Have you noticed how our culture handles the idea of love? Hallmark has created a holiday for it; Pinterst is filled with quotes about love, heartbreaks and everything in between. Our culture has created the idea that love is what we live for, and love is what defines us. But, have you ever stopped and wondered how other cultures deal with love?
You meet, you fall in love, and you get married—that’s how it seems to work in our culture. But, have you ever noticed that not everyone gets married because they’re in love? In the article “The Freedom to Love: Politics, not self-fulfillment, dominates public discussion of love in India”, by A.R Vasavi, love is discussed in a different manner.
We must keep an open-mind when thinking about other cultures and how they handle/look at situations. In this article, we delve into the idea that love isn’t the reason most Indian couples get married. Marrying for love in a culture that puts so much pressure on caste, religion and class relationships. Marrying for love in this culture would create inter-caste, inter-religion, and inter-class relationships, which goes against much of what this culture deems important and necessary.
Indian society believes that, ”…love politics generate conflict over gender and intergenerational relations, between tradition and modernity, over individual and community preferences, between choice verse subscription, and over customary norms versus commoditized culture”. Therefore the idea of marrying for love in this culture complicates things. The parents believe that if their children are allowed to chose their spouse, they will not be looking at the bigger picture, and will be thinking out of emotion rather than rational.
It is hard to understand how different cultures can view something so universal, so differently. The concept of marriage is a universal idea, but when you break it down, it deems different meaning to different cultures. It is important that we try to accept and understand why certain people look at something like marriage in this type of way.