November 3, Provided Pat Cassano, assistant professor of nutritional sciences, and Ron Booker, associate professor of neurobiology and behavior, are an interracial couple who have been together since she was 19 and he was 20 years old, about 31 years ago. Interracial relationships and marriages are becoming more common in the United States, according to a new Cornell University study. The number of interracial marriages involving whites, blacks and Hispanics each year in the United States has jumped tenfold since the s, but the older individuals are, the less likely they are to partner with someone of a different race, finds the new study.
Indeed, almost all devout Hindus and some orthodox Jews still practice the custom of arranged marriage. Although the specific practices surrounding arranged marriages differ from group to group, the institution of arranged marriage tends to function in similar ways across cultures.
Like any time-tested tradition, the practice of arranging matrimony holds up in many societies because it stabilizes and connects families, preserves social and economic order and reinforces religious values. For example, for the Amish, the family unit is the religious and economic backbone of the community and marriage is the backbone of each individual family.
Although Amish parents do not officially select marriage partners for their children, they do require that young adults choose other church members in good standing as their spouses. In some traditional African societies, intricate trade relationships are maintained through arranged matrimonial alliances.
In present-day Indian culture, marriages are arranged according to a complex, intricate system of rules and customs.
Many factors are taken into consideration when contemplating a match between two people, including wealth, age, family reputation, diet, astrology, religion, caste, appearance, profession, family plans and education.
Dating and matchmaking sites geared specifically toward Indians and South Asians enable singles and their families to search for prospective matches around the world, using a dizzying array of criteria to find the perfect match. Parents are involved in the matchmaking process to varying degrees.
There is the traditional arranged marriage, in which parents choose a spouse for their son or daughter although the son or daughter may decline the match and have that wish respected. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the incredibly common and relaxed introduction-only arranged marriage, in which the couple is simply introduced by family members or friends who think they would be compatible.
Their families may meet and socialize and although the parents and other family members may have strong opinions about the desirability of the match, the decision of whether to pursue matrimony is left up to the couple themselves.
Though incredibly rare in the West and in India, the custom of forced marriage is still practiced in some parts of the world, in which one or both partners have no say whatsoever in the choice of spouse sometimes under threat of punishment or death.
In modern India, dowry is now officially a crime, although in many cultures, a symbolic dowry is still awarded. The question of whether or not to have an arranged marriage is an interesting one for many young Indian-American men and women today, particularly those whose parents grew up in India and had arranged marriages themselves.
Not wanting to disappoint their families or lose sight of their heritage, many of these young people give arranged marriages a chance, hoping to strike a balance between tradition and modern-day romantic compatibility. Proponents of arranged marriage offer many arguments as to why this practice is much more likely to ensure happiness, productivity, and a healthy family life, than simply marrying for love and attraction.
With the emphasis taken away from romantic love, lust, and physical attractiveness, arranged marriages are naturally more focused on practical character assets integrity, compassion, resourcefulness, industriousness and genuine affection that grows with time and experience.
Supporters often cite the remarkably lower divorce rate among arranged marriages; however, this difference is easily attributable to the fact that divorce is simply not a viable or acceptable option in many Indian communities.
Arranged marriage does, however, seem to protect couples from entering a marriage based solely on physical passion, which often overrides more practical concerns that lead to long-term satisfaction. On the other hand, many including individuals of Indian descentfeel strongly that arranging marriage inhibits freedom and independence, and that it has no place in modern society.
For example, education is of prime importance for both men and women in India. High-earning jobs and advanced degrees are the norm, but there is also pressure on even working women to produce male heirs and keep a proper, traditional home.
Many of these couples feel they live in two separate, often incompatible worlds, and that they must live up to high standards in both. They often feel powerless and ambivalent about who they are and what their lives should look like.
For those caught between traditional marriage practices in their cultures of origin and the pervasive Western ideal of romantic love, a lot is at stake. There is a certain safety in the arrangement of a serviceable marriage that will likely never end in divorce, but that often comes at the price of romance and mystery.
Also, individuals who may have a harder time securing the attention of the opposite sex are somewhat freer in the world of arranged marriages, since most decisions are not made on the basis of popular notions of physical attractiveness.
The playing field is leveled in many ways, offering them a more equal chance at finding a good marriage partner. However, ideas about what is attractive and desirable are still at work here, from body shape and size to complexion color.Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings.
There are many kinds of love, but most people seek its expression in a romantic relationship with a compatible partner. Among those ages 50 and older, a majority (55%) say society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority.
Not surprisingly, married adults are more likely than those who have never been married to say that society is better off if people prioritize marriage and having children (54% vs. 32%). A study in Jaipur, India a few decades ago found that people in love marriages were more in love for the first five years, while those in arranged marriages were more in love for the next 30 years.
Second, we can invest more time and effort into our relationships by spending more quality time together (note the use of the word quality—spacing out in front of bad television may not qualify). Permissive liberalism has marred the concept that traditional marriage relationships no longer fit within today’s expectations.
Attitudes glamorizing fornication, adultery, and every form of promiscuity permeate society through literature, movies and the arts.
Especially when we look into history, we find that there is a correlation between our decrease of spirituality/religion and our increase in anxiety and depression.
I am guessing that a certain spirituality is also bound to a healthy relationship.