By Sandi Bhutella
When my mother told me she had arranged
a date for me, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I mean, an arranged date? That can only lead to an arranged
marriage in my family’s culture? And, besides, how old
am I anyway? Sheesh, I’m 15, living in Canada, and nobody
really believes in arranged relationships anymore, do they?
I needed some firm ground to stand on, so I checked the whole
‘arranged marriage’ situation out.
I found out arranged marriages have been around in some cultures
since the dawn of civilization. In many Middle Eastern and
Asian countries (including India), arranged marriage is a
practice that has been around for a very long time. In the
beginning, arranged marriages were done as a way to keep people
within their place in the social system. It was also a way
for parents to receive a dowry (money and goods brought to
the families by either the bride or the groom depending on
what country you are in). And even today, many of these practices
still hold true, however, the situation is more complicated
because we live in the 21st century and when the old and new
world meet, there are bound to be conflicts.
Take me for example - who did my mom think she was kidding?
I’m a hip, young Canadian male, so naturally I want
to date who I want. There is no way that my mom and I are
going to have the same taste in women! I mean, okay, so mom
lucked out and Hema turned out to be a total fox, but that
won’t likely happen again. When it comes down to it,
statistics show that arranged marriages often work and in
fact, the chances of arranged marriages ending in divorce
are no greater than non-arranged marriages. The difference
for me is that I’m a 21st century male and although
I want to please my parents, I also want to please myself.
I want to get to know the girl and I don’t want to be
put in a situation where I have no choice on the matter.
I just hope that one day I do meet a girl who wants to date
me and get to know who I am, or I might be rethinking my whole
stand on arranged marriages…
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