I’ve recently learned from a friend about Indian marital traditions. Their family, and all of their social circle, follows the customs of parents choosing a spouse for their child based on considerations of prestige. I felt quite disturbed to hear how it is done. For instance, one may see their soon to be spouse for just an hour before the wedding. And they even have techniques and questionarries to prepare for these moments.
While it’s easy to discard these traditions as archaic, rude, dishonouring to the children, I force myself not to blindly follow modern ways of thought about marriage. Perhaps there might be something good about these traditions that we don’t see anymore because the whole idea in general appears to be bizarre.
One thing, that I’m very very jealous, for sure is the respect and reverance my friend shows to their parents. There’s also a sense of community and feeling of being obliged to their social circle. I often notice after myself that I don’t respect my parents’ opinion on things, thinking that I’m smarter and my sources of information are better, and also I notice that I try not to care of what people will think of me. It is especially easy to do as when one has money in this modern very much technologically developed part of the world, because they can buy food, shelter, health care, transportation, leisure and entertainment, childcare etc. Many of these things might be not achievable without a strong social bond a few centuries ago.
I’m not saying that forcing people into something they don’t want to do is a good idea. I just try not to define what’s good and bad.