Wednesday, December 01, 2004

On arranged marriages

During this trip to germany, I had two wonderful discussions with new people both of whom were from SAP. Both of them were from former USSR (one from romania and the other from Belarus), both of them extremely down to earth and both of these conversations at some point or the other touched the concept of arranged marriages - a concept they find VERY alien.
Coffee with belarusian
I must admit that I felt strange while explaining the selection criteria of a groom to him - "Firstly, you parents make a list of prospective grooms from near and dear, then evaluate the families, then match the horoscopes, then ask around to know if they are good people, and then show the photo of the guy to the girl (and vice versa) - finally the parents meet for a chat while the two people in question spend sometime together" - "sometime?" - "yup, 2 hours, 4 hours sometimes... and then they express the opinion to their parents who decide if things can go further".
He dropped the spoon into his cup of tea, raised his eyebrows, and with a flabbergasted expression finally managed to say "Really???????????". The whole conversation was amusing because, I wasn't bitching about arranged marriages to him. I was justifying it - I personally have nothing against arranged marriages and I am one guy who believes it will work. No. I don't mean the paper version I just mentioned above but the one where my parents decide who I have to get married to - i am sure their decisions are based on better premises than above and my parents really know what fits me fine. This is partly because, I really don't have even a single condition that is a must have in my future wife though there's quite a long list of nice-to-haves (my dad always says this is because I haven't thought enough and don't realize what i am getting into!) and secondly because the idea of living with a stranger is really not intimidating to me (to many guys I presume). I feel that my wife should fit very well with our family and with me and my parents can decide it as well as I can (incidentally, my parents feel I can decide it as well as they can and would really be glad if I could take the decision of their backs!)
The belarusian as always didn't force his opinions. But what I felt when he narrated his story was that once you get to a comfort level with someone and know what it can be, you have a reason to make a choice. When you don't know how good or bad it can be, you don't give a fight. fair enough.
On a badly cooked beef with a romanian
She wouldn't even want to discuss it. "If the parents choose the guy, let them get married to him". Simple! But she brought in a beautiful line of thought that I have never thought about before - when we keep marrying within ourselves and our caste, our genetic variety does indeed diminish because, the best of each breed would never, well, breed together :) Does that explain our relatively small physical stature, our lonely medals in the olympics and a lot of such things? We probably are getting weaker and weaker with every subsequent generation while compared to an universal caste of "whites" and "blacks" in the rest of the world whose children form an eclectic mix of a lot o genes (let me see if I can get this right about a lady called anna who I once knew, she was born to a jamaican father and a a mother who was born to a chinese and an american. She then went on to marry a german and now has a son who is german/jamaican/chinese/american and god knows what before!).
All this brings us to a question of putting the responsibility of "trusting human judgement" - But that shall be the blog for tomorrow! The truth, I am almost done writing it but I have a bus now that I have to catch. So, shall put it on tomorrow evening.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know the thing about arranged marriages and the limited time (sometimes as less as 10 mins) that the guy and girl get to 'know'each other - You will always know if you don't want the other person in about 5 mins, but to know if you want to spend the rest of your life with her/him, 10 mins is never enough...

9:39 PM  
Blogger Dileepan said...

Thanks, Rathish, for your comments and the link! Will link you up too. Checking my blog after what seems like a long time!

The Jack ;)

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah!! I for one,dont believe in this love-at-first-sight fundaa that most people say,be it in an arranged bajji-sojji session or college love.But yes,I have been independent all my life,and take all of my financial,emotional and career related decisions myself,so ideally I would like to choose the guy I am going to marry myself too!!!

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah!! I for one,dont believe in this love-at-first-sight fundaa that most people say,be it in an arranged bajji-sojji session or college love.But yes,I have been independent all my life,and take all of my financial,emotional and career related decisions myself,so ideally I would like to choose the guy I am going to marry myself too!!!

Vivitsa

9:23 AM  
Blogger Srinath said...

hey rat....

great to see u back blogging...

do gimme a ring...we shall meet up sometime

Chao,
Srinath

11:48 AM  
Blogger piggy said...

I totally agree with you on arranged marriages. But horoscope?? Dei.. don't believe in them. Then you would get married only at the age of "34"!! (indha number-a engayo ketta madhiri iruke??)

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If life is about striking a balanced decision, better to handle this issue on the same line. Arranged and love marriages are two extremes. To choose where you want to be is your discretion

5:31 AM  

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