Love Marriage in Nepal: – Marriage in Nepal is a very complicated matter. Unlike in the western country where two people fall in love and decide to marry in order to together do not quite apply in the general case of Nepal. It is not an individual decision. Instead, it is a social decision. Families and societies get together to decide upon a marriage.
There is an elaborate kind of meetings and arrangements that occur before deciding upon a marriage. First is when the groom’s family finds out about the girl and her family who have been proposed for the marriage.
The family first has to decide whether the girl is suitable and the family is also respectable. If the family is positive, then only the boy or the to-be groom is allowed to see the girl. The girl and boy cannot, however, meet each other privately.
Both the families come together and this is when the girl and the boy see each other and upon some public exchange of talks, they have to decide whether they want to get married to that particular person or not. Arranged marriages of this kind are the most popular and the most sought-after type of marriages in Nepal. In all of the arrangements that take place, love between the girl and the boy is not even an issue to be discussed. The focus is on whether the two would be the right match not if they would fall in love. Love is supposed to happen by chance in the later parts of their life after marriage.
This is the acceptable form of marriage among the upper and middle-class people in Nepal. Even until today, the marriage where the boy and girl fall in love and decide to marry is very rare and is not given that much of respect as arranged marriage.
Love marriages are still a taboo. Of course, at this day and age when after a legal age, individuals are allowed to marry whoever they want to marry, the family and the society does not recognize love marriages.
Love marriages, as rare as they may be, do not end up very well too. Because once a girl and a boy decide to marry across cultures and religion, the family and society show zero tolerance.
They do not cooperate and we often hear of cases where family pressurizes the boy and the girl to break the relation off. Or, they are asked to leave the family. In many cases, the couples decide to leave all their belongings and stay away from the family.
They are treated as an outcast by the family and the society. They are not allowed to participate in social functions and celebrations or are just straightaway disowned by the concerned families.
So, love marriages in Nepal is still a concept that is looked with contempt. Everyone in their family would have had a few cases where love affairs have been disregarded by the family and because of that, they had to marry someone else for the happiness of the family and the society. In such cases, the people are supposed to just forget their love and their want in order to please the family and the society.
So, as it is, the society in Nepal is one that is very suppressed in its own love and happiness. Such repressed society is not a very healthy environment to be in. So, it is the time that love marriages are given due regards. It should be recognized as the right of adult individuals to choose their own life partners the way they want to.
Reasons why love marriages are not the norm in Nepal
Even to this day and age, love marriages are not the acceptable norm in Nepal. Even though few people have now started accepting love marriages, it is still supposed to be something that is done against the interest of the family and the community.
It is made to look like an offense against the will of the family. Few educated people and people from the city areas have started to accept these kinds of marriages. But, even then it is regarded as something not desirable in the orthodox social circle. Given below are few of the reasons why love marriages are not the norm in the traditionally oriented Nepali mindset.
Love marriage is not the Tradition
Traditionally, Nepali marriages happen when families get together and arrange the whole thing between two matching couples. Individual preference is never even thought of as an issue that should be taken into consideration. And when generations after generations this thing has been going on, it becomes a norm and a tradition. Our parents and grandparents were raised in that kind of environment.
So, obviously, they would also expect our generation to comply with the same rules as far as possible. The way they understand, arranged marriage is the best option there is for anyone who wants to marry. So, they do not recognize love marriage as a possibility with a good outcome. That is why, out of tradition too, arranged marriages are preferred to love marriages in general.
Society reserves the right to match couples
To marry the children is the duty of the parents. That is how the society has made every rule. As a result, the responsibility of finding the right match and to marry their son or daughter becomes something that is of utmost importance.
For the marriage of their sons and daughters, the society starts looking for a perfect match from their very young age itself. And when it is the society and family which is looking for the partner, of course, they would not be worried about love, they would only be worried about matching.
They would consider things like salary, job, good house, looks and everything else that ensures a comfortable lifestyle. Love is not even a thing that they would consider while matching a marriage. That is why, in the society like this, love marriages are not the norm and arranged marriage is much more prevalent than any other.
Many pre-requisites need to be matched before marriage
There are many limitations in the society when it comes to marriage. Things like class, caste, religion, birth charts and everything need to be very closely matched before marriage between any two individuals.
Inter-caste or inter-religion marriage or any relation where the two parties are different from each other is not allowed. In fact, the society would not accept inter caste or inter-religion marriage at all.
Apart from that, even the birth charts between these two people are compared for compatibility test. If the chart shows any kind of astrological defects that marriage should not happen, the marriage is halted then and there.
There is no marriage when the priests decide that astrologically, the given two individuals are not a good match with each other. In such conditions, love marriage would not be possible in a society like what we have here.
The Rising Popularity of Love Marriages in Nepal
With the turn of the century, instances of love marriage have also started to be heard time and again in Nepal. Nepali society is getting more educated and has started respecting individuals happiness rather than worrying about the society and traditions.
People have understood the fact that unwanted traditions need to be rooted out and traditions that go well with the society and make individuals happy should be followed.
That is the reason love marriages have been on the rise in today’s society and culture. Youngsters these days reserve the right to choose and marry their preference rather than going for the one society and family approves for. Given below are few of the reasons why love marriages are on the rise in the society of today:
As people are getting more educated, they have realized the fact that before belonging to any caste, creed, or status, humans are humans. And humans do fall in love. When it comes to love, all these things like caste, creed, status and family circumstances do not matter. It is the decision of the individual regarding who he or she wants to spend their lives with. It is not the decision of the family or the society.
Family and society can only be the support system when it comes to marriages but cannot be the ones to decide who to fall in love with or who to spend their lives with. Education has become a reason why this kind of awareness has come to the people in Nepal.
Because of education, they have realized that people should not bother about other’s personal life and should respect every individual despite their religious, social or economic standing.
Today, the world has become a single whole. Now, every culture collides with each other. In such circumstances, it is obvious that different kinds of people come in contact with each other. People from all over the world can now come together and talk to each other.
Free travel and different work environments bring men and women from different cultural backgrounds, different countries and different segments of the society together.
So, in many cases, love happens between these individuals and that in turn moves towards marriage. So, when the world is going so global, we cannot be the only ones to stay behind.
We should also move with the society and accept those cross-cultural marriages are also going to happen. Nepali society has also, in segments, come to terms with this possibility. As a result marriages in Nepal do happen which are based on love rather than being arranged by the family or society.
Cross-cultural bringing up
In today’s world, many families are there who have had a cross-cultural relationship. In the earlier generations, many people did dare to love people belonging to different cultural backgrounds and religious background. As a result, the younger generation also got to know that it is ok to believe in love marriages.
As a result, there are now many people who believe that love is the root of happiness and when love is there, things like culture, religion, and things like that do not really matter.
As the crossover of cultures keeps happening for generations and generations, it would definitely promote love marriages. Earlier, the only objection against love marriage used to be because of the prevalence of differences on the basis of caste, culture, religion, nationality, status and things like that. So, as these kinds of differences have now dissolved, it is obvious that love marriages are now on the rise as compared to the times earlier.
Law does not prohibit cross-cultural marriage
Even though the society looks at contempt to the people who marry according to their own wish, for the law it is the same for all. Law does not discriminate according to caste, creed, religion when it comes to marriage. When it comes to marriage, multiple marriages and marrying family members is the only legal offense.
Other than that, the law does not see differences. As a result, there are no legal grounds to punish those who decide to marry on their own with people belonging to different caste or culture.
So, this is one of the reasons why love marriages are on the rise. When family denies marrying any two individuals who love each other. It is to the law that they go. Those couples can opt for legal marriages. So, this has been one reason why love marriages have been on the rise in today’s society.
Arranged Marriage is not preferred by younger generation
The younger generation of today is raised in a very multicultural society these days. They go to a school where students from a different culture, different religion, and different class would sit and study in the same place. They also get educated in the new culture where differences are not given that much regard. Humanity comes before.
In such situations, the younger generations are brought up with the culture that there is no difference in people according to religion, culture, caste, and class. Even beyond school, when they go to workplaces also, qualification is what is considered, not the cultural background.
So, people from different cultural backgrounds will definitely sit together and work alongside. In such conditions, these kids will not have any sense of differences. This is one the of the most important reasons why arranged marriages are losing their popularity in today’s time.
Love Marriage and Divorces
In the country like Nepal, where people have to fight with the society in order to stay together if they are in love with each other and belong to two different cultures or religious backgrounds, love marriages do last forever.
When they would have gone through so much and have gone against the family and society just to be together, they would definitely value what they have and as a result, there are fewer divorces.
Although the rate of divorces are high in the western cultures where love marriages are the only way to go, this rate cannot just be used to measure the time when they were together.
Rates of divorces do not prove that the quality of life they had when they were together according to their own wishes were not good enough. For some reason, the marriage can sometimes not work out. But given that love marriages also end up in divorces cannot be the only reason to make people marry against their own wishes.
Marriage should be done when one fully enjoys and likes it. Rates of divorces do not prove one type of marriage to be any superior to the other type of marriage.
Love marriages might sometimes end up in divorces just like arranged marriage. In fact, some people even suggest that arranged marriages are more successful because they do not end in divorces as much as love marriages do.
But, the way society and family get involved in an arranged marriage, there is no room for the two people to decide anything about the marriage on their own.
As a result of this, those individuals cannot even decide to end the marriage even when the marriage is practically over in every way. So, it appears as if arranged marriages are more successful, but it cannot be so. Marriages which are not based on love cannot be more successful.
The ones that are successful and happy are the ones where love is there. Love is the only prerequisite which makes the base for a successful marriage, nothing beyond that.
All of those points play a giant role in increasing the quantity of divorces within the country. The high divorce rate isn’t a decent factor to possess in any society as a result of it indicates, however, the society is unstable in its relationships.
With divorce, not solely the husband mate square measure affected, conjointly affected square measure the kids and 2 families that are concerned within the wedding.
The system of Asian countries is extremely shut knit in Nepal. Families live along and rely upon one another. oldsters still choose to digest their sons. So, with one divorce within the family, lots of individuals square measure affected. Such impact isn’t a decent one either.
It destructs family and includes an unhealthy influence on the kids conjointly. High rates of divorce are rarely sensible for the society. However, pretty low rates owing from illiteracy and lack of self-respect is additionally not a decent scenario to be in.
So, the most effective thanks to approach are to require relationships seriously. One shouldn’t break off and provoke divorce simply because of low sense of morality. But, at the identical time, one shouldn’t keep in a very relationship despite the fact that one isn’t happy and is abused day once a day. It ought to be approached terribly sensitively.
The most effective means is to handle high divorces is to create individuals aware that relationships want commitment and work. One ought to push to take care of it. And on condition that it’s on the far side repair ought to one finish it.
Ending relationship shouldn’t a choice that simply accessible. Even wrongfully, tries ought to be created to alter the partners to remain along instead of simply breaking the relation they’re in.
For this, the character of organized marriages ought to be modified in the Asian nation. The arranged wedding isn’t a foul issue. It’s smart that everyone the folks are involved regarding the partner you ought to have in your life.
But, having aforesaid that, it mustn’t be forced into anyone. The people concerned ought to have the last say in any relation.
They ought to meet one another and thoroughly verify if both of them are an honest match and are compatible with one another. If compatibility isn’t a problem and each decides that they’ll be proud of one another, then, of course, they ought to marry one another and choose to form a family.
If this happens, the rates of divorce can get terribly low in the Asian nation furthermore. The well-being of each the parties, husband and woman and their individual families ought to be taken into thought.
Love marriage is the new kind of marriage in today’s world. Even if the match is arranged in its nature by the parents and the society, the individuals are the ones who should have the last say.
It is because of this reason that nowadays even if a match is arranged, the individuals are supposed to meet one another. They meet each other and after a certain time only when they are sure that they are a perfect match and they fall in love, then only they can decide to marry each other.
Every educated and loving family in today’s time gives importance to this and follows this sort of marriage. But the ones that do not care about the happiness of the individuals can sometimes force marriage upon their children which will never be a good thing. No new relation can be started this way.
I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.