What is the purpose of an arranged marriage
theme - sex
We commonly associate arranged marriages with other cultures. It wasn't that long ago that parents chose their children's spouses in this country too. Arranged weddings also existed in Germany well into the 20th century. As a political instrument to maintain the monarchy, for example until 1918. Such arrangements are still common practice in many royal houses today. And not only there: 60 percent of all weddings worldwide are arranged according to "Womankind". They are part of everyday life, especially in South Asia, where online matchmaking is booming like never before, but also in the Middle East and in some African countries. The scenario: The parents or other, mostly older, family members look for the son or daughter to be a partner for life.
Hell or arranged happiness?
When we hear families interfering in relationship life elsewhere, we cry out loudly.
Like Lucil from France. "I want to spend my life with whoever I want," she says. After seven years of relationship, she will soon marry a Canadian. She met him on a trip after graduating from high school and has had a long-distance relationship between Paris and Montréal ever since. They don't care what the family says.
But great happiness does not seem to be guaranteed in every love affair either. According to Eurostat, over two million marriages are concluded in the EU every year, but around one million are divorced.
Nevertheless: No self-determination when choosing a partner - not with us! That can't possibly make you happy, can it?
Viraj searched for great love for a long time. Although he is from India, he also had girlfriends in Europe. He had the opportunity to be married - but he couldn't take advantage of it. Today he is 32 years old, single and almost a "slow shopper" for the Indian marriage market. The only thing that makes him "attractive" is his rich family. He can no longer avoid an arranged marriage to an Indian woman from the same caste. The search for a suitable partner by his parents is in full swing, after all, Viraj is already "ancient". He had already met a woman beforehand, "but she was only interested in a man who could cover her expenses. She was also superficial and thought the world was made up of five-star hotels." He refused. Despite the sobering experience, Viraj is positive about the concept of arranged marriage: "Our parents only want the best and look for someone who they think is a good fit for them. We can then fall in love during the marriage."
Looking for the perfect husband and wife
Anyone who is critical of arranged marriage from the outset should be reminded that an arranged marriage should not be confused with a "forced marriage". In the meantime, liberal forms have also developed in the traditional arrangements. They are usually entered into of free will. Only the choice of a partner is not a romantic fateful encounter, but a calculation. You don't get married "where love falls", but are given where love has to fall. And that can also have undreamt-of advantages: In Ghana, in West Africa, people got married tactically across tribal and national borders, according to the motto: "You don't get a war against your brother-in-law."
In the liberal form of arranged marriage, families look not only at religious affiliation, social status, education, language, place of residence, age and size when looking for potential candidates. You also pay attention to the inner qualities: how responsible will he be as a husband? How loving as a father? Can he take care of a family? How loving will she be as a wife and how caring as a mother?
Speaking of prejudices: Aren't dating portals that suggest partners with similar interests also somehow pseudo-family substitutes in an individualized society? Isn't that all arranged somehow? Maybe we also need a second, sensible opinion anyway.
There still remains the question of love, happiness and romance. Let's look for all of this somewhere else, namely in ourselves instead of in others, and follow author Eva-Maria Zurhorst in her bestseller: "Love yourself and it doesn't matter who you marry." At least that sounds like a good first step - whether arranged or not.
Rita Orschiedt is an editor at fluter.de.
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