Friday, February 27, 2009

Arranged Marriages

Throughout the World different cultures handle marriage differently. Arranged Marriages could be defined as a marriage organized by parents of the couple instead of the couple falling in love. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Arranged marriages still exist in South Asia, Middle East, and Africa. They were once taken in by many Aristocratic Families in Europe. Though arranged marriages are viewed as a terrible thing they can not be confused with forced marriages. While arranged marriages have both children fully obey their parents, forced marriages are done without the will of the participants. There are many different types of arranged marriages such as shotgun marriages, forced marriages, and child marriages.

Since arranged marriages have been done since generations there are many variations such as a shotgun marriage, child marriage, and forced marriage. While an arranged marriage focuses on finding the perfect match for their daughter in forced marriages the main motivation is to get more social or economic standard making family and society the supreme factor. Even though a forced marriage is uncommon in the West it is not so in the rest of the World. The brutal thing about this type of marriage is that to make sure the children do as they are told, they are often threatened with either a penalty or even sometimes disinheritance and death. A child marriage is between two children of even babies who are married. These two children often live apart in their own families until after puberty when they are brought together. These matrimonies are done for political or financial purposes. Of course women are often required to bring along a dowry especially in India were this also supports the man dominance. A form of betrothal called a shotgun wedding is when a bride gets pregnant and the groom is forced to marry her. These types of marriages even still happen in America and it are classified as forced marriages because the groom has to marry the bride.

When the parents chose the spouse of their daughter or son many factors are considered. Though in each country there are some things still left open for the children like first meeting each other before the wedding day most parents though rely on some main points. First of all the reputation of the spouse’s family has to be good. The occupation of the person also is highly regarded. For a groom, jobs which pay nicely are in preference meaning professions like accountant, lawyer, doctor, scientist, or engineer. For a bride, the vocation is not so important but liked careers are a teacher, doctor, or lawyer. Often two people who have the same job are matched in arranged marriages. The wealth of the families also matter. A noble family would want their child to marry another rich family. A factor which comes into play when the parents are looking for a bride or groom is their religion which is a very large issue. Since a couple would join hands, they would have to join hands in their religion as well. Not to forget that when you have a religion such as Hinduism, vegetarians often do not marry omnivores. Some features which seem to be used in matchmaking are height and age where both times the groom should be taller and older which seem quite natural. When choosing, language is often a barrier for the bride and groom must have the same mother language which can sometimes get quite tricky. When a family has a deformity or disability they often match their son or daughter to a person with the same problems which makes everything more easy. Though subjects like city of residence, educational level and other such things are considered they are not as significant as the horoscope. In India the position of the stars when the child is born are matched with the bride and groom to see whether they fit which often comes with a percentage of match.

Though arranged marriage is seen as a bad thing by most non-participants there are arguments for these kinds of weddings. Arranged marriages are good in a way because your parents like the person you will have to marry and they also like his/her family. If your parents did not liker your spouse, the marriage with him will be noisy, annoying, and depressing. People also believe that a couple in love can not make the right choices for they are too blinded by their affections. It is also said that while betrothals may be not welcomed at first, they are still more stable than love marriages. A factor that makes arranged marriages bad is that you maybe would not like the person you are being wedded to but you would still have to live with him/her which would make you unhappy. Having a say who you would marry while your parents had only a little bit of influence would make everyone quite content. Though arranged marriages may seem normal to some countries, in the West it is considered to oppress humans and their rights. The UK even banned it from being done in Britain. For there is a saying that says “A person may find themselves stuck in marriages with persons decidedly not of their own choosing... whom they may find personally repulsive”.

In the Western World people always follow their love, marrying whom they want and please. Dating is also no problem while in countries with arranged marriages it is forbidden. A factor that sometimes causes problems after the marriage is that the parents had not fully looked into the medical condition of a spouse. After being married it is close to impossible to get out of the marriage and their may not be any legal way to do it. This often leads to honor killings. Arranged marriages are betrothals that somehow lay waste to what an individual wants and only focus’ on the family. Even if the couple does start to love each other after the wedding (in which case it was a well match) the probability is low. But one can always hope that the traditional arranged marriages lighten up and leave more freedom for the children to find their own partner.

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