Sunday, April 21, 2013

To be arranged, or not to be arranged in...MARRIAGE!

As human beings there are only a few things in this world we naturally or are conditioned to seek out. Some things are for our survival - food, water, shelter. Other things are for convention, fun or pleasure - partner, friends, family, material possessions, job etc.

The concept of arranged marriages has always fascinated me.

MAYBE, it's because one of my best friend's (Indian background) went through the "process" while we attended university and I watched from the sidelines. Her mother was quite forceful about it. From the sidelines, I noted her mother didn't feel she would have "done her duty as a mother" if she didn't marry off her daughter to a good Indian man that was suitably compatible. Note - although my bestie participated in her mother's requests down the arranged marriage path, she eventually met her future husband through work friends and is still happily married.

Or MAYBE, it's more to do with the fact that it's like one of many different "pathways" to finding a marriage partner that might actually work. I mean, to find your partner there are only oh-so-many ways you could meet... through friends, at school, in a nightclub or on the social scene, randomly or otherwise. The "arranged process" is just more formal with clear steps (which I'll get to, a bit further on...)

Or MAYBE, it's also there are friends of mine who have made arranged marriages work, whilst others who haven't..

** Please note, the full blog post has been removed as parts of the blog content will be edited for inclusion in an upcoming publication by the author. More information will be made available on the Adventures in a Tuk-Tuk Blog in due course **


piratehunter1977 said...

The financial side or dowry is a major component of these arranged marriages. So I've been told. I've spent the last two hours going through the marriage proposals section of the Sunday paper and it's amazing to say the least. Parents are upping the ante and throwing in property, jewelry, overseas employment and migration to find the right candidate for their sons and daughters. Like a used car lot and the salesman in the cheap suit trying to entice you to go for a certain car by adding a warranty etc. Lol. And the other thing I noticed in the paper was that most 'brides' were what is considered in hypocritic South Asia as 'damaged goods'i.e divorcees, or women who've lost their virginity. Thus forcing hypocritical Asian parents to raise the dowry to entice a suitor. Rather sad state of affairs. My personal opinion on this subject is that it's not for everyone. And yes it's about compatability and yes some do work...but from what I know, seen and experienced with arranged marriages in my circle of relations is that for the most part they're miserable. Friction reigns supreme. Never is it happily ever after.

Eva Stone said...

I have to admit I agree that its like a market, though not sure about the used car analogy. A market brings together "buyers" and "sellers". I know it's somewhat crass to use such terms when it comes to marriage, but then again marriage is a partnership or joining of two people and their families, and can be likened to a transaction. It's just more explicit in an arranged marriage process. Both parties have requirements and the "sweetners" (such as jewellry, property, cash, etc) are just part of it. The buyer has to decide what it wants out of what's on offer. That being said, both parties undoubtedly know the deal, once it has been struck. For willing participants, it's known and accepted. For unwilling participants, it's a whole different story.

Irrespective of the up-and-down movement of the dowry associated with being a divorcee, already have children or considered 'damaged', I guess it's a fact of life and part of cultural taboos or antiquated social standards. Not saying I agree at all, especially if candidates are considered 'damaged'... However, whether you're male or female these things still factor into the equation whether you go via the arranged marriage pathway or not. It comes down to cultural conditioning, beliefs, social standards. And, yes, there are always double standards... unfortunately.

"Friction reigns supreme" no matter how you find your marriage partner because the "joining of two families together" is fraught with challenges, power battles and differences of values, opinions and more. The happily ever after I have witnessed usually comes from continuous "working at it", kindness, lots of communciation and tolerance. But, I hear you... arranged marriages are nor for everyone!

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