Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together,” Paul Ryan (Brainy Quotes).
**In spite of the global acclamation to denounce arranged marriages, there seems to be a far less rate of divorces in such scenarios. Most people will attribute this to ignorance, stifling of the female voice and overly powerful and abusive culture. I know this to be very true in my culture and most other African and Asian communities as well. The ‘female Rights’ as they are called in the western cultures do not exist in the oriental and African cultures. It is important to note, however, that every culture has its own set of ‘Female Rights’ totally different from those of the west. Every individual has their place and duties in the community and as a result, one is not expected to question the role given to them by the community, including the role of marriage.
**Let us for a short moment consider the role of marriage in the course of human existence. The first and most important purpose is to ensure human race survival through procreation. Human race needed and still needs to survive the vulgarities of nature such as drought and famine, illnesses, earthquakes, floods etc, and also human conflict. Therefore to have many children, then, was a great advantage. The second purpose was to create and propagate communities, which gave individuals a sense of belonging and security. The larger the community, the stronger it was considered to be.
**The third purpose was for conjugal reasons. This is the only individual based reason among all three. These purposes were basic for the human race. As time went by the natural selection took the forefront. Only the strongest and the most admirable survived.
**The element of sexual attraction gained more attention as the former two reasons lost ground in preference. The rates of preference vary from culture to culture. In Asian and African cultures, the community involvement in the whole marriage process, from negotiations to the marriage ceremony and parenting stages is a crucial part. Family members are involved throughout the process, to the minutest details. Marriage, therefore, is no longer a couple’s affair, but rather a whole community’s affair. In these cultures, elopement is a straight ticket to exclusion and in other extreme cases, excommunication from the families.
**Due to fear of these extreme measures, couples have to succumb to the pressures of the community and follow through with the demands passed to them. Are these marriages happy? I would bet against an affirmative answer. They are not necessarily happy and may not even be in love. Sometimes, these forced marriages lead to spouses committing suicide, spouses murdering their spouses or children. These cases are common in India and other parts of Asia and Africa.
The lack of divorces does not necessarily mean, the presence of happy couples and happy families. It may even be a recipe for other family homicides, deep hatred, depression, and abuse among other crimes. **My take on this topic is, consider what matters most to you: Love, happiness, peace or cultural norms forced down your throat. Choose the path that you are comfortable taking and follow through. Remember to choose what is most important to you and stick to it.
To a well-informed culture and marriage. Guru Hellen