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Archive for the ‘Arranged Marriage in the Media’ Category

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Arranged Marriage seems to be a hot topic of late with stories making the rounds in several media sources. My friend sent me an article from MSN.com, and also told me about a story: I’m In An Arranged Marriage that was featured on MTV.

A few weeks ago, while in my local health food store, I overheard a conversation between two young women, perhaps mid-to-late teens, who were standing at the magazine rack. One of them was flipping through the pages of the magazine “Bust”, stopping at an article on arranged marriage. She sounded dreamily intrigued by a concept foreign to her; her friend’s response was that all marriages were essentially arranged. i decided not to interfere with their conversation, though a part of me wanted to tell them more than they’d get by quickly scanning the first few lines of the article and marveling a photo of one of the “perfect couples” wearing shimmery Indian garb. The article entitled Love, Indian Style, showcases the marriages of two happily married couples living in the U.S.

Marriage can work as long as there is an ongoing commitment that honors individual freedom of expression and movement in the union. A marriage that does not permit this, whether it be arranged or love, is doomed to misery and failure.

Blissfully wedded Darshana admits that arranged marriages do not work universally; her brother being an example of that. She says he felt forced into a marriage, that a year later, is on the verge of divorce. Divorce, while stirring in India, is still low as compared to the western world. It is important to remember however, that it is not a simple matter of excusing oneself from a failed marriage when it was arranged in the first place.

Nor was 23 year-old Smalin Jenita lucky in marriage. Living in the U.S. with her husband and in-laws, she was thrown from a moving car for her refusal to comply with their dowry demands. The abuse started shortly after marriage, resulting in beatings that left her with 52 fractures.

The article in Bust does deepen and darken in its discussion of the issue of dowry in arranged marriage, which they report may lead to the practice of female foeticide and infanticide. There is also mention that in an arranged marriage system there is expectation that everyone will marry, and that same-sex partnerships are not recognized as anything but a western construct.

The article concludes by looking at the similarities that exist in the west with the popularity of online dating that may lead to a committed lasting relationship. The one important difference though, is the freedom to choose if, with whom, and when marriage will occur.

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