On Saudi Marriages

Summertime is the preferred season for marriages in Saudi Arabia. I don’t like going to weddings but I always find myself socially obliged to attend quite a few of those between June and August every year, and this year more than before, many people who see me there ask me if I’m getting married soon. No, I say, not anytime soon. But as more and more of my peers tie the knot, the pressure from family and society as a whole increases and keeps mounting.

When friends ask what is keeping me off marriage, I give these answers:

  • I’m not ready to make that kind of commitment yet; I want to learn more about life, I want to travel and meet new people
  • I don’t like the traditional way in which people get married here; it’s blind and random and I don’t think it will work for me

The next question on people’s minds is usually this: so if you don’t like the old fashioned way of getting married, how do you intend to get married? Well, I say, I have a plan:

I would go on with my life, somewhere down the road I would meet someone, I we would get to know her each other, fall in love and marry her get married.

The reaction to my seemingly simple plan is usually: “then you will never get married.” This could be true in a sense because the extreme segregation of sexes in our society makes the chances of meeting a potential spouse pretty slim, if nonexistent. But as with many other things in the magic kingdom, I try to remain optimistic and not lose hope.

My mother, who was first shocked when I told her my plan, has recently made her peace with it. She said to me: “I’m done arguing with you about this marriage thing, so I will let you enjoy your little funky plan for now, but I’m pretty sure that in two years time you will come around begging me to find you a good girl.” I smiled and murmured: we will see…

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59 thoughts on “On Saudi Marriages

  1. Weither or not you get married is no ones business. But constantly mentioning it on your site makes it every ones business.
    I think Saudis aren’t as concerned about arranged marriages as much as they are worried about underage and out of wedlock sex..

  2. This post came with perfect timing!

    Marriage is just one of those things that can’t be rushed, it takes time to cultivate a relationship with a potential spouse before you take the plunge.

  3. …and considering that the “suitable male” supply here in DC is incredibly low, Marriage is the furthest thing from my mind. lol

  4. Ahmed, the traditional marraige, as you are describing it, is somehow related to what is called the blind date…I wonder if your have read the novel of Reyad Girls…It is a nice one I like it so much and it shows the contraditions and duality of “some” not only Saudi men but I assume it is also applied to many men from different regions in the Arab world…

  5. “I would go on with my life, somewhere down the road I would meet someone, I would get to know her, fall in love and marry her.”

    How self-centered plan that is :-p , you never mentioned *her* knowing or falling in love with you.

  6. One of my favorite authors, Joseph Campbell wrote that, “We must give up the life we planned in order to receive the life that is waiting for us..”

    I think your idea falls right in line with that thinking. Your heart will tell you when you have met the right one. Until then, follow your bliss and enjoy life.

  7. Yes it’s very true indeed… summertime is the wedding season… unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you see it, I don’t attend weddings unless I want to go because it’s someone I’m happy for.. I skip the “socially obliged” ones.

    Anyhow, you have a much darker view regarding meeting someone… or maybe it’s Riyadh and Shargiya’s fault…
    most of my friends who are engaged/married are with people they have known beforehand.. be it through social networks or family relations (Jeddah families mix a lot) or simply from encounters at the hospital or anywhere else.

    I have personally met a lot of ppl but I just haven’t the right one yet. So you see, you can stick to your plan. However, it doesn’t mean it’ll be successful… and the “traditional” way of marriage could work extremely well sometimes if it’s done the right way

  8. I am an American female college student taking a course on gender in the Middle East. One of the projects we are working on is reading blogs by men and women living in the Middle East to learn more about individual people rather than just the generalizations we hear through the news.
    I found your post about marriage to be very interesting because your ideas about marriage are quite different from what appears to be the “standard” in most Middle Eastern countries. Is your idea, of finding a partner rather than having one chosen for you, more common than it is made out to be in the media? Or are you one of the few that has this idea?
    I also find it an interesting topic because in the U.S. everyone thinks the way you do about marriage, and we shun the idea of “arranged marriage,” seeing it as something almost barbaric. For people in the U.S. falling in love with someone and marrying is the only way we think marriages should work. We seem to place a strong emphasis on finding our true loves (which, some say, is the reason we have such a high divorce rate).
    I just think it is interesting to see how different the views on marriage are from one culture to another.

  9. Kamran,
    I thought majority of Saudi men are self-centered…they only think about themselves, and not the woman…
    “Thou shall obey me” is their mantra.

  10. I’m a classmate of Graidi’s, working on the same assignment. I have to say, your blog is the most enjoyable to read of all the male-written blogs I’ve come across. I find your selection of human rights and free speech -related events, and your commentary, to be very interesting.
    I’m enrolled in this course to learn not only about issues of gender in the Middle East, but also to learn about the Middle East, point blank. I think that if we met and tried to carry on a conversation you would likely leave with the impression that I am like the youth you mentioned in an earlier post (On Saudi Students and Hijab in France, June 10, 2008): I do tend to be foolishly optimistic in my hope that a call for simple justice will change it all around, bring clarity to the confused and clouded minds of those who control our national fates. (Though I certainly would never attempt to bar my peers from educational opportunities….) Anyway, I want to thank you for writing and informing in a manner that is compelling, concise, and pleasantly varied.
    Reading through your blog I was left with the distinct impression that you are very liberal for your geographic circumstances. Your blog’s title, and previous header, for instance: are jeans and a t-shirt common apparel for Saudi youth? Or do you stand out in a crowd? The subject of gender segregation comes up pretty frequently in your posts (at a film festival, at the zoo, a professor persecuted for meeting a woman at a cafe, etc.), and this fascinates and appalls me. I can’t imagine accepting this as a part of daily life; my friendships and casual interactions with male strangers and acquaintances enrich my life, and I’m sure they’d all suffer without the influence of women. That being said, I don’t know exactly to what extent gender segregation is enforced, though from the example of the imprisonment of Muhammad Ali Abu Raziza I’d guess it’s pretty strict.
    I especially enjoyed your post about Happy Saudis. Your sad, sarcastic tone when asking your fellow citizens why they are ‘so goddamn happy’ made me wonder: do you think you all would fare any better if you were allowed the estrogen-laden compassion and commiseration you lack in the public world?
    (Or is the fact that I think that question is answerable further proof of my naivete?)

  11. Ya Akhi Ahmed,
    Do not be offended by what I said..it was not directed at you. I’m sure you’ll be a good husband to the woman you choose to marry.

  12. Graidi and Emily, I think I belong to a growing minority who don’t believe in the traditional way of getting married, and yes, I could be quite liberal for my surroundings but that’s relative in the end. Although our society seem to focus on exteriors and looks, I’d like to think that my ideas are what make me stand out in a crowd. How I choose to dress can be an indication and a reflection of those ideas, but that should not be the center of attention.

    As for the segregation thing, like Bassem said, it is also relative and can differ from one city to another. Saudi Arabia is a big country and there is a lot of diversity in social norms between the different regions. But in general, I would say the segregation is strictly enforced, although there is no way anyone can enforce a complete and total segregated environments all the time. I believe the current state of segregation is unnecessarily extreme and unjustified, as well as being socially pathogenic.

  13. Not sure if you could marry a woman from Saudi Arabia, call me strange or what ever you like but the more you learn about the rest of the world and the reality of your own society the further you’ll find your self from your own people. It’s a process that many of us go through, the first step being the rejection of the traditional ways of life, and second the rejection of the ways our countries are run. It seems like your well on your way on the path that is not a two way street.
    The more you ask the more questions you’ll continue to have, you’ll learn more but find your self more and more isolated. At some point you’ll miss not knowing but could not imagine a life any other way. Don’t marry until you’ve come to know the girl who truly understands you, and she herself wants to learn and grow as much as you do if not more.
    When your ready the right person will appear in front of you, just make sure you know her, and not just what she wishes for you to know.

  14. Ahmed, I pointed that out just for the pun. Didn’t expect you to take it seriously. But the very fact that you did take it seriously is an indication of you *not* being self-centered ;-) .

  15. Graidi, I found your post very enlighting and asking so many good questions. I am a cultural anthropology student with a focus in the MidEast. I am American, like yourself and minor in MidEast studies. I have lived in Bahrain for over one year and traveled to many countries in the Muslim world. I find that arranged marriages are not well understood in the West. I find that they can be very successful if they are done with both parties’ consent. I myself just married an American man after 7 weeks of dating. We have been married for 3 months now and I am happy I made the leap. I really like the feeling of being “morally acceptable”.

    Let me know if you have questions about the mideast. I know quite alot about Pakistan as well.

    Anthrogeek10

  16. What I think the view is unacceptable here when I deem appropriate to us, we believe others challenged custom and law, tribe and nation and every people what is important for them people do not know when we will thus generally May God and make us happy that someone has done it comfortable for Planning

  17. I hate Marriages , what I really enjoy about it , that I only attend 5 mins showing my face to my dad then away to go ;P celebrating somewhere else hehe getting home late with excuse * I was in the Wedding*

  18. It is true. We Saudis suffer alot from this unfair segregation thingy we have to get committed too due our traditions that we are forced to follow. My mom keeps on bugging me about the same issue but in a different way sure since I am a girl. I do share the same way of thinking “waiting for the right person” but with the problems married people have and the divorce rate, my hope is becoming less and less!!

  19. I attended a discussion at a social gathering one evening in a prominent Saudi house about marriage, you’ll be surprised to know that most of those elite young men preferred traditional marriage where there mothers choose a suitable match for them, I used to think that females would have a problem in marriage by default and now I think that both sexes are equally affected by such arrangement…a social adjustment in our life styles is a must to make room for individual choices instead of family members in marriage, maybe in a decade or so…

  20. This mother/marriage is so simple, we are mostly opportunists, in such case you’ve got all on the plate, mother and relatives are satisfied and if fails someone else is quilty :)

    I know I’ll be flamed for this …

    but someone have to stand even for prearranged marriage …..

  21. Ahmed,

    why did u steal my plan?

    same situation .. same plan, but my problem is also in the philosophy of long-term relationships … i mean, why do we have to be related to a partner for the rest of our life?
    this is boring.

    regards,
    hassan

  22. When it is written it is written. You are right about the travel part. If I had waited to get married to travel I never would have seen anything.

    Kids and a wife make it VERY hard to travel. Get that out of your blood before you marry or you’ll make the wife and the soon to be kids miserable in your longing.

  23. umm well even in other societies more “open” than the kingdom, meeting and getting to know people ..intersting and worthwhile people is very slim.. that im giving up on the whole “happily ever after” concept.

  24. “Arranged Marriage” is based on “hypocrisy” , both the guy and girl fabricate their acts to appear as “the best out there” but actually they hide their minors and flaws for a further emergence, and what that happens the s*** hits the fan.

  25. Dear Ahmed,
    I hope you find the right person for you!
    I met “my right person” when I was 39 years old. We’ve been married for 4 years and are very happy. It takes time to meet a right person but don’t be afraid! Keep going your way!
    AKO, Yokohama, Japan (Mrs.)

  26. Dear brother,don’t give up hope.
    I admit that meeting people here in Saudi is very tough,and even if you do ,you meet limited people ,which doens’t give much choices.
    I’m sure that one day you will meet your girl ..
    I didn’t meet my guy yet,once i thought that I did ,he was my love and was my everything but it didn’t work for us.
    I’m older than you and still hardly believe that I’m gonna meet the right guy for me who understands me and chooses me for whom i am…becuase i can’t accept a traditional marriage.
    Good Luck for all! :)

  27. no wonder y many saudi males becum faggots and child molesters and many saudi females have a lot of extra marital and pre marital sex.

  28. offff i know what you mean
    I hate traditional marriages too
    but what i hate the most is family pressure, it’s like they are the ones who are getting married not me.

  29. This is so true. This also happens in bahrein where arranged marraiges are so common. My grandmother for instance asked when am I going to get married and was shocked when I replied: Probably when im 30 or 35. The fact that she asked me this question while i am still 17 shocked me more !! :P

  30. Hi Anthrogeek10,
    I am very interested in Anthropology, and I believe I will be majoring in it now (for my undergrad degree). I am fairly new to anthro, and have only taken a few classes at my university, however, what I have learned in those few classes is amazing! In my intro to cultural anthro course, we talked about arranged marriages and watched a video about young adults in India who agreed or disagreed with the idea of arranged marriages. It was fascinating because, like you said, they are not very well understood in the West. I’m not saying that everyone should have an arranged marriage, however I think it is extremely important to listen and learn about both sides of the argument.
    This course I am currently in (which led me to this blog) is the first course I’ve had about the Middle East, but I am hoping to be able to learn more and take more classes. I really enjoy learning about different cultures in general, however I think the Middle East is fascinating to study because many Americans have very stereotypical ideas about the area, and I don’t want to be one of those Americans who only knows stereotypes about other regions of the world.
    Graidi

  31. Ahmed – Two Hoorays for you!!
    Whether you marry sooner or later on in your life; at the very least you have thought it out and are comfortable with your plans for the moment. It will keep your from the soaring divorce rate- you won’t be another stat.
    Its the others who enter this particular phase in their lives witout having a clue what it entails we sould worry about.
    South of your border they are marrying 8 and 9 year old boys and girls who then become part of the unpaid servants of the house (the girls that is- while their child husbands continue to play outside if the family can afford it or are bounced to the streets to work) and the money exchanged should only be dubbed slavery.
    I went too countless weddings in Yemen where the groom was marrying a relative who was days short out of the crib still playing with dolls; or where the bride was obligated to marry because her parents refused to feed and clothe her anymore and were marrying her off so they could have more free time to go to Qat chews. While grown, educated women (who by the way fought with their teeth to get the education) were considered unsuitable by marriage by equally educated men.
    And the whole concept of marrying someone who understands your needs be you man or woman is alien there; because of the way the system is set up- The guys are always together and the women are always together but families as a whole never really interact- just looking at the amusement park in Sana’a is an indication; the other is the amount of children out in the streets working while their parents are home and the single men are all squatting out on the curbs of the street useless because their work is being done by a 5, 8, 10 or 12 year old!

    When your are ready marry for the benefits it will bring to both of you; and for the right reasons have a family that you will be proud of and they as a family will be proud of you.

    What I have seen in my neck of the woods is yeh short of disgusting.

  32. Graidi,

    Kudos to you for stepping out of the insular thinking most Americans have! Also, travel travel travel! Live abroad to gain a greater perspective.
    Anthrogeek

  33. My hand is up, I do agree with you. It is a whole new life you are going to have, let it be also your own choice and dicision.

    But have it a clear word from me, I promise you, when time comes and you find her, you will wish you met her years ago and will want evey dear one to feel the same :) ask the expertise loool

    Nice topic

  34. I totally agree with you ahmed.. at least you’re a guy you get to choose “when” do you want to get married, it’s much more difficult for us girls.

    and here’s something that really annoys me about arranged marriages, a guy can tell his mother or sister or whoever is going to search for his “soon to be wife” that he wants her to be tall, short, fat, skinny, long haired etc.. with no judgment at all from his family or society in general.. however if a girl rejects a guy because of the way he looks.. she instantly becomes the shallow snob who thinks she’s better than everyone!

  35. and i really hate how “some” saudi guys focus on looks rather than personality when it comes to marriages.. it shows how much they think of women as objects.

  36. Salam to you,

    Your comment made me very happy!
    I found it to be such a relief to see a *trully romantic* soul out there in the Mideast, who from the outside is a “marriage boycotter”, but in reality cherishes the IDEAL of marriage
    (two souls being made for each other, knowing they belong to each other join for a hopefully long and harmonious relationship, maybe they are even so lucky to stay together for the rest of their lives)
    TRULLY unlike the ones *speaking* how great marriage is, and then – in my humble opinion – dirtying it by, just as you put it so well, randomly marrying someone.
    It makes marriage something you buy or consume in the bypassing – you are not sure whether to take this commodity or that commodity? well you just pick any, doesn’t matter that much *shoulder shrug*.
    I cannot say how disgusted I am by this behaviour. And saddened.

    I hope you will manage to not give in to pressure which might make you (and a girl not fully “fitting” you) unhappy, and rather find true happiness.
    I can tell you this happened for me and my husband – we met against all odds, at university, different faith, different nationality, different upbringing (his family is from deep Kurdistan, farmers basically in one of the least developed regions even of the Mideast I think; my father is a law professor.. I could make this list go on forever :).
    Well we are both so very happy after 8 years now (childless though, and still enjoying our lives as young professionals, travelling,..).
    I could not imagine having found one person understanding me so very completely and being made for me to this crazy extent from my “own kind” (class, nationality etc) my parents would have suggested for me (had I let them ;).
    Same says my husband..
    By the way, I am still amazed by how crazy my parents, especially my Dad went over this polite traditional Kurdish guy after meeting him twice (Mum needed longer :) and was more sceptical and resistant..)
    I have to say though I grew up in relative freedom in Austria, and so did my husband.
    But never say never, I d hope for more support for “our kind” by destiny in the near future!!

    Well I do not know if this means anything to you – I sure wish you all the best, and hope for you to have as much luck as I had! Trully, from the bottom of my heart. I am occasionally reading your posts and I find them so very inspiring. In many I find myself (despite I am a “she” :), so well even if you do not know me I have a sense of knowing you.
    Wish you all the best!!!

  37. @Ghada:
    I can partially see where you are coming from.

    2 comments on it:
    Are Saoudi girls really so different in this behaviour? Is it not that they also have their consensus to the marriage largely dependent on whether the guy is handsome? And that before meeting a suitable candidate hope him for being cute?
    Secondly, I am not sure this can entirely be reproached to the youth.
    I agree, character traits, intelligence, compassion, interest in the world, wisdom and knowledge, a good heart are SO many times more important when choosing someone you want to be with.
    But how are those qualities to be asessed in a handful of meetings?
    Knowing about these qualities would require spontaneous, relaxed, unlimited, uncoerced, unobserved time together. Only time can tell, and only when two people are going through a variety of daily life situations it happens they experience extraordinary situations together which is where they can see what the other is really like, how they harmonize with each other and what qualities are waiting beneath the surface.. and whether they can fall *in love*, which is different, SO different from a crush based on external looks.

  38. The subject of marriage. Thankfully, my family and friends never bother to badger me on that. Perhaps they deem that I’m not the least concerned by it. -lol- Anyhow, best of luck in bumping into your significant other during your next stroll on the road. :)

  39. Dina Kassam,
    Are Saoudi girls really so different in this behaviour? Is it not that they also have their consensus to the marriage largely dependent on whether the guy is handsome? And that before meeting a suitable candidate hope him for being cute?

    Of course they do.. depending on their (age- education- experiences..etc). When you talk about girls in their late-teens or early 20’s you can see that more, but as they get older you can see how they pay more attention to other aspects as well. Women get judged by the way they look more so than men here in ksa at least. the process of choosing a wife is very shallow and random no wonder the divorce rate have gone up.. when a guy divorce his wife I always hear people say (she was so pretty, what more could he ask for!) the blame is not on men only but on women too for accepting and believing that their entire role in life consists of looking pretty for their husbands and pleasing them.
    Sure looks matter, it’s only natural for people to be attracted to the way the other sex appeals but when it comes to choosing a partner for life.. I believe there are a lot of other qualities to consider.

    on your second comment.. it’s true it’s takes time to know the other person.. “Knowing about these qualities would require spontaneous, relaxed, unlimited, uncoerced, unobserved time together. Only time can tell, and only when two people are going through a variety of daily life situations it happens they experience extraordinary situations together which is where they can see what the other is really like, how they harmonize with each other and what qualities are waiting beneath the surface.. and whether they can fall *in love*, which is different, SO different from a crush based on external looks.” I think you summed up everything wrong with arranged marriages.. it takes time and experiences to know the other person which simply does not exist in traditional arranged marriages..

  40. Hello everyone,

    I was reading this blog and I am glad to know that there are people who think like you do. If we want to be able to bring about a change in what we “traditionally” are forced to do, we have to talk about it, first and foremost, then we need to change ourselves. I mean listen to what Maha mentioned above that she won’t settle for just a traditional marriage. That is the first step. We should fight these non-sense arranged marriages. I was married once and it did not work because it was an arranged marriage. I strongly believe that we ought to bring about the change ourselves and not wait for miracles to happen.

    Sami

  41. Ghada, I am glad you replied in such depth – and I agree with everything you evoked.
    FULLY.
    It is a tragedy girls are reduced to a pretty face and figure. Yes, guys and families look for beauty in a wife (and obedience) more than anything else. Why should intelligence and a bright spirit matter if wives are expected to not work outside the house? on the contrary, such deeds could threaten the husband and his alleged superiority, on an intellectual level..
    So the problem of girls being judged according to their looks stems from something deeply rooted in society.
    I wonder how those people more often than not claiming to be very practising, religiously, can act so if precisely Qu’ran advocates the spiritual wife is to be preferred over the beautiful one. Judging from the Sunnah, at that time spirituality and intelligence, and even a sharp tongue coupled with brightness (think Aisha), went hand in hand.
    So especially pious members of society should rethink their actions.
    I doubt they will – isn’t everyone proud to have a beautiful face at home. And isn’t intelligence in a woman too much to take for many men?
    (However this shows weakness in a man – only the strongest can take a partner able to keep up with them on a mental level..)

    As for what love is about, and how it can be discovered by two people getting to know each other – I am glad I have your agreement :)

  42. i’m late in commenting..ha but anyway I wanted to say i hate the traditional way of marriages too! I mean I just read that link you posted..what in the world does that woman mean by ‘love comes after marriage’?! our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said ‘there’s no better ending for two lovers than marriage’. so there you go, marriage deepens love. abut you’ve to play it safe..no pre-marital dating. that’s strictly classified haram! good luck in finding the right woman!

  43. I do not like the tradional way either. Parents shouldn’t force the kids the marry who they dont want. And i think it won’t be sucessful.. I’m glad there r people like u thinking in that way. And i support it 100%. Everyone should marry for love not by arranging. Good luck!

  44. There really is something wonderful about falling in love. I don’t know if you can get that in an arranged marriage. I think being in love helps you take the tough times together and be good parents. I also think it decreases the chance someone will cheat. I waited until I was 38 to marry. I love him and we will have 1 child. He has never been married before either. I really dated very little. I wish I would have found my husband when I was younger so I could have had more years with him when I was younger, but I am happier yet just to feel as close to him as I do. I think everyone has different emotional and intectual needs and they have to be true to themselves to be good to a spouse.

  45. I totally agree with you.. love takes time. Getting to know someone and finding out that the aren’t the right one early, is better to me, than finding out once you are already married that you can’t stand to be in the same room with the person you have married. lol

    SO… I agreez!

    • The real reason Saudi girls won’t marry non-Saudi men is prejudice and Saudi culture of marrying inside their family’s cultural financial/power level. Maybe, if the girl is from Hejaz and her parents are very liberal you might have a chance. But if you are from Nej, forget it. The number one reason is no one will marry your children because their blood isn’t pure Saudi (more important in Jej – because there are just so many families related down from the King’s family that only marry into each other’s families, again to keep the money inside the family’s lineage). And, marrying outside of your family means the money (dowry) moves leaves the family line. Also, it means that the Saudi passport can be given to non-Saudi’s, too. When you are dealing with a long line of traditional, tribal affiliations, marriage is arranged because it solves a lot of issues and continues business connections and consolidates power structures. The further away your family blood is from the royal bloodlines in history the easier it is to be able to marry outside of the strict ideas of what marriage is for. Love really had nothing to do with marriage for thousands of years. If yor arranged marriage happened to develop into love then you were one of the lucky ones. Men are more lucky because it is far easier for them to divorce or marry more than one woman at a time if they weren’t disappointed in the marriage. Divorce isn’t frowned upon where arranged marriage is the norm, or thought of as quite the failure as it is in the West because your partner was chosen for you based on different criteria regardless of what the two marriage partners were told. When you choose who you marry, after time spent getting to know each other, then divorce is thought of as a personal failure. That is how the arranged marriage method came into existence. It was used to connect tribes together and consolidate power politically and keep control of who has money and power in the country, Also, debts were paid by arranged marriage. Look at Afghanistan where women are used to pay back blood money debts when one family’s member kills a different, separate family’s member. The killer’s family will give some of their women, along with money and material goods to pay the blood money debt. So, Saudi girls, you are luckier than you know!

      Fight hard to change your system or your culture will become more and more shallow as it becomes too easy to get married and throw people away if it doesn’t work out. Oil money’s wealth is changing your ancient culture’s meanings/reason for arranged marriages in the first place. It also explains why when a couple can’t produce heirs, the blame in the past always fell on the woman by the husband and his family, before medical information came and showed it was the man’s fault (low or bad sperm), not the women’s fault as in the past she would be divorced and everyone would feel sorry for her and no one would want to remarry her. Reputation and appearances are the most important issues in your culture and that is why so many secrets are kept when two families are in negotiations for their children to marry. Especially, the richer and more powerful the families are in the culture, as the marriage usually means the two families will consolidate their business and power in the future as more marriages will take place in the future. Remember, the best marriage for thousands of years has been the two first cousins on the grandfather’s side. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a small gene pool producing much birth defects like hemophelia, etc…
      Just an American’s view on your culture.

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