Essay on Comparing Marriages

Submitted By emmag_20
Words: 3150
Pages: 13

Three Views: The Differences of Marriages in India, Africa, and America

Introduction After months of planning and coordinating the ecstatic bride walks down the isle to her husband with his fresh, new tuxedo and his hair slicked back. Passing the faces of their closest friends, family, and loved ones this is the moment she has been dreaming about for her whole life. But it’s not like that in all areas of the world. The “dream wedding” for this woman from America, is much different than that of the women from Africa or India. I choose to write about the differences in marriage between different countries because I find it interesting how in some areas of the world, the couple has no choice about who they marry. In America, we have so much freedom that it’s hard to imagine a place where other people make decisions for us. I think that a wedding ritual is important to me because I want a “perfect” wedding. You only get married once and so I would like to have a traditional American wedding. It’s probably one of the most important days of your life, not matter where you are from. In an African Proverb, it’s said that “a man without a wife is like a vase without flowers.” This shows the need to get married and how in every culture, marriage is an essential part of society. The purpose of this research paper is to show that no matter how you celebrate it, all cultures have one thing in common when it comes to marriage and that’s making a life long commitment.

First View: India In India , different regions and religions have different beliefs towards marriage, however, arranged marriage is still practiced in almost all of them. Marriages that are not arranged are deemed as impulsive and are frowned upon in India . There are many positive arguments as to the validity of arranged marriages amongst Indian people, but in the western culture, marriage is still considered an equal union, where people must take time to learn each other’s values, goals and dreams. Most people in America are opposed to arranged marriages because they feel that the couple does not have any say in being with the person they love. However, despite the beliefs we have about arranged marriages in our modern western culture, Indian people see arranged marriages as an act of love. Indian people feel that the act of marriage involves many crucial decisions, which may be too difficult for a young person to make. In modern society such choices might be made hastily, thus putting a young couple in instant debt, or at odds over certain things each person feels are important in a marriage. Often such issues ultimately lead to divorce, but in Indian culture divorce is widely unaccepted. Indian societies look at arranged marriages as not only their duty, but also as a favor to their young relatives. While most modern western societies may consider things such as religion, children rearing and wealth as important, they generally do not view things such as whether their parents live close by or vegetarianism versus non-vegetarianism as remotely important. Matter of fact, many young adults in other countries would rather NOT have their parents nearby! While Indian people value equal educational levels and similar cultures, many western societies do not hold these things in such high regard. One of the most controversial issues surrounding arranged marriages in India is the dowry system. In basic language this means that the bride’s family promises the groom certain commodities, such as money and material items. Many view this as a form of human trade, which is degrading and unacceptable in western society. It is said that if a bride’s family cannot produce the promised dowry, the bride might be discarded by the groom, and in many instances killed. This is the main reason many girls from poor families, or those orphaned will never marry. Luckily, this is not the case in western society. The dowry was originally meant to be a sort