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Old 17th May 2009, 21:04   #16
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For the record: I do not find it very cultured to compare sexual experiences with "sleeping around town". Just because you are not married to someone does not mean you are not involved in mind, spirit and body. To assume that sex before marriage is just casual and a bad habit is presumptuous and ignorant.

Coming back to the discussion:

I don't see how meeting girls (means, having tea with a girl and her family that your parents present to you) can prepare you for partnership. And how will it give you some experience in what a relationship really means and is about? I don't see any sense in this but how would I know, I am just a "westerner" lol.

I assume that the girl you would have tea with would be content to spend the rest of her life with you even if she can't stand you and I would assume that you would be perfectly okay with a partner who has to stay with you - not because she loves you, not because she wants to, but because society demands her to. As well as you!

And this way of living will it then be passed on to your children who will be "happy" to take over this kind of living since the parents obviously know best?!

No disrespect to anyone, I myself come from a society where divorce was impossible (in society's eyes) until about 40 years ago. I heard the elders in my society talk a lot about those times and how unhappy their parents or grandparents often were - with no escape. And I agree with Gill, divorce does not have to be negative. It can be a welcome relief to a negative life, especially when children are involved. This of course, does not mean that you run away from marriage at the first hint of problems, don't get me wrong, I am not advocating divorce. Divorce is not a fun concept but the last resort.

Rules and situations change as time passes by. Society adapts, individuals learn from the mistakes of the past and the world progresses.

Sam once mentioned to me that only 3 generations ago it was quite common for women in India to marry at 13 or 14. Would you want this for your daughters today?

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Old 17th May 2009, 22:39   #17
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Originally Posted by TheOne® View Post
I don't see how meeting girls (means, having tea with a girl and her family that your parents present to you) can prepare you for partnership. And how will it give you some experience in what a relationship really means and is about? I don't see any sense in this but how would I know, I am just a "westerner" lol.
You need to spend a lifetime in India to understand how such marriages work. And believe me you they work as well or as bad as any other.
In cases where two people have been dating each other before marriage, after marriage it sometimes all falls apart because the time spent as lovers turns out insufficient to get to know the real person. And often, arranged marriages work because expectations are better defined and more leeway is given to each other since both are new in the relationship.
So you see, either ways, it can go any which way.

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Originally Posted by TheOne® View Post
I assume that the girl you would have tea with would be content to spend the rest of her life with you even if she can't stand you and I would assume that you would be perfectly okay with a partner who has to stay with you - not because she loves you, not because she wants to, but because society demands her to. As well as you!

And this way of living will it then be passed on to your children who will be "happy" to take over this kind of living since the parents obviously know best?!
That is a wrong assumption. People are much more practical these days. If the marriage is unbearable, unworkable, then they do look at divorce as an option. Only difference is that people in India dont go for divorce just because their partner eats with his/her mouth open or have a terrible BO. That is the reason that in India, you will not see a husband tell his wife, "O look honey! Your kids and my kids are playing with our kids."

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Originally Posted by TheOne® View Post
Rules and situations change as time passes by. Society adapts, individuals learn from the mistakes of the past and the world progresses.

Sam once mentioned to me that only 3 generations ago it was quite common for women in India to marry at 13 or 14. Would you want this for your daughters today?
You seem to have the impression that Indian society is not progressing. At least thats what your last question implies. I understand that you are relatively new to this country and its ways, so please do take the time to comprehend it before making such assumptions.

By the way, all this is totally way off the original intent of this thread.

Cheers
Amitoj
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Old 17th May 2009, 23:03   #18
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That was the status of women in Indian culture. Traditionally Indian scriptures have deemed that women can be traded, humiliated and are of lower status than men. Their only job is to be a glorified maid in the house.
Even right to property came very late and at first there was a lot of hue and cry about giving women right to property.
There has never been one single Indian culture. For example, my community is matriarchal, where property always went to the daughters. The sons could hope to get property only via marriage, through their wives. It is only in the last 2-3 decades that men have started receiving their fare share, still most families give the best shares or lions share of the inheritence to the daughters.
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Old 17th May 2009, 23:38   #19
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There has never been one single Indian culture. For example, my community is matriarchal, where property always went to the daughters. The sons could hope to get property only via marriage, through their wives. It is only in the last 2-3 decades that men have started receiving their fare share, still most families give the best shares or lions share of the inheritence to the daughters.
I was actually talking about the mainstream culture which is shown on TV.
And I am sure your community is a minority
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Old 18th May 2009, 00:21   #20
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Many communities along the southern coastal belt along Karnataka and Kerala are Matriarchal.
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Old 18th May 2009, 01:17   #21
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ok..well first off i didnt know that you were religious and you followed the Koran. That changes the whole discussion a lot and now i can understand your point of view. Im not equating sex to playing tennis, but its clear that both you and I have totally differing views on the subject. I personally dont believe that parents have the right to approve our choice of partner because in the end its we that have to live with the decision, not them. Because of your religious upbringing, i can see why you will disagree. I couldnt marry someone that i barely knew, or that was forced upon me. I'd rather live with a person, date a person, for at least 6 months to a year and then decide if im ready to spend the rest of my life (hopefully) with that person.

I know life is more than just revenue and profit, but those are the facts. You may not like it, but thats what the reality is. What you think is bad (sexy, racy ads, skimply dressed flight attendants, etc), i really couldnt care either way and honestly i dont think its really that bad, unless it can be proven categorically that it is having a bad effect on society. You say that society is not made up of you or me and that we all have to make a difference. But i could say that at this point in time, in my view, in india, it doesnt really matter if i make a difference because the vast majority wont care and will go on repeating their mistakes. What good does it do?? Society is beyond help and is pretty much hopeless :(.
Glad to see that you are able to understand my point of view.

Do not think that we would not be able to make any difference. It matters more when goodness is in scarcity. If you look at history you would find great personalities who made a lot of difference to mankind. Even if we cannot go to that level we can make a small difference by caring for our family and society.

Quote:
For the record: I do not find it very cultured to compare sexual experiences with "sleeping around town". Just because you are not married to someone does not mean you are not involved in mind, spirit and body. To assume that sex before marriage is just casual and a bad habit is presumptuous and ignorant.
From CaliAtenza's post, it appeared to me that he has considered sex before marriage as casual as a game of tennis - I was wrong. I did not mean to hurt or offend anyone. I am really sorry.

[quote]
Coming back to the discussion:

Quote:
I don't see how meeting girls (means, having tea with a girl and her family that your parents present to you) can prepare you for partnership. And how will it give you some experience in what a relationship really means and is about? I don't see any sense in this but how would I know, I am just a "westerner" lol.
Welcome to India. I understand you very well. I was surprised to know that live in relationships are very common in west.

Quote:
I assume that the girl you would have tea with would be content to spend the rest of her life with you even if she can't stand you and I would assume that you would be perfectly okay with a partner who has to stay with you - not because she loves you, not because she wants to, but because society demands her to. As well as you!

And this way of living will it then be passed on to your children who will be "happy" to take over this kind of living since the parents obviously know best?!
Marriage is a bonding of two people and their families. When two people think that they have the same values, beliefs and would like to have others company they decide to tie the knot. The primary criterion for me was that the girl should be religious.

I talked to all the girls in private before selecting the right one. You would be surprised to know that even that is not acceptable in many families.

If a girl agrees to marry someone against her wish, she is actually doing harm to herself aswell as the other person. The religious scriptures give more importance to womens right than men. But people are not following it properly. I agree to Amitoj that things are changing for better in India.

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
By the way, all this is totally way off the original intent of this thread.

Cheers
Amitoj
Sid, sorry for hijacking your thread.

Last edited by PatienceWins : 18th May 2009 at 01:18.
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Old 18th May 2009, 01:47   #22
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
You need to spend a lifetime in India to understand how such marriages work. And believe me you they work as well or as bad as any other.
In cases where two people have been dating each other before marriage, after marriage it sometimes all falls apart because the time spent as lovers turns out insufficient to get to know the real person. And often, arranged marriages work because expectations are better defined and more leeway is given to each other since both are new in the relationship.
So you see, either ways, it can go any which way.
I agree with you. If you read my comment again I did not mean to say anything against arranged marriage but the fact that meeting a girl (possible future wife) for tea in a courtship period does not make you really get to know that girl nor understand what relationships are about. As you say, it can go any which way once you are married.

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
That is a wrong assumption. People are much more practical these days. If the marriage is unbearable, unworkable, then they do look at divorce as an option. Only difference is that people in India dont go for divorce just because their partner eats with his/her mouth open or have a terrible BO. That is the reason that in India, you will not see a husband tell his wife, "O look honey! Your kids and my kids are playing with our kids."
My sentence was not an assumption but more a rhetorical question. And please don't assume that people in other countries get divorced for trivial reasons. This would be very wrong.

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
You seem to have the impression that Indian society is not progressing. At least thats what your last question implies. I understand that you are relatively new to this country and its ways, so please do take the time to comprehend it before making such assumptions.

By the way, all this is totally way off the original intent of this thread.
On the contrary, I do think that Indian society is progressing a lot. This question was aimed at people who seemed to be against this progress and whose comments about marriage and women sounded archaic.

There were some statements made on this thread that were based on a very broad assumption of a "western culture", one that nobody even took the time to understand before commenting on, never mind the fact that western culture is not just one culture for all the countries to the West of India. There are huge differences.

I cannot criticize Indian culture. I cannot criticize what I have not understood completely. In fact, I am learning and absorbing every day. If I didn't feel the need to understand it I wouldn't be living in India. In my posts I am mainly referring to individuals' opinions and question their validity.

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Old 18th May 2009, 01:58   #23
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
You need to spend a lifetime in India to understand how such marriages work. And believe me you they work as well or as bad as any other.
So you see, either ways, it can go any which way.
I agree. Today, arranged marriages do go either way. It would be wrong to assume
  • That they last a lifetime. (as somebody mentioned on the thread)
  • That if they don't, this is either aping western culture or a degradation of Indian society. (as somebody mentioned on the thread)
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Only difference is that people in India dont go for divorce just because their partner eats with his/her mouth open or have a terrible BO.
Difference between people in India and who? Come on Amitoj, nobody normal divorces for those reasons anywhere in the world. *Smelling myself quickly*


Quote:
By the way, all this is totally way off the original intent of this thread.
Now there I agree, we are seriously OT.

Let's get to the real reason for this thread. Bring on your travails, married guys. Let's read about them.

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Old 18th May 2009, 04:14   #24
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We have this huge problem in India. Unless a relationship is solemnised into marriage, it isn't considered to be serious or permanent enough.
I have to completely agree with Sam on this one. A piece of paper legalizing a wedding or tying of 3 knots is in no way going to change the way I feel about my partner. Also, I don't understand why its considered as a taboo to date in our country. What if I get married and then find out that she is not the one I can gel with? End the marriage and hurt more people belonging to both families? Ruin the future of the lady since marrying a divorcee is again a rare thing in our country? Which means she will have to sit at home for the rest of her life? Or put up with someone I know is not who I can be happy with and cause each other and in turn the two families a lot more pain for the rest of our lives?

Instead, I would love to get to know a person, live a couple of years atleast with her. That would give you enough time to see how you handle the tough times together, how you strive to keep the relationship alive, if the other person is strong enough to fight it out through the tough times, you get to know each others good/bad qualities, how you must learn to live with them. And once you know and have gone through some tough times together and have successfully managed to overcome the misunderstandings, once you know that you could fight odds like straying out of the relationship etc you know you have a larger chance of making it stick.

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Indian definitions of marriage are very different from the rest of the world. In India apart from the legal license to live with your partner, it is often the only way to get to know your partner better.
Sam, luckily I think this trend is changing. Youth of today (atleast the people who I see around me) are no longer afraid to experiment. To get to know their partners in all ways possible is becoming the norm. These days people are quite choosy about the kind of partners, have their targets quite clearly set and are more practical than say our previous generation?


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Originally Posted by CaliAtenza View Post
I fail to understand why you see this as a bad thing, unless your of the mind that you would want to be her "first" or that u dont want to catch any of the myriad STD's out there.
IMO even this perception is changing. More and more people have started to accept the fact that their partners have had previous encounters of physical intimacy and are ok with it. As long as this doesn't continue during the relationship (married or dating) people are ok with it. Infact its refreshing to see many people openly speak about their past encounters before entering into a new bond. Letting the other person know that what happened was their past, and by sharing it right at the beginning you are putting forth that first step towards building trust.

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I dont think its up to our parents to choose who we are gonna spend the rest of our lives with, we are grown ups for petes sake and can make our own decisions.
I completely agree with this one too. Being grown ups and given the fact that we are the ones who are going to spend the rest of our lives with a particular person (and not our parents), I think it is imperative for the two people to have all the authority to choose whoever we want to marry.

But unfortunately, even in this todays scenario there are a majority of families who still have criteria like caste to determine who we get married to. When I fell in love with a girl, I didn't see if her dad was a multi billionaire or if she belonged to the royalty. I fell in love with her because of who she was, because of the way we felt when we were together. Don't understand why caste plays such an important role when it comes to marriage.

Then you have parents resorting to emotional blackmail saying if you want to marry him you will have to either forget us or give us some poison. I mean, that is ridiculous. Two people happily in love, want to spend the rest of their lives together and here we have our elders opposing it on the basis of caste, creed etc. I don't understand the logic. All parents want their children to be happy, but when we choose who we are going to be happy with the very same parents who all their lives have strived and toiled to see us happy now are adament to snatch that one thing that would give us happiness to last an entire life?

Many people might point fingers at me saying we are falling prey to westernization etc. But let me point out a fact. It is not that we do not respect our parents, our culture. I recently lost a loved one, just because her parents wanted her to marry someone within their own caste and would not budge no matter what. Then came a point where she was asked to choose between her parents and me. I mean what can she do? Betray her parents who have brought her up for 22yrs or betray the guy she was madly in love with for 3yrs and dreamt of spending the rest of her life with? With a fear that her parents would have to face a lot of criticism/embarrassment from their society and relatives, not wanting to betray those two people who have given birth to us and so lovingly brought us up, we both decided to part ways. When we can think so much about our parents, why is it so impossible for our parents to accept our decisions?

Point I am trying to make is, we ought to learn to accept the merits from other cultures as well. And learn to eradicate the de-merits from our own culture. And I sincerely do hope atleast with the next generation this attitude changes.

Another thing I would say we need to ape from western culture would be the use of protection. I have seen many people, both married and unmarried too shy/embarrassed of walking to a medic store and asking for a packet of condoms. Whatever said and done, its not worth the risk of an unwanted pregnancy or procuring sexually transmitted diseases. I think we ought to learn to shed our inhibitions for the better.

@ Sam & Jenny : Honestly, not everyone are as lucky as you both. You both are an inspiration for us. I wish every child in this country would get broad minded parents.

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Old 18th May 2009, 04:41   #25
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Originally Posted by PatienceWins View Post
I talked to all the girls in private before selecting the right one. You would be surprised to know that even that is not acceptable in many families.

If a girl agrees to marry someone against her wish, she is actually doing harm to herself aswell as the other person. The religious scriptures give more importance to womens right than men. But people are not following it properly. I agree to Amitoj that things are changing for better in India.
as long as your intention was not just to ensure she is not marrying against her wish. that's like dental hygiene. very basic stuff. Has to be there.

You need a lot more than a private meeting to understand whether she is The One for you.

And I will be interested to know what thoughts the parents give before making the decision for the children. The reasons I have seen (in descending order) are, religion/caste/sub caste, locality, Dowry, and sometimes education/job. in fact sometimes higher education or job profile works as a negative point. The only reasons I have seen people following their parent's choice is to satisfy their (parents') ego of having the authority to make the decision.

I myself had a suicide threat in my family if I ever thought of marrying outside my caste.

Reason???????????? no idea. can't argue with them parents.
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Old 18th May 2009, 11:48   #26
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Some fresh thoughts this morning since we're going on about this anyways, lol.
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I was surprised to know that live in relationships are very common in west.
Nothing surprising for anyone there. You can see it on TV and in movies and in the news everywhere. I am quite surprised that you were surprised to see this in the west.

I think the decision to "live" with someone is often more difficult than the decision to marry.

I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but the cultures I do know outside India, encourage a young couple to spend time with each other, live together as a couple before deciding to marry.
They do this because marriage is a solemn bond and they would like to think of it as the one and only marriage, a lifetime bond. Better to know a person completely before entering this partnership. Divorce is best avoided completely and never, ever encouraged as anything but the last resort.

If we would not enter a simple business partnership (which only concerns money, an insignificant and superficial item in the story of life) without understanding the partner completely, why would we do this with our lives?

Of course, I speak only for those who think like me. I do not dismiss arranged marriages, they have worked for centuries in India and will work for many people even now.

Quote:
Marriage is a bonding of two people and their families. When two people think that they have the same values, beliefs and would like to have others company they decide to tie the knot.
I agree. while I like to think of it as a bonding between two people, the finding of a mate - it is important to absorb and love everything that is important to each mate - and definitely family is very very important.

I just wonder how much can be discussed of values and beliefs for a lifetime in a few hours of ladki dekhna.

Even now, in progressive India I see many that want to marry for one or all of the following reasons.
  • My mother is old and my sister is married and gone. My mother needs help to run the house.
  • I need someone to take care of my parents.
  • My parents want grandchildren.
Jenny and I even have a gay Indian friend who wants to marry for those reasons. How sad is that for the girl who will marry him?

@ Patience wins, I do not know what your views are on homosexuality, but I'm suspecting that you do not approve of it. I respect your view, either way. But imagine this situation for a moment:

Can my homosexual friends parents truly know what is best for him? I have never seen a more loving, respectful person who loves his parents immensely and would do anything for them.
He loves his family, his Indian culture and values. He is a respectable model citizen of India, decent, educated and well-behaved, not the party-animal that most people imagine gay people to be.
And yet his parents neither understand homosexuality, nor want to discuss it.

Would this boy's parents really know what is best for him?
Quote:
The primary criterion for me was that the girl should be religious.
We all have different things we want from our lives and relationships. I understand and respect your criterion, if you will.

I was not trying to say that your view is wrong or incorrect, merely that there are other views and needs that exist side-by-side and if you would like your views to be respected, you must offer the same respect to the opinions that are not like yours. Please do not dismiss modern Indian culture as "aping the west" or "degradation of Indian values" and "hope that our society does not follow western culture" - it is a little disrespectful.

I urge you to see the reasons for the changes in our society and to seek the good in them (there is bad in everything).

You cannot claim that your way is better. It is better only for you and your family. Not for everyone else who reads your view.

I hope you understand.
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I talked to all the girls in private before selecting the right one. You would be surprised to know that even that is not acceptable in many families.
Please read the below as genuine curiosity.

Would a family (not yours, in general) actually expect you to choose a partner for life without having a single private word with her? In this day and age?

Then how would you discuss values, religion and beliefs with the potential partner? Or would one marry on the assumption that the beliefs of the parents will be 100% mirrored in the girl?
And how does the girl get to approve (or not) of the man in question? Does she have questions that she may ask of the man (in public, since the private conversation is not allowed)?

And does that still work amongst some of the educated youth today?

Please excuse my myriad questions. I mean no disrespect, I just don't know anyone in this situation and I think I speak for many of us.

I'm treading very gently, because I don't want to step on any toes. From relationships, we have driven down to culture and society and now we're bordering on (and desperately trying to circumnavigate) religion.

Our forum, society, country and culture exists solely on mutual respect of all those things.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 18th May 2009 at 11:51.
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Old 18th May 2009, 12:06   #27
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Default The story of my marraige.

It was sometime in October 2003.
Visiting home and senses dulled by all that food my mom was making.
My dad asks me about when I intend to get married.
Marry, now are you kidding.
Ladakh is waiting. India is waiting.
My bike is my life and no way do I need a wife to slow me down.

But of course I cannot say all that to my dad.
Not when my mum is around.

So I tell them with a deep breath of resignation.
I have a big list, pa.
You will need to find a girl who matches too many things.
I guess you better get started.

The list was quite exhaustive.
1. Must be well educated.
2. Her dad must be a college professor.
3. Must have a couple of siblings.
4. Her mom must be well educated.
5. Must have a family similar to ours.
blah blah blah.

I am thinking, now let me see my old man go thru confusion.

Next day,
My mom shakes me awake.
The first thing she says is, beta tu gaya.

They had called up a number listed in the classified.
Girl was the last of 4 sisters. Born to a Maths professor. Her mom a graduate. She, a university rank holder. Working in Reliance.

I felt like an idiot.
Everyone including fate had worked me into a trap.
But I had one super weapon in store.
I can always reject this girl.

Her sister was in Hyderabad.
Once I get back to the city. My dad instructs me to go there and meet them.
So a day is chosen and time set.
I go over.

A very nice family.
I am shown some pics of this girl.

When my dad called me later.
I have only one thing to ask him.
If he has finally gone crazy.
As there is no way such a beautiful girl will ever say yes to me.

Anyways, another date is set.
My parents are in Hyderabad.
Her parents arrive here.
She comes here.

We meet.
I fumble and mumble my way thru the meeting.

I still remember her asking me what languages I know.
I replied Pascal, C, Cobol and then said, oh you mean human languages.
Damn, did anyone make a bigger fool of themselves ever.

When everything is predetermined is there anything we can really do.

Happily married for more than 4 years now.

Life never really gave me a choice.
Ladakh is still waiting.
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Old 18th May 2009, 12:14   #28
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They do this because marriage is a solemn bond and they would like to think of it as the one and only marriage, a lifetime bond. Better to know a person completely before entering this partnership. Divorce is best avoided completely and never, ever encouraged as anything but the last resort.
You hit the nail on the head Sam. I would love to have a live-in relationship with the person for atleast a year before I get married. That said, I do respect the act of marriage and would want to get married just once in my lifetime and know that I was 100% sure this is the woman I wanted to be with, than repenting later on wondering why did I ever listen to my relatives and parents and end up ruining many more lives now.

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Of course, I speak only for those who think like me. I do not dismiss arranged marriages, they have worked for centuries in India and will work for many people even now.
I for one think like you. And so do many many people around me too. Be it in college or at work or my clients. Like I said, its a refreshing change, a change that I hope will only help more and more people from the suffering caused by a forced, unwilling marriage.

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How sad is that for the girl who will marry him?
We are a selfish lot of people aren't we?

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Or would one marry on the assumption that the beliefs of the parents will be 100% mirrored in the girl?
And how does the girl get to approve (or not) of the man in question? Does she have questions that she may ask of the man (in public, since the private conversation is not allowed)?
Sam, I can show you countless situations when one partner has had an account of a sexual relationship (before the marriage) in the past and their spouse has found out about it only after years and years of marriage and then decided to end it all in one shot (yeah, some people just cant stand to imagine their loved one with someone else, even if it was a long time back, even before they met). Also, I think we should be broad minded enough to accept someones past. I mean how many of us are sure that the person we are going to marry is a 100% virgin?
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Old 18th May 2009, 12:14   #29
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Bravo bblost, a good explanation of a modern arranged marriage.

It's match-making, where both the boy and girl have questions for each other and have the right to reject or approve of each other.
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Old 18th May 2009, 12:29   #30
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To put it in simple words, this is what the youth of today want.

1. For our parents to be more understanding. For them to respect our decision of who we want to spend the rest of our lives with without making religion, caste, creed a big issue.

2. An opportunity to spend time with the person to know if he/she is the right one. To be able to live through daily life situations and to know that you have the ability to stay and fight it out together through thick and thin. And to make sure that once you get married to that person, you have no one to blame but yourself if it fails.

3. We too care for true love, commitment, honesty, as much as our parents or their previous generations did. Just because we are trying to ape western cultures, doesn't always translate to we do not respect moral values anymore.
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