Ever been in the cringing situation where a relative, usually an aunt, corners you at an event and drags you to meet someone that she believes you are a perfect match for? For some, the last thing they want is for their loved one to play Cupid in their lives; however in countries like India, the act of finding a life partner, which is widely known as an arranged marriage, has been going on for a long time.
In a recent program, where media maven Oprah Winfrey, toured India, the subject was touched upon as she held discussions with Indian women on their role within their society. One particular interviewee was happy with the fact that her parents had selected her husband; she wasn’t bothered at all and expressed her confidence in their ability to find her a worthy suitor, as she believed they knew her character and what would appeal to her, and that they would select someone from a good family. Her views appeared to be confirmed as she seemed to be happy in the union.
Whilst the experience of one does not encapsulate that of others, can we assume that arranged marriages stand a better chance, as they have potent ingredients, as mentioned by the interviewed lady? In addition, one voice of reason could say that there’s no harm in meeting someone through another person. Furthermore, if we go as far back as the days recorded in, arguably the oldest book in the world, the Christian Bible ….a servant as directed by his master, Abraham, was sent to another land to look for a wife for his son Isaac, he was told the family from which the lady was to be selected from, as well as other factors to look out for in bringing the right wife (i.e. Rebekah) for his son and it seemed a good choice was made as it was recorded that Isaac loved her.
However, if we look in more recent times, at the Princes Charles/Diana/Camilla love triangle in the British royal family, we can argue that nature should be allowed to take its course. For those who aren’t avid royal watchers (like the rest of us) and are unfamiliar with the story, here’s a quick rundown of the saga (or perhaps the word drama is a better term):
Prince Charles was originally supposed to marry Diana’s sister (arranged marriage) but she suffered from anorexia, so Diana was chosen in her stead. Even though he had met Camilla beforehand and was in love with her, he wasn’t allowed to marry her due to several royal restrictions. Fast forward at least 30 years later, marital infidelities, divorces, one death (Diana’s) and children and they have ended up together and are happily celebrating 7 years of marriage this year. It makes one wonder if all the unpleasant things could have been avoided if they had been allowed to be together from the beginning. However, if that was the case there may not have been a Prince William, who met Kate; and have become the famous couple that millions love (hmmm I don’t know about you, but I’ll take Will and Kate).
Whilst there may be pros and cons, the former being that your proposed partner would be screened by your loved ones; and the latter being that they can’t predict the future so they don’t know how the person will turn out, it seems there may be no clear cut answer to the question about the potency of arranged marriages; for some it’s worked, for others it hasn’t. So… like my French brothers and sisters would say ‘Chacun à son gout’ meaning each to his own; ultimately the decision lies with you. Here’s to hoping that the path we take leads us on the road to happiness.