Indian natives on how marriage should be. In India, almost all marriages are arranged. They base their marriage on commitment, not on feelings. As their marriage progresses, the feelings develop. Serena asked a young college graduate who was in the process of having her marriage arranged a few questions. One of the questions she asked was “How can you think of spending your life with someone you don’t know personally and don’t love?” She responded with “If he is a good man, why should I not like him? With you people you know the boy so well before you marry, where will be the fun to get married? There will be no mystery and no romance.” This sure made me think twice about the American beliefs dealing with marriage. Arranged marriages in Indian society have been the norm for many centuries. Here in the United States arranged marriages are frowned upon. As Americans we never really contemplate the idea of having someone choose our life-long partner. We believe that everyone has the right to choose who they want to spend their lives with. Although I believe that we should be free to make our own choices, I also can see what the advantages and disadvantages are of an arranged marriage. Actually, after reading this I feel an arranged marriage makes more sense. Would I like to have one arranged? Well… the answer would be no. I grew up believing love comes first then marriage then the baby carriage but I realized that young men and women in India do not date and have very little social life involving members of the opposite sex. So having an arranged marriage is pretty much like their first time with a guy or girl which I’m sure would be very exciting for them. Although parents finding a bride or groom suitable for their son or daughter may seem...