While not commonly practiced in most of America, there are still many places in the world where arranged marriage is traditional. What exactly is an arranged marriage? According to the New World Encyclopedia, an arranged marriage pertains to a union in which marital partners are chosen for them, in an “in an effort to guide young people through the process of finding the right person to marry.” Historically, in some cultures, family members or older community members will hatch a plan for a couple to tie the knot. Additionally, in some cultures it is also common for families to utilize the aid of a match makers or marriage brokers, in order to help find their child a suitable partner for life.
While it is important to note that not all arranged marriages are consensual unions, many couples who are introduced and wed through arranged marriages can totally fall in love. In these cases, couples may even cite their arranged marriage as the spark that started it all. There is no “uniform” way to participate in an arranged marriage — like any other relationship, the practice can take a number of forms and can look incredibly different from couple to couple. And as is true for any matrimony, an arranged marriage takes work, patience, and mutual respect in order to thrive. There is no “right way” to get married, just as there’s no “right way” to be a couple.
Here are six places in the world where practicing arranged marriages is traditional.
Although the Marriage Law of 1950 rendered arranged marriages in China illegal, the practice has deep roots in Chinese culture, starting as early as 402-221 B.C., in the Warring States period. Under the Qin and Qing Dynasties, the Chinese government implemented the feudal system — which meant farmers earned their land in exchange for working for the wealthy. That meant that there was more pressure to be married for economic security, and thus, arranged marriage was often practiced.
There are a handful places around the world where people say “I do” to arranged marriage. From seeing marriage as a merging of families to understanding tying the knot as a political tradition — arranged marriage can looks different for each and every couple.