Arranged Marriages

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Arranged marriages have always belonged to traditional life in Nepal. In this regard, there are many rules which are determined by the caste system. Even if “love marriages” or marriages, which have been concluded with the choice of the partners, are an increasing phenomenon, reality is still dominated by marriages arranged by parents or relatives. However, due to social changes, the concept of an arranged marriage also undergoes a change, which is reflected above all by the increased participation of the young people who are going to marry in the selection process of their future spouses. Especially in the cities, it is more and more common that bride and groom get to know (and love) each other before the wedding.

For men, it is no problem to have two, three or more female friends at the same time, but women have to examine exactly what they are getting into. Often, young men force their girlfriends to have sex before the marriage. If the girl becomes pregnant it is the social out for her. The man is likely to leave her during pregnancy, she remains alone. The rate of suicide among young women is frighteningly high.

Marriage is a great incision in a woman’s life in Nepal. She leaves the parental home, moves into her husband’s house and lives there with his relatives. By these, the newly-wed woman is not always treated with respect. On the contrary: from the perspective of the bridegroom’s family, the consent to a marriage is seen as a kind of charity to the bride. The marriage is only accepted if the bride’s parents are able to pay a considerable dowry. In the new family, the bride often plays a role that even ranks underneath the other women of the family. It is now their duty not only to serve her husband, but her parents-in-law as well. She has to take care of most work in the house.