Thursday, February 21, 2008

Turning to Love

Arranged marriage is a strange thing. As much as it goes against a few major parts of the culture I was raised in, I can see how it works. The man’s family will try to find a bride…they let people know what they are looking for (caste, age, education level). Sometimes they will put ads in the paper. Once they find a perspective bride, they meet with her, the family, and the neighbors. They will find out everything about her that they can. They will taste her cooking, which makes some sense since new brides always do all the cooking once they are married. The woman’s parents will try to check out the man too.

Suman, a colleague of Sandy’s, got married 2 weeks ago. It was an arranged marriage. She met the man 3 times before they married, so she moved in with and started having a life with a stranger and his family. She returned to work and Sandy has asked her about being married. Is it strange? Yes and no. The new family has the same customs and traditions, so not so strange. She must show respect to her new in-laws who she lives with. This entails bowing at their feet on a regular basis which is a little strange for her.

When Sandy asked her how the marriage is, she said it was an arranged marriage but now it is turning into a love marriage. In her mind, she feels like she has it all. Of course it is only two weeks, but if she is happy and it works for them, who am I to say what is best?

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