Friday, September 16, 2011

Tribal marriage

The tribal model of marriage:
It’s thoroughly depressing that some Indian girls are still being married off by age 12… suspiciously coincidental with the age of menarche. The obsession with female virginity obscenely reduces half the world to a box of disposable tissues with a faulty seal:
[A]s Thomas Aquinas once noted, the generative power of the Holy Ghost pierced the Virgin’s hymen ‘like a ray of sunshine through a window–leaving it unbroken.’
… Today the NYT reminds us Neanderthal marriage customs are not a uniquely desi shame, they’re tribal:
More than half of Kyrgyzstan’s married women were snatched from the street by their husbands in a custom known as “ala kachuu,” which translates roughly as “grab and run.” … at least a third of Kyrgyzstan’s brides are now taken against their will. Kyrgyz men say they snatch women because it is easier than courtship and cheaper than paying the standard “bride price,” which can be as much as $800 plus a cow.
This in particular is reminiscent of desi village culture:
Once a girl has been kept in the home overnight, her fate is all but sealed: with her virginity suspect and her name disgraced, she will find it difficult to attract any other husband… “Every good marriage begins in tears,” a Kyrgyz saying goes.
It’s always bothered me the way the doli / vidai in a Hindu wedding ends in tears… At its heart it’s a submission ritual: the baraatis have stormed the gates, the bride has been caught, the doli is her broken surrender, carried off in a palanquin to the conqueror’s harem. ’Dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge’: it’s Alexander entering Babylon, Hulagu entering Baghdad.


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  2. I have always had mixed feeling about this virginity thing. If it is so important for the girls to be it not also not the woman's right to demand that the boys also be virgins. Why should women accept less then perfect or pure or clean, etc, etc, etc... that is why I have hated the 2 colors that are so intertwined in hindu customs with marriage - red for suhag and white for without suhaag=widows. And yes I begrudgingly wore red for my wedding because I had no choice... I would have liked to worn at least pink or magenta and blue off course or but I broke down and accepted.

  3. Agreed with u .. Actually Indian soceity is basically male dominating .. They have to bound female to do all these stupid things .. which have no reasons ... & nobody protests against those rituals ... Bt some how I think .. In Indian soceity when a girl is born , her mind set up grows like these way that she has to be follow these rituals ,she cant denies for some superstitions or doesnt want to break the myth ..