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Marriage Arrangements In Central Asia

May 24, 2008
Family in Central Asia starts with match making arrangements. A person who knows well both bride's and groom's family takes responsibility of arranging their marriage. Sometimes up to 3 or 4 people participate in this very important task. Most of the time it is an elder woman who has the wisdom gained from prior experiences of arranging marriages, less commonly it is done by the parents of two young people.

Person who arranges the marriage chooses the bride or groom from two very respectable and educated families. It is a very difficult process, description of the bride to be or groom to be must be accurate, well presented and trustworthy.

In many Central Asian counties those who arrange the marriage visit homes of future bride on behalf of groom and his family and propose marriage. Future of young family depends on groom's character, his parent's and relative's life experiences and the marriage arranger herself. By taking the responsibility of match making person has to know everything about bride's and groom's families and as well as bride and groom themselves otherwise it is considered a big sin to arrange an unhappy marriage for both families. Those people must understand that well being and future of the young family is in their hands.

People of Central Asia have a saying, "those who have a bride, have the caprices", marriage arrangers visit bride's homes several times before getting an agreement for the proposed marriage. Then marriage arrangers return to groom's home, they are greeted with a question, "wolf or fox?" If they brought the good news the answer is "wolf", and if the bride has not agreed to the marriage the answer is "fox".

Match makers visit the desired bride's home several times in order to obtain her agreement to the marriage. When the bride gives her positive answer to the marriage, the match maker "breaks the bread" to announce the engagement.

In ancient Central Asia the match makes couldn't come into brides home to propose the marriage without informing the bride's family. The match makes or sometimes mother of the groom came early in the morning when everyone was sleeping to the bride's home and swept the floor near the entrance door to the bride's home that would show the bride's parents that there is a family who is interested in proposing marriage to their daughter. Next bride's family would start to prepare for the visit of the match maker, by trying to find out from which family the groom is and learn more about the groom and his family. Parents of the bride did not agree to the marriage from first visit of the match makes even if they were in favor of it. First bride's family had to show its' pride and give an impressions of their daughter as hard to get bride, which would bring brides' and her family's status higher.

In present time the process of match making became easier in some parts of Central Asia, young women and men meet each other in their own and then ask their parents for permission to the marriage or their parents or immediate family members play the role of match makers. They tell each other about their families, relatives and other background information. A lot of attention is paid to how neighbors describe the bride or groom and references from school or work.

Bride and groom are allowed to have few dates before giving their final agreement for the engagement. Those dates are very important as they give young people an opportunity to find out more information about each other, such as their views on different aspects of life, their personalities and interests. Based on those dates they are able to make a better decision about the possibility of future marriage.

Marriage arrangement is an ancient and well respected tradition of Central Asia.
About the Author
Julia Feydman, has always been fascinated by the history and culture of Central Asian countries. Over time, her passion as well as many memorable trips to the area have grown into a successful U.S. based travel agency - East Site, Inc. Central Asia travel is one of the major routes her company specializes in.
Visit her travel website East-Site.com today and discover Central Asia for yourself!
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