Marriage is one of the largest and most important milestones that an individual may experience. It symbolizes the life-long commitment between two people, unifying them and their families. The saying “first comes love, then comes marriage” describes how the ideal marriage arises from in Western culture, however, it can actually occur the other way around. Arranged marriage is a tradition where parents match their child with a suitable spouse to be with for the rest of the life. Here in Canada, we are fortunate with the freedom to make our own decisions and be with whom we want to be, but that does not necessarily imply that families are obligated to standardize to our ethic code. Many immigrants may come to Canada to seek for better life, yet still stick to their customs such as arranged marriage. Despite the controversy to as the acceptance of this practice in Western Culture, I believe that they can have a place in today’s Canadian society. Arranged marriage has been constantly viewed as horrific by the media, but there are many benefits to it. In fact, it can be quite similar to how our society seeks for a potential mate. Finally, it can also help build Canada’s unique reputation.
Some benefits that come from arranged marriage and are often neglected include a guarantee of marriage, lower divorce rate, and possible prevention from future tensions and complications within the marriage itself and each other’s families. With arranged marriage in mind, the chances for an individual to end up never finding a spouse is low since it is up for the parents to find a suitable match for them. Therefore there is little pressure on the individual to find someone who is willing to spend the rest of their lives with them, hence giving those who identify themselves as “socially awkward” an opportunity to prove themselves worthy of providing someone else a happy life. Furthermore, the main causes of divorce include infidelity, unrealistic expectations, and lack of equity; arranged marriages demolish these factors. Since both families must evaluate their compatibility on a social, cultural, and financial basis, there should not be an issue of equality because both families would come to an agreement that their lifestyles are relatively fitting in order to go through with the marriage. Those a part of an arranged marriage already understands what is expected of them from their families and therefore are more compliant to make the best out of it. This would overall eliminate possible future tensions regarding finances and family. Some may contradict that the reason why couples in an arranged marriage have a lower divorce rate than couples who marry out of love is because of the pressure of maintaining the family honour. This may be the case for some marriages, however, the necessity to make their parents satisfied can be act as extra motivation to work out the issues instead of making the impulsive, regretful decisions as an escape.
There are many arguments that antagonize the idea of arranged marriage. Some main paints include the lack of input that the individual has in choosing a suitable spouse, and for the future partner themselves. I believe that if a person has a healthy relationship with their family, they will be capable of choosing someone who will make their child happy. In addition, it is true how arranged marriage involves commitment between two people who barely know each other and are unsure of whether their future husband/wife is truly who they let on to be, but these are already risks/hardships that people experience in Western culture. For instance, online dating has been a growing resource for singles to search for their ideal mate. Since everything is done from behind a screen, there is a risk that the person who you sought interest in is not who you had expected and may be committing fraud. Even to those who are in a relationship, people can discover new characteristics about their partner that they were completely unaware of initially; this can occur for as long as years after establishing a close bond. It comes to show that the relationship history between two people prior to marriage do not influence the success of that marriage long-term as much as how we perceive it. Therefore, arranged marriages should not be viewed as a complete diversion from our beliefs because there is some common denominators between the two outlooks of what marriage should be.
Ultimately, arranged marriage can be considered a religious practice that many people honour and follow. With Canada being known to embrace multiculturalism, we should respect this tradition and not shun or criticize these people. Even though the predominant view on marriage here is through love, everyone does not have to feel the need to be assimilated to this view. However, there are individuals who straddle in between the two views on marriage. There can be situations where a person contemplates whether they believe in arranged marriage like their parents, or the idea of love which is portrayed throughout their lives in Canada. This can result in social dilemma between following their religious traditions and diverting to a new culture, and therefore creating immense stress and pressure on the child. I believe that if Canadian society makes displays more open-mindedness and acceptance towards valued beliefs such as arranged marriage, it can help those in conflict to be confident in how they identify themselves in this country.
In conclusion, arranged marriage can have a place in 2014 Canadian society – to a certain extent. Arranged marriage can be a beautiful tradition and should be respected, nonetheless, the line is drawn when extreme, unmoral actions are done in relation to it. This can include suicide, honor killing, and child marriages. These crimes may be rendered not as serious in other countries where the justice system is relatively weak, such as India and the Middle East, but is completely unacceptable in Canada. From my perspective, the success of an arranged marriage would essentially depend on the family dynamics. It is important that the child and the parents see eye-to-eye on their views on arranged marriage, and come to an agreement of how it pursues. For instance, the matching of two individuals does not necessarily require being totally strict and narrow-minded towards one religion or social “caste”. In Canada, we have such a diverse population that maybe arranged marriage can have a new sense of defiance. Overall, arranged marriages and statistically aid our society in lowering divorce rates and the future hardships that come with everlasting devotion, and adds upon Canada’s reputation as being the epiphany of diversity and equality.