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Forced In An Arranged Marriage

Updated on October 13, 2010

THE BOND OF LOVE:


Not all marriages are made in heaven. Some are made by ordinary mortals on this very worldly earth….carefully arranged with precision and detail by men playing god. There is nothing heavenly about these unions: they're the outcome of calculated match making by families too entrenched in tradition and culture to heed the protests of their own children….or the quieter voice of reason. It’s a hard tradition, rotting at the core….yet countless young dreams are broken against it’s sharp unrelenting edge. And each time, love stands in the corner… weeping silent tears.


For a western mind, this is an unimaginable concept. Even harder to accept is a culture where family is the ‘last word’ on everything, where most kids live with their parents even as adults; where they rarely if ever, have sex before marriage, and usually marry according to the will and wishes of their parents! They call it an arranged marriage…emotionally blackmailing their children into a match for their ‘own good’…. but what they’re really arranging is a form of legal prostitution. With their blessings... to justify it.


ITS REALITY:


Like a film, the scene plays itself out in endless similar stories:


The girl sits on her wedding bed, with it’s strings of roses, and tries to calm her shivering limbs. The burden of her new life weighs heavier than the gold worked dress she's wearing. The red brocaded silk hugs her soft breasts, gently enhancing every curve in her virginal body.


Her skin still smells of sandalwood and rose water that is ritually applied to brides for a month before the wedding day. Her rich dark hair, braided into a long mane, rests on her delicately rounded hips; intricate henna patterns are drawn all over her palms and feet. Decked up in jewelry and make up, it is easy to mistake her for a woman in her 20s, not the mere child she is at 17!



AN OBJECT:


A thing of beauty she is. Exquisitely put together....for all to admire. Like a tasty dish ready to eat. Or cattle - for that is what she really is, except she's too young to understand. Painted and marked, like an animal put up for auction at the local fare. With a price on her head. And a dowry to go : Virgin, young, educated….and in between the lines: two legs under her that won’t bolt if whipped into obedience. Available for fucking, cooking, cleaning when and as you please. A solid uterus good for child bearing, hopefully sons!



HOW IT HAPPENS:


In a country, where women living independently is unheard of, she is yet another girl forced into marriage to ‘absolve’ her parents of their responsibility. Twelve years her senior, her husband to be, comes from a superior, richer family, and is thus an ‘ideal’ match for a middle class girl like her. Other girls from well off families and better looking than her, have more options, but she has no such luck, and hence, no reason to complain either!


She’s been 'allowed' to talk to this man briefly only, a few weeks before the elaborate wedding festivities began, and that too from a distance crowded with a sea of curious relatives. The whole ‘match’ is done through elders in the family, often over gifts, dowry offers, and a thorough scrutiny of the girl's credentials, after which the marriage documents are brought for her to sign. No one heeds the sobs breaking through her body; no one really cares: A minor hitch in the smooth bargain….!


CONSUMMATION:


Like a hunted animal cornered after a chase...ready for the ‘kill’… she knows there is no escape for her. And obediently, she resigns. A few awkward fumblings, and her husband’s body is on top of hers forcing into her dry unwelcoming insides. Their eyes meet and it’s as flat and dull a moment as any between two strangers with nothing in common.


He is himself miles away, dreaming of the sexy women he watches secretly on porn sites at night. He jerks harder into her, and hears her whimpering and silently biting her lip. He feels as disconnected with it as she with him, and has no desire to waste time with kisses or tenderness. He anyway never wanted to marry her, but is just fulfilling his ‘duty’ as a good son. Besides, a lush virgin has been presented to him on a plate... he might as well make the most of his rights!



DOWN THE LANE:


Years later, with a couple of children down the road, an affection of ‘compromise’ and convenience will grow between them. Never having intimately known another partner, nor given a chance to, it’s the Asian counterpart of love. If she tries hard enough, he might even turn into the man of her dreams one day - and she the girl of his.


Countless marriages carry on in this dull monotonous way. Like a habit difficult to acquire initially, but slowly amounting to marital bliss. Almost like animals getting used to their cages....slowly developing a fondness for it. While prior sexual inexperience helps to cement the bond perfectly!


Meanwhile, complacent parents smile at each other over sweet meats and dowry settlements, appreciating the wisdom of their decision. After all, where would love be without some control and direction? Yes, another successful match…like a medal around their necks. And a noose in that of love’s....



DVDS ON SOUTH ASIAN MARRIAGE:

SOME AMAZING BOOKS ON ARRANGED MARRIAGE:

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    • profile image

      Rohit 18 months ago

      Hi, I'm 29 years old man suffering from exact situation... forced into arrange marriage 3 years ago.. having one child too. But i really never liked her. What should i do? Please help. I have tried a lot to convince myself but couldn't.

    • profile image

      emaame 20 months ago

      Well, the author calls arrange marriages as a form of legal prostitution. I would say even "love marriages" are a form of legal prostitution. In arranged marriages, it the parents who acts as the pimp. In love marriages, it is plain street walking. Let me explain how.

      Love must be unconditional. As soon as someone can point a reason for love, it becomes conditional as hence a contract. Prostitution by definition is a contract. At least in arranged marriages, the two people start with a clean slate. They start loving each other for no reason other than that they are engaged/married to each other. That is infinitely better than any reasoned love in my opinion - may be even a reason why divorces are low in India compared to the West or even the westernized people within India.

    • profile image

      Lone Ranger 4 years ago

      Myownworld:

      I cannot believe I stumbled upon your amazing article - I couldn't agree with you more.

      As it is, I know a woman from India whom I have deep feelings for. I just found out her family brought a man over she had never met before (just one week ago) and they will be married within one month's time. I am crushed.

      I have tried to understand how one can do this to one's self and how one can give others the power to do this to them, but I am drawing a blank. Your article did give me some needed clarification...thank you.

      In my mind, any time sex is exchanged for enhanced social standing, money, or to form a family alliance without the benefit of love - that is a form of prostitution. In my heart, I see her parents and family as pimps, who are looking for the best deal they can fetch for her and themselves (in the material world). I wish this was not how I felt, but do you think I am wrong for feeling this way?

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Thank you for speaking up on behalf of those who don't have a voice! Voted up.

    • profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago

      Well written article. I know something about this as a Western woman because my Pakistani boyfriend of two years will marry in the arranged way in less than two months. Though I've known about it a long time, he was always honest with me...it hasn't made it any easier. We both realized the futility of us trying to make things work due to different religions/cultures. We love each other but his culture is too strong and his parents were pressuring him to marry. Lately, I've been thinking of his young bride to be, wondering how I would feel marrying someone that I only saw once at a ceremony, only emailed and talked on the phone a few times a week for a year, and then voila! married and sleeping next to a virtual stranger. To be honest, while he chose this path, I feel sorry for them both. He desperately wants to keep my friendship (only that of course as infidelity is not a consideration) because he trusts me and I guess I am an escape from the pressures of his world. All I can say is that I feel that some arranged marriages may work, but if a person of that culture has spent years in a Western country and under that influence as he has, what is he really gaining?

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      MOW, the saddest part for me to read on this hub was the "How It Happens" section...

      "[...] scrutiny of the girl's credentials[...] No one heeds the sobs breaking through her body; no one really cares: A minor hitch in the smooth bargain….!"

      Left me speechless...

    • fayehelen profile image

      fayehelen 7 years ago

      Another brill topic. I have been in a relationship for 5years and we are still learning about each other, I can't imagine marrying a stranger and not knowing a thing!

      I do think people need to think of the husbands as much as the brides though - men may not been seen as an object quite so much but they are still pushed into something they don't want, and face their family disowning them if they refuse.

      Anyway, great hub... the second one of yours I have read - I will be following you!

      Keep up the good work!

    • noorin profile image

      noorin 7 years ago from Canada

      Same here =)

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you noorin for taking the time to read.. and all your great comments! It's been a pleasure meeting you :)

    • noorin profile image

      noorin 7 years ago from Canada

      myownworld i luved every piece of it literally. Wonderful hub. Rated it up and will be following you.

      You can check my personal opinion abot arranged marriages though in my article im referring to the semi arranged marriages, where the couple kinda date before the wedding -anyhow still not a fan-.

      https://hubpages.com/relationships/Why-is-Tempting...

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Loved your comment Prakash, so thank you for it. I agree with you, and do understand what you share about your own marriage. Only too well, actually. :)

      Also, it took me less than 15 mins to pen down the words, but they had been forming in my mind for days... complete sentences that I would wake up already structured within my head! Crazy, i know. And yes, I don't write for commercial purposes at all, hence you can see that I've just written 17 hubs in 10 months, but god knows, each and every one has my heart and soul poured into it! I just can't do those mechanical numbers anyway, and am more interested in offline writing, so this is just a creative outlet on the side... Anyway, thanks for asking...for reading and the appreciation :)

    • Prakash T profile image

      Prakash T 7 years ago from Pune

      I really want to know how much time you spend to complete this hub. I have read innumerable articles before, but I always feel that those articles are just written for making money online. But, this is the first time I am reading an excellent hub written by an "EXCELLENT" writer.

      Well, I agree with what you have written. Mine is an arranged marriage, as according to my family members, love marriage is sin. I hadn't even imagined of love marriage in my life.

      As life partners, I and my wife have nothing in common. But, we manage to make the life-boat sail smooth. We have entirely different thoughts and ideas about life and stuff, but still we are happy, because we are destinied to live life like that.

      Also, what jay has told is absolutely right. Indian women has turned very independent these days. They are well educated and most of them get good jobs. But, not all of them have gained courage to get into a love marriage.No matter how educated they are, they still prefer arranged marriages just for their parents sake.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you Lamme for your kind words, nice to meet you :)

    • Lamme profile image

      Lamme 7 years ago

      You've done an excellent job covering this topic. You're an amazing writer. Thanks for sharing this.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you lemon for the appreciation and for becoming a fan :)

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      lemondrop11 7 years ago from West Wareham, Mass.

      Terrific hub. I really love your writing style.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you brake for reading and your kind words. Yes, it's a struggle for many, but slowly they're breaking down the chains.... :)

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 7 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Congratulations on a super hub, written so well with feeling and words that make pictures come to mind. I know a girl from India who refused an arranged marriaage and married an Americah she met in college here. They are very happy. Keep up the good writing.

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Yes, exactly jamsheed. I just feel love and compatibility should be the biggest motivations behind two people wanting to live together or get married - all else is secondary before them. Unfortunately, sometimes among all these traditions, that one factor seems to have been lost.... it's almost as if people take it for granted that once you're married, you WILL fall in love and be mentally, emotionally and sexually compatible. But then, in south asian culture, these needs are anyway not recognized, at least not by many, and that is what saddens me.

      On a more positive note, yes, it would be great for you to join Hpages...and I am more than willing to help you with anything you want. For starters, you could write about honor killings (I myself plan to do a hub on that too) and I'm sure there are many such issues that more people need to highlight. I personally wish I had more time to write here.... but real life takes me away so often....

    • profile image

      jamsheed 7 years ago

      I presume, arranged marriages in our culture are proclaimed to be the only option available for girls because everybody are bound by the social boundaries drawn by ourselves and also the ego carried by elders of families…if I think of it, arranged marriages which are performed without consent are like killing the girl emotionally and getting her ready for her afterlife (marriage)…it’s astounding to know how many honor killings are taking place in our country off-late…

      I strongly believe arranged marriages should take place only with the complete and utmost assent of the two people involved…if not, it’s more like burden which has to be forcefully carried throughout one’s life…just to please others…

      Thank you for encouraging me to write…I have always wanted to, but dint know how and where…now that I have a platform to express my thoughts and motivation from ‘The Writer’ herself…shall give it shot…shall keep you posted about it...Take care…

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      I know what you mean jamsheed... you will find countless people extolling the virtues of arranged marriages (some of them are true btw.) but you will rarely find anyone voicing these 'unmentionable' facts about them; As always, I wanted to imagine what it would feel like for a woman to be forced into it... hence this humble attempt at trying to capture her feelings. Definitely, not a complete picture I know.

      But thank you for understanding and seeing it from my eyes.... you have a gift too of being able to do that, as I know not many people have the courage to question such issues in our culture. Now, don't burn yourself out reading.... and hey think about what I said about writing yourself.. I know you can! :)

    • profile image

      jamsheed 7 years ago

      Being a part of the culture which follows the practice, all I can say is it's written wonderfully well...well if you ask my opinion, I have personally seen many arranged marriages last a life time then love ones...I guess it's up to the particular person involved to make or break a relationship...it’s a case to case perspective…but again, taking nothing away from the quality and caliber of your writing...keep rocking...

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      LOL @ jay...I loved your comment and laughed too! Hell, I know what you're saying and trust me I'm not such a feminist as I come across in my hubs. I think most men are great, certainly better than us women! it's just the 'tradition' I'm criticizing that forces people into such situations. And I do admit, times have changed and people have much more choices open to them now, still you must not forget that beyond the cities, such practices are very much prevalent.... and my hubs are more geared towards speaking for the 'common' man and woman always. Cheers friend for stopping by...and lots of love x

    • jayb23 profile image

      jayb23 7 years ago from India

      Well I have to scroll down so much to write a comment :-) lol..brilliant hub as usual but I jst feel u r being bit too pessimistic..n not all men r jerks..give us some benefit of doubt :-)...I hav seen some really successful arranged marriages and some not so successful..but today da women is independent and she has da choice. But finally it all depends on da individual..parents will hav their say more so if its a girl's parents..neways I loved reading it...

      P.S. Marriage scares da hell out of me :-)lol

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Perfect...lol.. you said it NU! Either way, you end up the same place! ;)

    • profile image

      Non-offensiveUser 7 years ago

      Have you ever heard the phrase "Marriage is not a word, it's a sentence." There you have it, no matter how you arrange it....

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      LOL @ Arthur: you're right there....and another thing that is a real 'taboo' is talking about sexual compatibility... I mean, I know some asian couples who go without sex for months on end, and it's just not talked about, let alone divorcing someone over it! But it's getting better now... the younger generation is much more vocal about their wants and things are slowly improving! Cheers for stopping by!

    • Arthur Windermere profile image

      Arthur Windermere 7 years ago

      "See where the west is heading with all their high divorce rates" -- haha, I like that one. I'm guessing an Asian family wouldn't appreciate the reply, "Better three rich husbands than one"? Probably not.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      @ Arthur, oh, I could easily play the Devil's advocate for you: I've had those notions rammed down me and all the people I grew up with for years on end, so I can give them to you in a nutshell: "Arranged marriages strengthen family units, because you marry into the 'right family' (we love those words in asian culture); they ensure a safe future for your children, prevents them from making 'foolish impulsive' choices; Parents know what is 'best' for their children and should be trusted with that decision"... And lastly, the favorite one: "see where the west is heading with all their high divorce rates, family break ups, children suffering etc while we have such a low divorce rate and families still uphold values"... on and on....

      But I loved your comment because you've looked at the picture from both angles, and that is what I so admire about the people living in the west! Cheers for stopping by! :)

    • Arthur Windermere profile image

      Arthur Windermere 7 years ago

      It's very easy for those of us in the Western world to abhor arranged marriages, because individual freedom has always been a major part of European thought. I'd like to see someone play Devil's Advocate and defend arranged marriage. For instance, maybe the Western notion of 'love' isn't all it's cracked up to be. Isn't it a very selfish value? Often people will hurt others in their lives because suddenly they feel love for someone new, and, well, love is everything in the West, right? Have to follow our "hearts". Maybe that 'compromise' reached in an arranged marriage is superior to romantic love. Maybe doing whatever we want isn't the same as doing what's best. Just something to think about. I'm not seriously defending the institution. I have no plans to enter an arranged marriage. haha

      Nicely-written hub, by the way. Rated up!

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      you're such a sweetheart Micky.... thank you.... you make me so happy. Never change... I wish I could go biking on one of those fantastic trails of yours... but atleast, your hubs take us those place... :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      I cannot help myself Myownworld! I do love you! Your heart is solid gold! Thank you for your beautiful soul!

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      @ Joy... yes, I know...This tradition will persist for a long time to come.. some have the strength to break free; others give in, and still others actually like it! Anyway, thanks for reading... good to see you here :)

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago

      hi well it took me so long to get down here. The nurses i work go off to India for 3 weeks holiday, and even if they tell us before they go they are not getting married, usually they come back married; I enjoyed this insight, it does help to understand a little better.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      lol... this version of arranged marriage is probably already in process but parents are still considered the law on most things. Hopefully, the change will come, for it IS certainly there, slow, but sure. Great comment again Wrath...and nice to meet you too...! Thank you for reading and stopping by...much appreciated... :)

    • Wrath Warbone profile image

      Terry Chestnutt 7 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Looks like maybe a modified version of arranged marriages where the couple makes the final decision after meeting and spending some time together may be the next step in the evolution of the precess in India. Maybe it will turn into the best system if it jettisons the bad points and improves on the good points. Also, your prose if delightfully skillful.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you Earthy for the great input... yes, there are lots of cases of this not-so-obvious form of injustice.... and all in the name of love and tradition!

    • Earthy Sex profile image

      Earthy Sex 7 years ago from Canada

      Wow, this spoke to so many people! I have a friend with this experience too; he was tricked into a marriage with an Eastern girl nearly half his age! It's shocking how little regard the family had for their feelings (and how willing the girl was to go along with it so she could come to Canada!) I guess differences in culture are very pronounced in relationships (or lack thereof).

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      I know dream....and yet it happens still. Unimaginable to me too. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment... much appreciated!

    • profile image

      dreamreachout 7 years ago

      You write too well!! On the topic, I just cant imagine how can people marry without knowing much or even at all the other person!! Surely, I cannot!!

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Satish thank you for stopping by and for following... :)

      gramon... I read your words and just broke down....... I dream and long to write a novel one day, but at the moment too much energy is going into keeping a family together.... and my longing to help the poor and suffering in this world. Some day... some day... :)

      (sorry, am just too emotional at the moment to say a better thank you...but I hope you know how much your words mean.... truly. x)

    • gramon1 profile image

      Guillermo Ramon 7 years ago from Miami

      I have read your post several times. Very few authors have moved me as you move me with this writing. I remember when I was a teenager and read Damian by Herman Hess. It moved me so strongly. Through that book, I imagined what it would be to be an intellectual and live in a Nazi environment. That book help me understand more clearly my hate for war and my disaproval of the conservative thinking that brings misery to those who are different. I always remember Damian, no matter how many years have passed since I read it.

      Your experiences, passion and writing skills could help many people understand the suffering of many women like the one that shivers, waiting for her new husband to rape her. All you have to do is write a novel about her. You can describe the poverty, the social injustices, and much more in a way that very few people can. Write your novel, please!

    • sathishkumar143 profile image

      sathishkumar143 7 years ago

      ya i belive the commend of myownworld.its true.

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      lol...gramon, see, now we're beginning to get a complete picture here: the pressure to marry the 'right' partner chosen for you, the gradual giving in, the forced success you make out of it, 20% genuinely falling in love, the rest living in silent compromise, and then the affairs that follow! All masked in a clever hypocritical way. You see, there is little difference between the things that happen in the west and some of these countries: we just do it all within closed doors! Cheers gramon for your great comments! :)

    • gramon1 profile image

      Guillermo Ramon 7 years ago from Miami

      mevsmyself, you say that dating sites don't do well in India. But India has one of the largest internet swinger populations in the world. I guess many young professionals get married under pressure, but after they are unhappily married, they discover that their spouses and themselves want to enjoy the opposite sex after all. Now, with each other's approval, and keeping it quiet (chory, chory), they end up living more independently than their parents did. Well, it is just a supposition. But the statistics must mean something.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Mevsmyself, I couldn't agree more with you! That is EXACTLY the truth of the matter and only someone who's known this complicated culture can understand the controversies surrounding it. (lol...you're spot on about the shaadi.com and those sickening soaps about 'saas bhi bahu' or whatever!) Thanks for your great input and looking forward to reading more from you... :)

      Origin, I know what you mean, but in any case, any kind of 'manipulation' in such matters is reprehensible and every woman and man should have the absolute freedom to choose who they want to marry. Thank you for sharing the 'western' point of view on this issue...I really value it. cheers!

    • Origin profile image

      Origin 7 years ago from Minneapolis

      The closest thing I've seen in the west is parents trying to set up their children by saying something like "Oh, you should meet my friends daughter from work, you'll like her!" and hope that it pans out the way they want it to. Sometimes I get the feeling that some parents also nudge ideas and notions into their children in regards to who to chose.

      I guess in an abstract way back a few decades ago it was sometimes customary where the boyfriend had to meet the father of the girl before he can take her out. With that method, the father could always say no I guess hehe. But I doubt that would stop many guys even back then hehe.

    • mevsmyself profile image

      mevsmyself 7 years ago from United States

      Great Hub. You really can paint a picture with words. Arrange marriages are slowly decreasing in numbers in south Asia, but its happening very slowly. I would like to share something with you. I have a friend from school who is about to get married. She is 22 years old. Just a few months back, she was totally against the concept of parents arranging their marriage for them. She said she didn't want to get married at least till she is 25. But now, only a few months after she said that, she is arranged to get married. Parents have a very convincing way of making girls follow their will. And it doesn't look like she is unhappy. She is (at least she looks) quite happy with here new fiancé.

      To me it's just incomprehensible how girls will not only accept their parents decision, but they eventually force themselves to be happy with it. Is it the tradition that they are forcing themselves to follow. Is it the fact that they love their parents or are they afraid of the society?

      Will this continue in the next generation? Is she going to force her child to marry someone? There is very little we can do to change the society.

      You say India is experiencing a taste of freedom right now. I think we are far from it. Sure there are developed cities where things are changing. But that is only a small part of India. The majority of Indians are still following these traditions religiously and IMHO, they will continue to do so for a very long time.

      Just look at what businesses in India are thriving. there is not a single dating site which is popular, on the other hand shaadi.com and bharatmatrimony.com are making millions. Not a single TV serial talks about the freedom of youth and how the society is still in its primitive stages. But, soap operas which are based on arranged marriages and events after an arrange marriage are continuously gaining popularity. It's like mothers are training their daughters for the life after marriage.

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Firstly, gramon, I'm most impressed by your knowledge of Indian culture/history! Secondly, I know exactly what you mean: the modern generation (and I am myself hovering somewhere in the middle) so want to break free from these hard traditions, that they're at negating the coloful and rich side of their culture too. Sad, I know. But right now, it's the taste of freedom that south asians are newly experiencing.... happened in the west too (19th C).... they will come back to 'reconciling' the two extremes eventually... :)

      Thank you for the great comment! Hope you're doing well...take care... x

    • gramon1 profile image

      Guillermo Ramon 7 years ago from Miami

      It is amazimg how love is denied in Indian practical life. Indian history, phylosophy, art, drama, cinema, poetry, and other literature are so full of the most marvelous and deep love stories. Even at the core of the indian religion there are such deep love stories, like Radha and Krishna's love, which makes Radha the most powerful diety because she has Krishna's love. Hindi has so many words for love and lover. I just know a few, but even those are inspiring enough to arouse emotions just by their sound. Mohabat, piar, prem, priya, ish, ishq are just a few that come to mind.

      The success of stories, such as Devdas, demonstrate the increadible longing for pasionate love in the Indian culture. Yet, when I meet many young Desies, I find it so sad that in their rejection for the terrible aspects of their culture, they also reject the beauty of the Indian culture.

      India has many social problems that need to be corrected. But there is so much beauty and emotional power in other areas. It is difficult to reconcile the two sides.

    • myownworld profile image
      Author

      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      BK...how do I tell you how much I valued your input...and your sharing the western point of view towards marriages in general? I find it fascinating that even the so called freedom in one's choices isn't without it's price! Still, having lived in the west for years now, I realize that I'd have this freedom to choose any day than never having to know it!

      Also, one must not forget that these traditions are much harder on girls who aren't from very affluent backgrounds, worse not very good looking either. Then it's no longer the girl who gets to choose from a dozen guys, no; it's her being forced to marry the first one who comes along, or all her hopes of ever being wed are gone, and she's made to feel like a 'burden' on her parents for the rest of her life!

      Ah...it's complicated I know.... and one could go on discussing the pros and cons. Anyway, thank you so much for reading and adding your insights. Much appreciated :)

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Brilliant hub! There is so much to mull over. I have a friend from Indian from a super rich family. Her marriage was not forced but yes family was totally involved. They even did horoscope charts to find compatibility. This I like a lot. Them my friend had the option of being courted by 11 different men and she made the choice.

      Then you have the US where these marriages of 'love' fail at least 50% of the time, and in many others women lead quiet lives of desperation. I am one of many women who thought I knew how to make a marriage choice - I was wrong and my parents were right about my poor choice.

      I like my rich Indian friend's way. At least she had 11 men deemed compatible to pick from. Most American women are taught to let men pursue them and the man picks them. My mother said a woman must always pick the man - never let a man pick her.

      I like the practical side of marriage. In the US what we call romance was created by Hollywood and it does not work.

      Thanks so much for such a well written hub letting us all share our thoughts.

      I'm a big fan now!

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      I know what you mean Trish...hence I tried to give as realistic a picture as possible. You see, I grew up in south asia...and have closely lived this culture and traditions for years, and trust me as the younger generation is growing more aware, this whole system of arranged marriage is coming apart now - just like 19th century world in the west did once.

      I myself was one of those 'lucky' ones like your friends, and yet for every one marriage that works out, there are many that don't. Let's hope every man and woman has the freedom to choose whatever they feel works best for them, but having that choice, yes. Nice to have your amazing insights btw... :)

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      Tricia Mason 7 years ago from The English Midlands

      I have discussed this with a Hindu gentleman, who was introduced to his wife, and who is very happily married.

      Their families thought that they would be a good match ~ and hoped that they would be. They weren't sure at first, but they fell in love and are very happy.

      This is very different, I think, from forced marriage, or even arranged marriage 'with expectations'.

      Maybe it's different for different cultures / religious groups, as well.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Trish, thank you for reading and the insightful comment. Even those 'hopeful introductions' come with a lot of family pressure to comply, so I wonder if there is much difference between the emotional expectations and the very obvious forced matches..

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 7 years ago from The English Midlands

      You help to explain this very well. I know from others that some 'arranged' marriages are really just hopeful introductions ~ which is fine ~ while others are more like forced matches ~ which is not, in my opinion.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      You've actually summed it up perfectly blackreign....I couldn't agree more. 'love on demand'..yes!

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      blackreign2012 7 years ago

      No one should be forced to marry anyone. And you certainly shouldn't do it without the consent of the male or female. We could go on and on about tradition but the question remains is it right? Would The Creator condone such actions when he does not make or force you to love HIM? Alot of these women are suffering in silence so their voices aren't heard. So can we accurately say most are happy? I am not an expert on the subject but it doesn't seems right to arrange a marriage. Who can love on demand?

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Mike, your words warm my heart... thank you so much.. :)

      Debarshi, thanks for the great input! You give the exact same arugement in defence of arranged marriages that I've heard from it's proponents for years: i.e. the low divorce rates. And it's simply because of the harsh treatment divorced women have to face in these societies, so, for an unhappy married women, it's actually like a choice between the lesser of the two hells yes. But does that justify the tradition? Not at all.

      I personally would rather choose divorce than an unhappy marriage any day. Even if it means living alone...which is not such a bad thing as made out to be. (Ask women here in the west, and you'll be surprised!)

      I could have gone on, but this could lead to a long discussion, so thanks for giving me an idea for my next hub: i.e. the hardships a divoced woman faces in certain cultures! :)

    • Debarshi Dutta profile image

      Debarshi Dutta 7 years ago from Calcutta

      Hi,

      Thanks for this wonderful hub.

      I am from India.

      All the facts that you mention are true, but are not universally applicable for each and every arranged marriage.

      The institution of arranged marriage in India withstood the test of time.Largely due to sacrifices of Indian Women. Our mothers and grandmothers.

      And it is not that all marriages happen without the girl's consent. Most of the times girl's are able to choose her husband from all prospective bridegrooms.

      However you have illustrated a valid point and this is what I have to say about the same. -

      *****

      The following figures will help you to get an idea about the divorce rate in India with respect to global divorce rate.

      * Sweden – 54.9%

      * United States – 54.8%

      * Russia – 43.3%

      * United Kingdom – 42.6

      * Germany – 39.4%

      * Israel – 14.8%

      * Singapore – 17.2%

      * Japan – 1.9%

      * Srilanka – 1.5%

      * India – 1.1%

      Even though India still boasts of that nearly hundred percent of the marriages are a success, rapid urbanization and awareness of various rights are now instigating the divorce rate to shoot up. Empowerment of women has initiated the dissolution of marriage in urban areas as financially educated women are now open to the option of ending the relationship rather than to bear life long abuses silently. The campaigns on gender equality are now giving rise to ego clashes between the husband and wife, especially if the wife too is the bread earner of the family.

      A survey states that over the past four years the divorce rate in Delhi, the capital city of India has almost doubled and is projected to be 12000 by the year 2008. In 2006, Bangalore, the IT hub of India it was recorded that 1,246 cases of divorce were filed in the court that pertain to the IT sector exclusively. It has been estimated Mumbai has shot up to 4,138 in 2007 while cities that are acknowledged for their cultural richness and social values like Kolkata and Chennai, are no less behind. Agro based states like Punjab and Haryana are now seeing an increase of 150% of divorce rate since the last decade. Kerala, known to be the most literate state has experienced an increase of divorce rate by 350% in the last 10 years.

      Around 20 years back India had a negligible divorce rate of around 5%. But based on the increasing number of divorce being filed today, the divorce rate in India is expected to rise up at a faster rate by the ensuing year.

      *****

      So, let it be decided which does more good to society as a whole - the dictate of arranged marriage which saves a marriage

      or

      education and empowerment of women who would rather end their relationship in a divorce...and live an even more unhappy life on their own but never admit the same.

      But all in all these are facts and opinion about facts.

      The facts of arranged marriage, and the facts of divorce.

      Which is better? Married life ( arranged or otherwise).

      or

      unmarried life?

      Divorce does nobody any good. It wastes time and effort of two very valuable people of society. The divorced husband and the divorced wife...let alone the trauma of the children.

      I guess divorce testifies for failure in a very important relationship...which is worse than arranged marriage.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      It is easy to see why so many have commented on your writing here--you write about powerful subjects and do so in such a heartfelt way. When I read your hubs, I have to sit for a minute and digest the words before I can even begin to write a comment. Your words are extremely powerful.

      Thanks for showing us the reality of these "marriages."

      Mike

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you festers for your great comment.. much apprecaited! I know what you mean, I personally find it the most ridiculous concept ever and just can't believe how it's still prevalent (and infact passionately advocated) in some parts of the world still!

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      You are a great writer and this is indeed really sad. Even in the states, I have seen Middle Eastern and Indian friends who have had marriages arranged for them. Sometimes, they like the person and it seems ok. Sometimes, they don't even want to talk about it. In one case, my friend had told me she was trying to run away. Indeed a crazy system.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you blackreign... coming from a talented writer like yourself, means alot...thanks for the appreciation! :)

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      blackreign2012 7 years ago

      I am absolutely speechless. This article was spectacular. I have known of arranged marriage but never took the time to peer into the issue. You have given these women a face and a voice splendid hub ~Hugs~ I'll be reading more for sure

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you honey for the nice comment and becoming a fan...! :)

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      honey's girl 7 years ago

      MYOWNWORLD really its a great piece of work:)i too agree wid ur hub cmpletely..wish u gudluck.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Cheers Joe for reading...lol.. yes, ignorance is a bliss, isn't it? take care.. :)

    • JOE BARNETT profile image

      JOE BARNETT 7 years ago

      in the beginning it seems awful and as you say i guess they learn to live with it never having known the higher and hotter points of a relationship. great hub! keep it up

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      cheers susan for reading! :)

    • susanlang profile image

      susanlang 7 years ago

      Another great hub.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Yes, those were different times...what worked then, cannot be forced on people now... so I wish people would let traditions be and not force them onto the next generation. But I know what you're saying: love is possible through these marriages too. Anyway, nice seeing you here, and cheers for becoming a fan!

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      João Ismail 7 years ago from Odivelas

      My grandparents had their marriage arranged. They lived happily together and had 9 children. When my grandmother passed away, my grandfather could not bare with the pain of loosing her so he became sick and died shortly after. It worked for them but they were the last of their generation to have arranged marriages. They did not impose arranged marriages for any of their children. Tradition finished there for good.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you gsus for reading and commenting! Much appreciated..

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      gsus_17 7 years ago from Quebec

      very nice..!! =) I enjoyed reading your article very much..!! I think all of us should feel lucky and most of all grateful for living the lives we live now.. articles like this make me feel very fortunate... once again congratz..!!

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you Property for reading and commenting. :)

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      Property-Invest 7 years ago from London

      Hi MyOwnWorld. Thanks for your interesting hub. Here in Britain, it seems to be more a case of arranged rather than forced - partners are introduced but then the choice is left to them.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you CMHypno for reading and commenting. Yes, it's wonderful to see women in the west so free from traditions which are the norm in certain places. Every person deserves the right to 'choose' - pity some never know it.

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      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Wow, look at all your great comments! Very interesting Hub on arranged marriages. I have never been married, but reading Hubs like this makes me realise how privileged I am as a woman to be able to live an independent, happy life where my family cannot force me to do anything.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you Bundu for your nice comment! Do you know if you click on the main HP page, you are one of the featured favorites today? Check it out! :)

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      Bundu 7 years ago from Somewhere just outside Edinburgh that no-one has heard of... Mid Calder

      Very well written. I have read through a few hubs but found myself not reading every word and sometimes skimming towards the end. Not this time though, the experiences sound as if they were yours (I did skim the comments and think I saw someone else say this but felt it needed repeating for emphasis!). Excellent.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Sage...your writing has the same effect on me, so the appreciation is mutual my friend...! Thank you for the wonderful comment...and take good care...am planning to read more of you soon...:)

      Justine, here's a warm hug for you...!

    • profile image

      Justine76 7 years ago

      me too. :)

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      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      OMG! Your writing moves me like no other. You my friend have such a way with words, you leave nothing for the imagination.

      And your words... are words of truth, spoken with such powerful conviction and insight. I'm at a loss for words. Beyond speechless! My stomach is still flip flopping.

      Thanks so much for being that powerful voice, that the world so desperately needs to hear. Don't ever let anyone silence you.

      Hugs,

      Sage

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Yes, Justine, it's an alien concept for most people in the west now, but it's a stark reality in many cultures still. Unfair to both men and women to be honest. And it's unbelievable how the whole society 'brainwashes' people into believing that it's the best way to marry...and perpetuates this misery in pursuit of a blind and unreasonable tradition!

      Anyway, I so WISH we lived in the same state, and could meet up for coffee or take the kids to the park, while we chatted nearby! I feel as if I've known you forever..... ! xx

    • profile image

      Justine76 7 years ago

      Wow. I agree with everyone, your an amazing writer, and you know I adore you. I really liked that you mentioned that the man really had no desire to marry the girl, either. While I am certain it was no where near as difficult for him, hes not happy either. Its hard to understand how this goes on and on, I mean, the girl's parents endured the same fate, how can they not want better for their child?

      xo

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      I know Wordscribe...these practices are still common today...and they may work for some, but for many they don't. Sometimes, I think even the concept of happiness is so cultural. Anyway, thanks for becoming a fan and the great comment! :)

      mc5247, I'm so glad that you commented here...I was hoping someone would come forward and talk about their positive experience with arranged marriage. I have deliberately given voice to women who don't feel the same way....and I just hope they are given the freedom to choose between an arranged one and a love one. It's that 'choice' that I think everyone deserves. Thank you for reading! cheers..:)

    • mc5247 profile image

      mc5247 7 years ago from Kirkland

      I grew up in the West, and picked my wife without any help from family. It was a terriable mistake. My second marriage was arranged marriage. It was the best thing happened to both of us. I do not mind arrange marriages.

    • profile image

      wordscribe41 7 years ago

      Wow, it really is such a foreign concept for us westerners. I lived in Japan for a while and in the conservative "back country" it still happens there. It's odd to me, definitely.

      I saw some show recently where some kids (I mean like 8 or 9) were getting married in Nepal. It was really eye opening to see the process the parents go through to make this happen. It's just like a day of dress up for the kids. I guess they get "legally" married later, but I thought it odd they did this pre-ceremony so young. Anyway, fascinating and very well done hub, MOW. Cheers!

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      There should not be any dispute over arranged marriage or love marriage, the question is how to strengthen the tie in this troubled time...

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you so much Anita for your kind words....am smiling happily at them... :) I hope every person has a chance at love and friendship in their marriage..it's the least one deserves...

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      Anita Revel 7 years ago from Margaret River

      wow wow wow, such powerful words and emotion. I have only heard the "love comes" version of arranged marriages, but you have described EXACTLY how I imagine I would have felt had I been married off to a convenience marriage rather than one based on love and friendship. Awesome work.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      we sound like very similar people tobey...:)

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      tobey100 7 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

      Yes indeed (about Thailand that is, not me) I lived there from 5 years old to 16. Quite a place to grow up. As far as breaking hearts goes, I was a real geek as a kid. the only girlfried I ever had I married. I was always the smart kid with no common sense that never quite understood what was going on around me.

    • myownworld profile image
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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      lol...tobey, I'm sure you broke the hearts of quite a few thai girls there! But seriously, thailand? wow!....I've been for a visit....such a fascinating place really...

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      tobey100 7 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

      MOW, I grew up in Asia, Thailand, where arranged marriages are still the norm. In 1966 when I was 12 an old Thai man tried to arrange a marriage between me and one of his daughters. I was all for it!!! My Mom stroked out though.

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Thank you Craftsmith for the warm appreciation! :)

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      Craftsmith 7 years ago from India

      what wonderful words..beautiful images...that was touching darling :)

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      myownworld 7 years ago from uk

      Tobey, I did! I married for love...but it was a hard hard battle and I came from a privileged background. Most girls aren't that lucky, and the average girl has no choice but to comply! Still, younger generation is much more open in their resistance, so time's are changing, but then again, ony in a certain class of the society. (Asian culture and societies function in such complicated ways!) Anyway, good to see you old pal ...! x

    • tobey100 profile image

      tobey100 7 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

      MOW, had to come back and read this one again. One thing I'd like to ask. Do any women acutally rebel outright? As modernism creeps into to most cultures these days I'd think some women would say "Sorry, ain't happening"