As my parents struggle in the process, I found it appropriate to tackle the topic. In South East Asia especially India and Pakistan, arranged marriages are common. This process is certainly not the easiest, it is arduous and time consuming; it is dotted with hurdle at every step. There are certain criterion and demands of the both sides and if any of the parties is not satisfied, the whole process becomes a wild goose chase. A good many years may pass before the process can reach its conclusion, many a times on the compromise of some hefty demands which seemed very achievable before embarking on the project.
Difficult but Important
It is a basic human need to find a partner in life. In our society the fact that a man or a woman has decided to forgo marriage sets the tongues of the neighbours and relatives wagging. An independent lonely life in such a society is not free from hardships.
Why arranged marriage?
1. Parents have Certain Standards
The parents or guardians of the man or woman to wed have many standards and different criteria to assess the candidate and the family. Among many standards are wealth, beauty and lineage. Marriage here is considered a partnership between families rather than just two people. They want the family of the candidate to be just the sort they would like to mingle with. In all this process, the actual candidates are mostly mere witnesses. If they actually air their opinion in matters, no matter how critical the point may be, they give in under the pressure of the older members of the family.
2. Relationships Looked Down Upon
A girl and a boy together is a taboo in our society; many people in a conservative society tend to refrain from such relationships from fear of slander; e.g if the relatives of the girl come to know that she has had a boyfriend, she seen as a disgrace for the whole family and she could potentially lose any chance of getting married within the circle of her relatives.
3. Love marriage; Where a Couple is Desirous of Marriage
Where there are rules, there are those who break them, there are good many who keep themselves of such relationships but others exist who embark on such ventures. The term love marriage is very well known to people of South East Asia, however for others this is a union where men and women have seen each other, spoken to one another and have together taken a decision to enter into a wed lock. These couples face great family resistance on the question of marrying someone who does not fulfill the stringent requirements of the family. Some are successful others not that fortunate.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Arranged Marriage
1. Both the families accept the new entrant in the family, and hence new relationship is provided with a healthy platform to blossom. In love marriages, the new member of the family may not be welcomed and may be treated harshly thus making the marital life of the couple complicated.
2. There are those who refrain from any relationship with the opposite gender or are not very attractive or good at attracting and keeping the person, they can still find a life partner.
3. People specifically can search for a suitor who is exactly to the family and the candidate’s taste. A person with such desired qualities may not be attainable through a direct relationship or such a person may not have crossed the seeker’s life.
4. In love marriages there are incredible expectations that each partner has of the other. In arranged marriages that is not the case.
1. The couple has barely any knowledge about one another, which has in many instances resulted in a broken marriage. The weaker gender, the women have been the worst victims in these cases; as an abusive or violent relationships are most female unfriendly. The people who are responsible for the union do make an effort to probe into the activities of the candidate but it is immensely difficult to discover a person’s personal preferences and habits just by observation and asking a few people. The only information which can be thoroughly verified is the profession and the employment details.
2. Many a times a person has just given in to the family demands and continues his or her relationship with the man or woman of their choice. Such people hold a grudge against those who pressurized them into an unwanted relationship and adopt this vicious way to penalize them.
3. The parents of the girls feel it’s their responsibility to wed them before they cross into thirties. This causes an immense pressure on the parents and their haste can result in a mismatch of sorts.
4. The typical process involves examining the girl as to how she conducts herself and her physical features. A girl may have to go through this process of keen observation every time a proposal is pondered, and may have to face as many rejections. This can serve as a blow to her self esteem.
In a conservative society such unions bloom purely because of family interference and coherence. The girls in our society are taught to be submissive and obedient, they don’t like to rebel. They trust their parents to make the right decision for them and subsequently learn to work the relationship. Many will see this system as faulty and there are disadvantages, but at least arranged marriages unlike love, are not blind. It is only after thorough verification that such relationships are devised.