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Cultural Differences

Maybe He Was Right
by Beatrice; June 2, 2008


Beatrice’s writing points out that even though we are meeting the needs of the times, some old customs shouldn’t be disregarded, but, rather, should be highly appreciated. No. Her “arranged marriage” is not an “antique displayed.” The system has been used for a long time in many countries and even now it is popular in some places. In North America, people sneer at “arranged marriage” because we are living in “modern times” and “love” should came first for marriage, but statistics show that the divorce rate of an “arranged couple” is much lower than those of a “love couple.” Happy marriage forever, Beatrice!
 —Masaru, Writing 12 student.

“Your marriage is free marriage or an arranged marriage?” When I talked with Indian women, I was often asked this question. For people like me, an arranged marriage is like an antique displayed in the museum.

Mr. Bhuwania was my Indian buyer; I attended his son’s wedding in Bangalore. Before the wedding, Mr. Bhuwania and his wife went to Delhi and accepted a girl there to become their daughter in law. Their son and the girl met once as the only date they had; then they got married.

“What is the standard to pick your daughter in law?” I wondered. “Don’t you think it is too dangerous to bet your son’s happiness on a girl that you barely knew?” I asked Mr. Bhuwania.

“I knew her family and she was raised in a big, reputable family. It means she is well educated about housework and she knows how to deal with other people,” he answered me happily.

“But how could you know whether your son will like her? He doesn’t even know her hobbies.” I was still confused: “What if they are not happy in future?”

“Only god knows that. That is why they need to learn how to respect each other and compromise in their life before they get married. I observed her family, especially her mother, and they all behaved properly, and so I could tell they know how to train her.” He looked at me and smiled, “No one can guarantee they will be happy in future even in a free marriage. You think you know this person now, like his hobby or whatever, but are you sure you will be happy with him forever?”

I immediately thought of my husband and me –the couple who could argue for anything: what to eat; when to sleep; where to spend the holidays… Maybe he was right.