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Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage
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TOPIC: Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage
#93583
kaoruhana
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Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 77
So I'm now officially curious about what you all think. While posting my new story "The Omiai" both here and of FF.net I've received some interesting feedback. One thing that's been nagging at me though is the concept of marriage vs. arranged marriage.

Being raised as an (Asian) Indian Hindu girl, my concept of marriage is vastly different from that of my American friends. What constitutes as a marriage meeting between two individuals (think of the tea house scene in "The Omiai") is the first step of an arranged marriage for my friends while to me it's like an awkward date where your parents are meeting the guy/girl you like. We've talked about the issue a lot and I wonder how other cultures view this.

To me, an Indian marriage may be set up by parents but the kids have a say. So, it's not an arranged marriage in the purest sense of the word to me. Coming from my perspective, arranged marriages involve no participation of the parties involved so it bothers me greatly when people tell me my culture believes in them.

However, being raised in America I can understand why some people have difficulty understanding why to me Indian marriages aren't "arranged marriages" but at the same time I wonder just how many other cultures have customs similar to this. To me an omiai process more or less follows the same requirements of an Indian marriage process- a matchmaker, parental/familial approval, and a meeting before intentions are declared. For some however, this is a big taboo.

So because I'm too curious for my own good and because I love learning about different cultures I now have to ask:

What is the difference between (love) marriage and arranged marriage in different cultures? Let's keep this discussion simple and explanatory. I don't want to argue about what a "real love marriage" is but I want to know where people draw the line and how that line has been influenced by cultural factors.
 
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#93584
Kessa
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 8
This is an interesting topic, but I don't think it's really as complicated as some make it out to be. I'm Canadian, and honestly, from reading your explanation of an arranged marriage as dealt by matchmaker, family/parental approval and a meeting before intentions declared...it's really not that much different from the everyday dating scene. At least from my opinion.

My husband and I had known each other from previous years growing up (he's 3 years older) before we started dating, we met and talked in passing before he asked me out. Obviously our parents were introduced and they approved. We dated for a year and a half before we were engaged, and married a year later.

To me, an arranged marriage would be something that your parents have dictated, without your input and you cannot say no. Not meeting your intended until the day of the wedding, basically making you wed a complete stranger is the really old fashioned way. Even if you knew your betrothal from childhood, and your parents dictated you had to marry them, I'd still consider that a very arranged marriage. Discussing it with my husband, he agrees. I think that if you have the choice of saying no, and are given the chance to meet and get to know the person you are "arranged" to marry, it just seems like a short version of fast dating. And I can't think of it as an arranged marriage if you have a choice, it's more like your parents are giving a strong suggestion to who they think might be suited well with you, in personality, character, lifestyle, etc.

Hope that helps, I'm going to stop while I can, haha.
 
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#93585
cassandra
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 11
I Agree with Kessa. I always thought that arranged marriages were something your parents forced you to do even if you didn't want to. Or at least that's how I look at it anyways. Isn't that what some countries did in the old days? Or have I just been watching too many movies?
 
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#93586
Kessa
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 8
I believe European countries were known for arranged marriages, especially in the upper class society. Royalty members are also known for their arranged marriages. Not sure if its carried out as much in modern times as it was centuries past.
 
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#93588
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 46
From my understanding, which is horribly abstract, an arranged marriage is exactly what you've been describing.

What most people think of as an arranged marriage is actually what would be considered a political or financial alliance. If you are told who you're going to marry, then more then likely there is a reason for it. I was in elementary school with a girl who was already "engaged".

It's still arranged if you marry someone that your parents set you up with, with the intent that you marry them. Even if you can say no.
 
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#93589
kaoruhana
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 77
Hmm, that's a lot to think about.

Kessa: I think that if you have the choice of saying no, and are given the chance to meet and get to know the person you are "arranged" to marry, it just seems like a short version of fast dating. And I can't think of it as an arranged marriage if you have a choice, it's more like your parents are giving a strong suggestion to who they think might be suited well with you, in personality, character, lifestyle, etc.

That's the way I think of it. In my family, we've had all sorts of marriages. My parents were set up to meet by my aunt of all people, my cousin fell in love, and two other cousins were given suggestions by their mother. Obviously in all cases, family met the person in a situation much comparable to the "dinner where you bring the guy/girl you're dating" before final approval was made. And even then it was more of a grudging "does the person come from a good family and do they make you happy" thing.

Cassandra: I always thought that arranged marriages were something your parents forced you to do even if you didn't want to. Or at least that's how I look at it anyways. Isn't that what some countries did in the old days?

Some people don't see it that way, which is why I asked. And in the old days it was more of a lack of choice. For example, in Regency England you were kind of forced to marry within your station. It was still a choice but one that had much less freedom of movement. And for example even in India today marriage is a huge caste based thing sp most families/ youngsters look for people within their own caste first. And there's other little rules too. Technically, I descend from an old sage named "Savanakasa" so if I meet any guy who also descends from the same sage it's a big no-no. I don't know the reason why, I just know that it's super bad for some reason. Does that make sense?

Knight of Disorder: It's still arranged if you marry someone that your parents set you up with, with the intent that you marry them. Even if you can say no.

I think I understand what you're saying here- maybe? So if your parents were okay with you saying no, would it still be arranged in your opinion? Or maybe I don't understand what you're saying?
 
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Last Edit: 2013/08/31 01:03 By kaoruhana.
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#93590
Sp@ceMonkey
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 3
I don't think arranged marriages have to be forced. They used to be, but just because someone fixed you up dosen't mean you didn't like the idea. To my mind if someone else "arranged" the match and "arranged" the visits with the intention of the pair marrying, it's an "arranged marriage". That isn't necessarily a bad thing though...

Ultimately, you could meet your partner through the advice of an arranged marriage, matchmaking service, random fate, or the advise of a drunk stranger, all that matters is that it's a good relationship.
 
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#93595
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 46
kaoruhana wrote:
Knight of Disorder: It's still arranged if you marry someone that your parents set you up with, with the intent that you marry them. Even if you can say no.

I think I understand what you're saying here- maybe? So if your parents were okay with you saying no, would it still be arranged in your opinion? Or maybe I don't understand what you're saying?


You can say no, and they know this. But, if you still decide to marry someone they set you up with, their intent being that you married that person, it's still an arranged marriage. You just accepted it. From my understanding, it's still practiced fairly often in more affluent families. Two families in the same business trying to get their children together and what not. In that, more often then not, the kids can still say no at a later point.

Is that better.
 
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Last Edit: 2013/08/31 18:37 By Knight of Disorder.
 
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#93597
CritterWhisperer
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 47
I've always grown up with the understanding that an arranged marriage was something in which one or both of the people getting married had little to no say in whether or not they got married. Yes, European marriages in the past, especially among the upper classes and royalty, were well known for this. Even if the reasons for the marriages were for political or financial purposes, it had still been arranged without the input of one or both of the parties involved in the choice.

The process being described with the matchmaker, the arranged visits, and the parental consent make me think more of other traditions where because it was not considered proper for a young woman to go out with a man by herself, she had to have arranged visits in which a chaperon would be present; and because she was still considered her father's property, a man had to have the father's consent in order to marry her (although this is not always how a situation turned out). I would view that as awkward dating, but I can understand how some Americans might view it as arranged marriage.

In these days, when two people can meet in any number of random ways, go out together whenever they feel like it, and get married without the consent of their families (assuming both are of legal age to do so), the idea of two people being set up with the intention that they might like each other enough to get married can feel like an arranged marriage.
 
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#93598
Pyreite
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 57
Interesting. I agree on all points, though I'd just like to say that you really need to consider the time, culture, and general social atmosphere when thinking about this topic. Since for example in medieval times, arranged marriages between royal or noble-caste families was the norm to forge alliance, broker peace, and even to avoid civil wars. Didn't always work out well, but there you go, plus the social-climate in the middle-ages was entirely different from today. It varies between cultures, of course, but a great deal has changed, we have different technology, ways of life, and so forth, so technically the social-climate isn't the same, so how our great grand parents viewed arranged marriages will also be different too. Generational differences especially are important, what was the 'norm' for our grannies and granpas when they were young isn't neccessarily the 'norm' for us now.

Plus I think the chance to actually mingle with the family a person would be tying themselves too in an arranged marriage is more akin to 'dating' than the 'no participation' thing that was common in the middle-ages. I mean children were often promised in infancy into such marriages back then too.

It is an interesting topic none the less.

~ Pyreite
 
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Last Edit: 2013/08/31 19:29 By Pyre.
 
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#93604
kaoruhana
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Re:Difference b/w Marriage & Arranged Marriage 4 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 77
Sp@ce Monkey:
To my mind if someone else "arranged" the match and "arranged" the visits with the intention of the pair marrying, it's an "arranged marriage"...Ultimately, you could meet your partner through the advice of an arranged marriage, matchmaking service, random fate, or the advise of a drunk stranger, all that matters is that it's a good relationship.
So what exactly is the difference between a matchmaker and an "arranged" situation? Does the matchmaker quit after the match hence making the situation less of an "arranged" marriage/ dating one? But I understand your reasoning as well.

Knight of Disorder: I understand now what you mean- it's like going out on a blind date and liking it enough that you keep going out with the person. It was arranged and somehow the couple clicked.

Critter Whisperer:
The process being described with the matchmaker, the arranged visits, and the parental consent make me think more of other traditions where because it was not considered proper for a young woman to go out with a man by herself, she had to have arranged visits in which a chaperon would be present; and because she was still considered her father's property, a man had to have the father's consent in order to marry her (although this is not always how a situation turned out). I would view that as awkward dating, but I can understand how some Americans might view it as arranged marriage.
The idea of a woman not allowed to go out by herself is/was more or less true in most cultures. To an extent, it's still subtly there in some.
And in Hindu wedding ceremonies while the daughter isn't technically the dad's property during our marriage ceremonies we have this unique custom where the parents traditionally "give-up" their daughter to her new in-laws. In the old days it was a way of assuring the in-laws that the parents weren't going to do anything. Today, when it comes time to that part of the wedding everyone starts crying because they realize the children are grown up now and going to have families of their own one day. Sorry I kind of wrote a lot- but I hope you understand what I meant.

Pyreite: Interesting. I agree on all points, though I'd just like to say that you really need to consider the time, culture, and general social atmosphere when thinking about this topic.
I definitely have to agree with you on that one. I don't know about other cultures but growing up in the US my parents had a hard time trying to teach us the "Indian ways" and letting us have our American freedoms. So while most of my peers would look at me awkwardly when I say "ask my parents if you really have a serious interest in me" to me it's a simple case of: that means you're serious and that you are actually willing to see where this relationship would lead. Does that make sense?
I guess the way I've viewed things is more along the lines of "do you get along with my parents?" Because if they do then it's fine. And really, my family is different than most. When I was little my grandmother apparently broke apart an arranged marriage between her nephew and the "girl he was supposed to marry" because she was in love with someone else. She was the one who hatched a secret scheme where the kids got married and came home after the marriage with smug grins on their faces. In the 90's divorce was the last choice in India so the parents ended up agreeing though my grandmother still isn't on their good side. So culturally, yes, parents are now more open to the idea of other marriages but most youngsters who don't have a serious significant other tend to go with the matchmaking option because it's been a tradition that has withstood time.
That was a lot to take in. But I'm hoping it helped clarify my points to you and vice versa!
 
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