In English lesson, we watched the movie Outsourced and also start talking about arranged marriages. We had as a homework to write a comment on arranged marriages which was quite difficult for me. I had to face different situation with that topic and got stories told I cannot forget. But the topic did not get out of my head so I want to tell you my opinion about it.
“She only called me and broke up with me. She did not tell me what happened or what the reasons were. Then she deleted me on Facebook, got a new phone number and also avoided me on the streets. Then one day I met her again and I confronted her. I was angry at her because she never gave me the chance to understand why. She started crying and then she told me why. I never did something wrong and she did not stop loving me… Her parents found out about us and forced her to it. And now… she is going to get an arranged marriage. ”
I still remember the day when one of my friends told me this story. I was not able to say anything. Not because I was shocked, but because arranged marriages are quite common in East- and Southeast Asia. I also could imagine that it must have been a hard decision for a 17 years old girl.
Even though arranged marriages are forbidden by law in most Western countries, there are still many Asian parents and grandparents who set up marriages in secret. The supporters of arranged marriages argue that their marriages are the happier one and that love marriages often end in divorces. Countries like India where it is tradition to have arranged marriages have a really low divorce rate compared to European countries.
However, is long lasting the same as happy? Of course, arranged marriages last longer but are the partners really happy? Both of them are under a lot of pressure because a divorce is considered as a shame, not only in public life, but also in the own family. Especially as a woman, life will be made miserable.
Moreover, arranged marriages are about financial and social status and not about love. In comparison to this, love marriages are based on trust and are about the understanding of the other’s desires. This understanding is developed over a longer time in a relationship, so everyone should get the chance to get to know somebody before a marriage. I mean how can you marry someone you do not know at all?
In addition to this, arranged marriages sometimes get too far and become forced marriages. Even if the bride or the groom said that they do not want the marriage, the parents or family would force them to it, often with the use of violence or extortion.
For example, many teenagers living in the UK with Pakistan or Indian origin go with their parents on holiday to their parents’ home country and then have to face there a set up wedding. Even though, the British government tries to stop this set up marriages abroad, most children remain in silent because they are scared of the consequences for their parents or family.
Taking everything into consideration, it can be said that arranged marriage might be the longer lasting one but only because the couple is under a lot of pressure from their family and also the society. They are highly influenced by their environment and have to face many problems when they are against an arranged marriage. So therefore it is also only a thin line to cross before an arranged marriage becomes a forced one.