A fixed marriage, also known as an arranged marriage, is a type of marriage in which the people getting married are chosen by their families or a matchmaker, rather than the people themselves.
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In this type of marriage, the families of the bride and groom usually negotiate and agree on a marriage arrangement, often based on factors such as social status, economic background, religion, and other cultural traditions.
Fixed marriage has been practiced in various cultures throughout history, and its origins can be traced back to ancient times. In some cultures, fixed marriage was common for centuries, and in many parts of the world it is still widespread today.
Pros and Cons of Fixed Marriage
As mentioned, the families of the bride and groom play a significant role in the selection of the marriage partner. While the practice of fixed marriage is controversial and often criticized for being outdated and oppressive, there are still many who support it. Here are some reasons why:
- Some individuals think that arranged marriages can result in more enduring and secure relationships. Arranged marriages involve the families of the prospective bride and groom in finding a suitable partner for their child. This approach can guarantee that the couple has similar beliefs, values, and cultural heritage, all of which are crucial for establishing a solid basis for a long-lasting relationship.
- Arranged marriages can offer financial and social security to both partners and their families. In several cultures, arranged marriages are viewed as a means to establish connections between families or to sustain social standing. Through arranged marriages, families can guarantee their children’s financial stability and preserve their social status.
- In addition, there are individuals who endorse arranged marriages due to their cultural and religious beliefs. For many societies, marriage signifies the union of not just two individuals, but also two families. Arranged marriages are often viewed as a means to uphold cultural and religious customs, as well as maintain the values of the family.
Although fixed marriages have supporters, they are widely criticized and opposed due to various reasons. Here are some of the drawbacks of fixed marriages.
- A fixed marriage can limit personal freedom and autonomy as partners don’t get to choose each other based on personal preference or attraction, leading to potential feelings of resentment, unhappiness, and unfulfillment in the relationship.
- Marriages that are arranged without the consent of one or both parties can have negative impacts on individuals and families. This type of arrangement, also known as forced marriage, may result in physical and emotional abuse, as well as psychological trauma. Fixed marriages can also reinforce gender and caste inequality as social status factors into the selection of marriage partners.
- Arranged marriages can sometimes lead to legal and moral concerns. Certain situations of arranged marriages may involve force or even human trafficking, which are both illegal and unethical. Arranged marriages may also infringe upon human rights and personal freedoms, as they often involve the denial of the right to choose one’s own partner and the right to marry based on personal preference.
Cultural Differences in Fixed Marriage
The practice of fixed marriage, also known as arranged marriage, differs across various cultures and regions of the world. Below is a summary of the various cultural practices related to fixed marriage.
Fixed marriage is a strong cultural tradition in many parts of South Asia, like India and Pakistan. It involves families in choosing a partner for their child. The selection process considers factors such as social status, caste, and religion.
The practice of arranged marriage is common in certain parts of the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, the level of family involvement in the partner selection process varies among different families, with some being more actively involved than others.
Many African cultures have a tradition of arranged marriages, where families help select a partner. However, the level of family involvement varies between cultures, with some allowing for more choice and flexibility in the selection process.
Fixed marriage practices have changed with time and are now more flexible. Nowadays, individuals involved in fixed marriages have more independence and can make their own choices.
For instance, they can interact and build a relationship before the marriage is arranged, and have more input in the final decision-making.
Achala’s and Goban’s Love Story
Achala and Goban’s story is a unique example of how arranged marriages can sometimes lead to love and happiness.
Despite their initial reservations about the concept of arranged marriages, they found themselves in a situation where their fathers had arranged a meeting between them over Skype.
What followed was a series of conversations that led to them getting to know each other better, and they soon realized that they had a lot in common.
Even though Achala never wanted to marry a man from Sri Lanka because she believed that many of them had an old-fashioned view of women, she found something different in Goban.
He was gentle, kind, and understanding. This made her feel comfortable around him, and soon enough, they began to develop feelings for each other.
The turning point in their relationship came when they met in person and spent time together.
They had a strong connection, and even though they were aware that they were being pushed into marriage by their families, they both felt that they had found someone special.
After getting married, Achala and Goban had to work on their relationship like any other couple. They had their disagreements, but they also found ways to overcome them. It was during this time that they fell in love with each other.
For Goban, it was the moment when Achala gave him a kiss on the cheek, while for Achala, it was the moment when they were talking on Skype, and Goban told her he was going to bed.
In the end, Achala and Goban’s story is one of love and commitment. They proved that arranged marriages can work if the two people involved are willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work. They also demonstrated that sometimes, love can come when you least expect it.