It’s been three years since I came to Dubai and worked for this present company. Since then, 5 of my work colleagues have gotten married through arranged system – they declare their wish to be married to their parents, their parents find a “match” and then the wedding is held. Some took a year to happen while others, only a few days.
Next month, another colleague will go back to India to get married. He had been wanting to get married since last year, saying “I will get married in April 2010” and when asked if he has a girlfriend, he says no. He talks of marriage with such conviction and certainty like someone going out to market and buy bananas.
Arranged marriage is still a very common practice in India and in some other parts of the world. It is not uncommon for couples to only see each other during the wedding ceremony. As someone who has been raised in a different country and culture where “love” or “attraction” is an essential part in choosing a lifetime partner, I am in awe of people who get into arranged marriages. It’s either they are submissive to their cultural and social norms, respectful of their parent’s wish or simply brave enough to face the unknown – which in this case, not just the marriage thing but the spouse as well.