Arranged Marriages

#Culture

Mon, Oct 13th, 1997 05:00 by Dee ARTICLE

Currently, I am twenty-three years old and being the oldest of four siblings my parents have started to hunt down for a son-in-law. Nevertheless, my parents are aware of my views, but insist that they know what's best for me. Although I have lived in Canada all my life and have adopted perhaps a different mentality than they have, I have managed to delay this ongoing process and continue my journey in life the way I want it to be.

The term arranged marriage is thought of being an image of two people meeting for the first time, on the day of their wedding night, and they have no choice but to marry the person selected by their parents. Most arranged marriages allow for meetings between the future partners, and are given the a chance to view if the selected person is compatible for them.

When parents are selecting a mate for their child, they pay great attention to religion, education background, family background and especially social class. If the future mate does not follow in any of the above categories then he or she is rejected.

Being a South Asian woman I disapprove with this concept. Although, individuals are able to meet with their future spouse, the individual cannot be themselves because of the family involvement. Therefore, one has to put on an act for the other party. Personally, I believe that in the past generations arranged marriage worked well because individuals remained together for the sake of family, there was no accepted alternative to follow, and if the marriage didn't work out ... the individuals always had the excuse of blaming their parents.

But as much as my skin may be brown or my heritage Indian, I'm born and raised in Canada. Unlike my parents' social construction, mine is from a place that does offer accepted alternatives on how I can live my life and who I can to share it with.

Personally I don't think that arranged marriages work anymore, especially when the kids have lived and have been in contact with different views everyday of their life. The only people that would disagree with this are second-generation Indians incapable of standing up for themselves and that try to make a family obligation sound like a personal choice.

Fortunately, many potential mothers-in-law that came to see me have found my looks unsatisfying. They don't like the clothes I wear or find my hair to be too short since it goes down only past my shoulders rather than my lower back. Mostly, however, do not like my independent personality: they want a submissive woman that will obey both husband and mother-in-law without ever complaining. I'm sorry, but I have a personality.

I don't blame my parents for what they are doing. I know they are doing it because they love me and care about me and want to be sure that I'll be well taken care of once they are gone. I'm sure, however, that eventually they will come around and accept that sometimes not all traditions can be enforced.

Life is a constant change, and after all, this is my life.

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