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Response to “Arranging a Marriage in India”, GCSE Coursework Example

Pages: 1

Words: 404

GCSE Coursework

Before reading Serena Nanda’s “Arranging a Marriage in India,” it would be understandable to view arranged marriages as a traditional form of classism and elitism. Nanda does very little in her opening pages to deter me from this perception. In fact she further enforces it when she said, “The basic rule seems to be that a family’s reputation is most important. It is understood that matches would be arranged only within the same caste and general social class (Nanda, p107).” There is nothing appealing about this concept at first glance. This is true until the final page of the article where an Indian mother is quoted saying, “You Americans want everything done so quickly. You get married quickly and then just as quickly get divorced. Here we take marriage more seriously. We must take all the factors into account. It is not enough for us to learn by our mistakes. This is too serious a business. If a mistake is made we have not only ruined the life our son or daughter, but we have spoiled the reputation of our family as well (Nanda, p109).”  She goes on to note that if the reputation of the family is degraded than it will become more difficult for the brothers and sisters of the family to have arranged marriages. I admittedly learned something from this portion of the article. The common American view of arranged marriages has always been one of misunderstanding. I admit I have always viewed the endeavor as a sacrifice of freedom, of an inalienable right to be happy and follow one’s heart. This quote changed a lot of y thinking. On the surface, in western society it looks like Americans are falling in love, but most are in love with the idea of falling in love. In reality, westerners put little time into finding the right match and get married on a whim, not really planning for the future. Serena’s article does an amazing job of pointing out that arranged marriages are arranged by the loved ones of the couple, who have lived longer and tend to be much wiser in both matters of the heart and the reality of marriage after the infatuation stage. The real point she gets across is that arranged marriages are built to last, while western courtship is usually based on brief lust.

Work Cited

Nanda, Serena. Arranging a Marriage in India. N.p.: n.p., 1992. Sex and Marriage, 1992. Web.

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