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Arranged Marriages Articles

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The Gulf News-Bahrain

Thoughts on marriage

  Wednesday, March 14, 2012

 R Madhavan



Just because a few parents summarily declare that arranged marriages are "outdated and should be scraped" (GDN, March 7) doesn't mean they are right. In fact, it will also be misleading for youngsters.


There are advantages and disadvantages of arranged marriages which allow youngsters to choose their life partners freely. Elders, especially parents, will always be interested that their children are married to desirable and trustworthy life partners.

Not all parents will push their children to enter into undesirable wedlock or for the sake of keeping wealth or other egoistic reasons. They have vast experience and patience to give their full attention to various aspects of desirability or otherwise in choosing partners for their children.

While youngsters should be given freedom to accept or reject any proposal, it is not safe to let them decide on their own. They face the risk of being carried away by external factors such as beauty, appearance, infatuation, momentary emotions, affluence, etc, and take wrong decisions which will adversely affect their lives.


It is common sense that in any major decision in life, opinions of experienced people are sought and marriage is no exception. Very often we see many young couples running into trouble soon after their marriage and seeking remedies, including elders' intervention, to solve their problems.  But many a time it will be too late, resulting in disastrous and pitiable conditions due to wrong and hasty decisions taken by youngsters in choosing their life partners.


While we should give full liberty to youngsters to accept or reject any proposal, consultation and counselling by elders, specifically parents, is desirable for them to ensure a pleasant and peaceful married life. None can guarantee anything in the marital life of youngsters of the present day, whether arranged by parents or themselves. But the probability of arriving at the right choice is high when elders are consulted before marriage.


The Reality of Arranged Marriages

By Lacey Savage


Arranged marriages have been a topic of interest for centuries. Authors across the ages have explored this theme at length, and it still surfaces in literary works today. What's the appeal? Is it the fascination with the lack of lust and desire we cultivate in North American society? We strive on the element of danger, of the forbidden, while an arranged marriage is usually a safe way to ensure a family's approval of a union.


And yet, many of today's romance novels deal with marriages of convenience. We've all read them: the heroine marries the hero because she needs him, whether for financial reasons, or because her children need a father -- there are as many reasons to marry as there are novels dealing with this subject. Yet although the marriage isn't initially based on love, there's always that sensual tension simmering beneath the surface, and as readers, we know it's inevitable that the two are going to fall deeply and irrevocably in love.


But what about real life, where things don't always work out so well? Arranged marriages are commonplace in a number of countries, such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan and India. They're more common than you'd think even in North America, where cultural diversity is cherished and encouraged.


Young people in countries where arranged marriages are commonplace are told from an early age that their spouse will be chosen for them. To deny an arranged marriage is seen as a sign of disrespect toward the family. But how are suitable spouses chosen? In Japan, for instance, "when a woman reaches the marriageable age of 25, she and her parents compile a packet of information about her, including a photograph of her in a kimono and descriptions of her family background, education, hobbies, accomplishments and interests. Her parents then inquire among their friends and acquaintances to see if anyone knows a man who would be a suitable husband for her" (the Asia Society's Video Letter from Japan: My Family, 1988). Usually, the most important aspect of choosing a suitable spouse is the bond between the two families, rather than the relationship between the couple being married. Property or land with the aim of securing social status sometimes seals marriage agreements.


Do arranged marriages work? Opinions tend to differ. Statistics place the divorce rate for arranged marriages much lower than those in the United States, where marriages out of love are the rule. However, research also shows that the pressure a married couple encounters from both society as a whole, and from the respective families, suggests that divorce is often not an option.


Can love grow out of an arranged marriage? Absolutely, and in the same way that love can grow in romance novels from a marriage of convenience. But there's more to love than finding a suitable match. Love can grow for many reasons, from lust at first sight to friendship that develops over a long period of time. It's impossible to predict whether a union will be successful. The only two people who can make it work are the bride and groom, the hero and heroine of their own story.


Arranged Marriages

Summary: Should arranged marriages be outlawed?

 Sebastian Isaac ( United Kingdom ) 


Created: Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Last Modified: Monday, January 17, 2011


  Arranged marriages make up vastly the higher percentage in human history but have, largely in the last century, become unusual and morally questioned in the Western world. Where overt arranged marriages still occur in Europe and the Americas it is usually within immigrant communities. This creates further complications in discussing the issue because it not only becomes caught up in discussions of racism and ethnic rights, but also in the loaded debate on immigration. In 2000, for example, Britain granted 21 300 Entry Clearances for the spouses of British Asians; a large proportion were the product of marriages which were in some measure arranged.


The immigration debate in relation to arranged marriage is not essential to the question but cannot be left out because the discussion of arranged marriage is no longer one that can be addressed in the abstract without considering its effects in marking out different communities and maintaining their cultural integrity. In some senses we can see the entire model of multiculturalism in the developed world reflected in this discussion of whether substantially different practices which maintain an ethnically individual community, drawing heavily on outside influences and immigration should be allowed. It is vital to remember, however, that arranged marriage is not some kind of ‘us and them’ immigration issue. It occurs both in religious communities and social groups within Western countries and the debate must reflect them as well. In fact, drawing a distinction between the types of influence that do and do not constitute arrangement is one of the most difficult in this debate.


It should also be noted that while many countries ban forced marriages, in which one or both partners have no meaningful opportunity to object to a marriage partner, arranged marriages to which both partners give consent remain legal everywhere. Similarly, a debate can be held over the appropriate minimum age for marriage, but this is different from a debate on the principle of arranged vs love marriages.


Now. create a T chart of Pro/Con arguments on arranged marriages -- a minimum of 3 points pro/ and 3 points con.


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