Many of us have seen it, heard of it, matter of fact, it has happened to us. I’m talking about arranged marriages. Back in the day, it was obvious when parents choose who their children would marry. For reasons which seem absurd today, years ago arrangements were made at birth way before the child could walk or talk because of the reputation of the family, vocation, wealth, and religion. Nowadays, we say these sorts of arrangements are nonexistent but I beg to differ.
Ladies…fellas, how many times have your parents told you that your spouse must be from a certain nationality, tribe, religion, or state? How many times have your parents argued that you should not come home with “oyibo” or “akata?” How many times have they “suggested” a suitable son, daughter, niece, or nephew of their very close friend? And lastly, ladies how many times have you received a phone call from a random guy saying they got your number from your mom’s friend? If this has happened to you and a relationship grew from this hook-up, your union was arranged.
Some say that since my parents did not hand-pick my spouse then it was not arranged. So I ask this question, what is the definition of an arranged marriage? Arranged marriage is a prearrangement by someone other than the couple getting wedded, curtailing or avoiding the process of courtship. I know people hardly get married without getting to know the person but the fact that parents have already pre-selected factors that must be considered before marriage is an arrangement. They have done almost everything but select your spouse. When I was growing up, my father always talked about the many virtues of an Igbo man and about reasons why I should not deter the male prospects that he “prefers.” At first, I thought it was cute and funny but then my mother started singing the same song. So as a rebellious young adult, I decided to do some research.
Over the years, I have been fortunate to date other races and I have to conclude that I do not see what the fuss is about. Love should not be confined. I agree that there are culture differences that have to be considered if you want your offspring to be familiar with their roots but that can be fixed. However, when I lived in Nigeria, I had several “mixed” friends who accustomed to the lifestyle. Therefore, there should not be that fear that your children will not adopt the African culture. It is possible just as long as parents are bringing their children up in the right way.
Needless to say, my mom is beginning to fuss about my male selections and has taken it upon herself to select Nigerian Igbo men for me to date and eventually marry. I get calls from my mom’s friends trying to hook me up with Nigerian guys in Malaysia, London, Brazil, and of course Nigeria. They always say “you guys should talk and see what happens.” However, if it does not work out…everyone is disappointed in me. Am I wrong for choosing not to discriminate?
Photo Source: http://cassandrabromfieldblogs.blogspot.com/2009/07/igbankwu.html