I was about 14 years old when my vocational teacher (not from my school) told me this incident: one of her good friends from her office chose to marry a girl just because he did not wanted to disappointed his mother. The love birds broke-up days before his marriage, to marry an unknown woman his mother chose. My teacher had all praise for him for that decision, yet my young mind could not understand his side of story more importantly the hidden reason behind that decision.
During my college days, I had a friend who preferred arranged marriage over Love marriage. She had her parents to look upon, admire and have that strong belief in this institution. But when Diana and Prince Charles divorced, her strong belief towards arranged marriage was terribly shaken.
I have friends who are doing well in arranged marriages and I also have friends who are not doing that well even after a love affair before marriage. When situation turns like that, we tend to analyze the pros and cons of both types of marriages.
Let’s give another twist to this question: in Western world, love marriage is only an option and in my side of the world, arranged marriage is a culture with traditional values. If you go for an arranged marriage, it means you are very family oriented person and will tie the knot at your family’s wish, like the guy who married the girl his mother chose for him.
As for me, the choice of arranged marriage has another angle. This traditional institution is based on the transfer of ancestral property to the offspring. If ancestral property is not transferred from fathers to sons and if the main person in the household is given a choice to give away his /her properties as per his/her wish, this facade of the family oriented decision will have clearer picture: the aspect, some people prefer to ignore.
If people are given choices in choosing their life partners, they would certainly use their intelligence in choosing the right partners and that won’t diminish any family values. There should be no financial matter involved during the decision taking. If the ‘will system’ in passing the ancestral property is implemented in Nepal; there won’t be such thing like Western culture and Eastern culture when marriage is concerned. The culture and traditional values will be a lot more different than what we witness now.
Woman, money and land are not the only reasons leading to war all time; it is also a reason that helps one to decide on the wrong and right.
I am pretty sure; if marriage is not done for money or land, people will definitely go for love marriage instead of an arranged one.
In a different note, love marriage is popular in developed countries and arranged marriage is more popular in developing countries. Does that choice has anything to do with being rich or poor based on the marriage tradition ?
Eds' Note : This article has already been Posted on on Xnepali.com.