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Arranged Marriages

By shaz8010 Apr 09, 2013 1053 Words
Arranged Marriages
“Marriages are made in heaven and consummated on earth.” This phrase is on eighty percent of wedding cards invitation, but never on a divorce documents. Have you ever thought why? People from different cultures have their own perspective. Some believe that, arranged marriages last longer than love marriages, as the elder members of the family choose their spouses, who are experienced. The traditions of arranged marriage have been continued for a long time in the family history as their parents have gone through the same when they got married. While others believe that an arrange marriage is not just an association of two people but two families. The tradition of arranged marriages is practiced dominantly in India and other Indian subcontinents. In Rig Vedic Hindus, marriages are a union, in which a woman is half of his man and a man is incomplete without her. The goal of marriage in Hinduism is to foster, not self‑interest, but self‑restraint and love for the entire family, which keeps the family united and prevents its breakdown. Even in educated class, intermixing between two sexes is a taboo. Hence, most marriages are arranged by parents or relatives. (Indian Journal of Psychiatry, pg 2.) Arranged marriages have very low divorce rate. The lower rate of divorced in an arranged marriage gives parents a sense of security for their children which is one of the reasons the parents enforces them to marry someone they choose. It is a belief and proved study that arranged marriages are the most successful and lasting relationship. In eastern culture and most rural parts of the world, arranged marriages are put together by word of mouth. Even before the parents believe that, their children are in the right age to get married, the extended family members or the people of the society start looking for a match. This tradition has been continued for years. The aunts in the family play a major role in match making. The arrange marriage tradition has reached beyond the borders on Indian sub-continents. The media reflect arranged marriages as dominantly in India and Indian sub-continents, whereas this tradition had been in history of many western European and African countries. Arranged marriages also remain a feature of some rural areas within the former-Yugoslavia, particularly amongst Moslems in Bosnia and Kosovo. (Arranged Marriages in Western Europe: Media Representations and Social Reality. Pg. 642) The Okrikans have different method of arrange marriage. Some arranged marriage in African Okrikans tribe has come out to be different but interesting methods. One of which is called betrothal. In this process, the man holds the girl for himself or for his son until she reaches the age of marriage and contributes for her finance. The other method is called “ism-gbin”. In this method the man throws a periwinkle shell on the belly of a pregnant woman and claims to marry the child if it is a girl and to be a friend if it is a boy. (Arranged Marriage: Change or Persistence? Illustrative Cases of Nigerians in the USA* ) (pg:743-744) Arranged marriage is often misunderstood for forced marriage. In a forced marriage, one or both, to-be-bride and to-be-groom, disagree for the marriage but the marriage still takes place. Whereas, in an arranged marriage, especially in Islamic tradition, the bride and the groom are asked for their consent and if either disagree the marriage does not take place. The marriage is proposed by either of the family where the bride and the groom see each other, have few meetings and if the pair clicks, marriage takes place. Similarly, In Hindu tradition, today, both parties meet and a couple of dates are arranged by the family and on the consent of both parties, marriages take place. Forced marriage, in the act of marriage, is also considered illegal and abuse against women. Child Marriage is a kind of forced marriage where children get married at an early age or even when they are infants. In this marriage, the children live with their parents until they are adults and right after they reach a proper age they are obligated to stay with their new family. In this marriage, the bride and the groom do not see each other until they become adult. In such cases, the women suffer the most as they do not know how old their groom is, what his likes and dislikes are, and if he is good enough for her. The same follows for men as they do not know if their partner will have the same thinking as him. The misconceptions of arrange marriages have taken to an extent that it has been looked down upon by the western culture. It is assumed that in arranged marriage the freedom of choice of the spouses is compromised. In addition, many believe that in an arranged marriage the couple is obligated to follow their parent’s decision, which is not true. In modern society, the couples, as mentioned above, meet each other through third party but it is solely their decision if they want to carry the relationship forward to marriage or withdraw. In arranged marriage, parents and family members not only look into and research about the background of their child’s spouse but also the family. The parents would not want either their daughter or son to suffer through any unfortunate situation and make right decision for their future. This is one of the reasons, that inter-mixing marriages are not likely in arranged marriage. The family with the same standard, race and social status in the society come together for the union as they have been thought the same values and grown up in the same society to understand each other and their families’ legacy.

Work Cited:
Penn, Roger. "Arranged Marriages In Western Europe: Media Representations And Social Reality." Journal Of Comparative Family Studies 42.5 (2011): 637-650. Academic Search Complete. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. Reet Sharma, et al. "Hinduism, Marriage And Mental Illness." Indian Journal Of Psychiatry (2013): S243-S249. Academic Search Complete. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. Sam, Monibo A. "Arranged Marriage: Change Or Persistence? Illustrative Cases Of Nigerians In The USA." Journal Of Comparative Family Studies 40.5 (2009): 739-757. Academic Search Complete. Web. 31 Mar. 2013.

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