Marriage in Bangladesh and traditional Bangladeshi family
It is well known that Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. Also, very many residents of the state suffer from a shortage of water and natural cataclysms which are frequent here. All these factors have affected the lifestyle of Bangladeshi people, including their everyday life. Representatives of many religions live on the territory of the country; there is even a small number of Christians. But the majority of Bangladeshis are adherents of the Muslim religion, according to statistics, they are slightly less than 90% of Muslim in Bangladesh.
Relations in traditional families are built in accordance with the canons of the Muslim religion, where Sunnah and the Koran dictate their own rules and principles of conduct. That is why the problem of women’s rights in society is very acute in Bangladesh. It should be noted that ardent admirers of the fundamental values of the Muslim religion did not encounter resistance from local residents, which had a significant impact not only on family relations, but also on the institution of marriage. As a result, many customs and traditions go back to the very depths of the century.
Approximately 80% of the population of Bangladesh lives in villages and rural areas, where the rural community plays an important role. Many representatives of the younger generation are eager to move to the big city faster, since the state’s social policy is aimed at increasing the level of education of the population; therefore young people have all opportunities for education and getting a good job and trying to take advantage of this. But, despite this, the total number of young people migrating to large cities is not so that great and many still remain living in their native villages.
In such villages, according to the Qur’an, there is universal veneration of the older generation. As a rule, the oldest and, naturally, the most respected person himself directs all his large family, controlling and looking after every member of it. The word of such a person is decisive in any family issues, even when young family members are going to create a family, the search for a partner falls on the parents, but the elder will say the final verdict. Young people have the right not to agree to the choice of their parents in the matter of marriage and this is fixed even at the legislative level, but they can not marry without the consent of parents or guardians either.
There is also an unofficial age limit for marriage in Bangladesh, according to which girls can only marry after 18, and a young man has the right to create a family only after reaching the age of 21. But even if at this age he does not have his own stable income, none of the family members will approve his marriage. In general, the traditions and customs of the inhabitants of this country are very interesting and colorful. For example, a wedding in Bangladesh. The event is held on a special platform. It is luxuriously decorated with a huge number of flowers, starting with the familiar to many violets and roses and ending with exotic representatives of the local Bangladesh flora. The parents of the newlyweds are obliged to pay for Wedding party and because this is usually “the feast for the whole world”, the event costs to the senior members of the family pretty big sum of money.
Luxury weddings, as a rule, plunge the whole family into poverty for a long time and a ritual such as the payment of a bridegroom’s dowry for a bride is considered one of the causes of poverty for many Bangladeshis. To give the daughter in marriage, Bangladeshis spend much more than all family income. And, despite the fact that the authorities are struggling with this phenomenon, forbidding to demand a dowry from the parents of the bride, they are not yet able to completely destroy this custom. Now it is clear why the appearance of a daughter in the family here makes parents to be not particularly happy.
After the marriage, the wife moves to her husband’s house and from now on is fully subordinate to him. In large cities of the country has already emerged a trend when young people try to live apart from their parents and relatives after the wedding, but in villages and rural areas one can often see how several generations of families live in one house, unquestioningly obeying the leadership of a senior member of the family. The head of the family is engaged in the distribution of the duties of work in the home and in the household, sometimes heads a large number of daughters-in-law.
According to Islam, a married couple does not have the right to spend much time together; it is also forbidden to show their feelings. Duties of her husband are work, as a rule, in the field of agriculture, and his wife deals with children and housekeeping. Sometimes it turns out that the husband and wife are very rarely seen.
Women in Bangladesh dress up in a strict style where it is strictly forbidden to go out without covering the head with a handkerchief. But many Muslim traditional restrictions do not make local women unhappy in marriage and in life at all. They are quite satisfied with their lives, since they have no idea what can be different as in such a way lived all the previous generations and local stereotypes can not be changed by either men or women. But do not think that there is a very bad attitude to women. Men constantly indulge their halves with gifts in the form of flowers and ornaments. However, there are, unfortunately, some exceptions. For example, in one of the cities, Islamic fundamentalists forbade women to appear on one of the central streets of the city because there is a mosque and this corresponds to the canons of the Koran. An impostor wandered along the street with a stick, threatening to beat those who disobey this prohibition. Of course, such actions are illegal.
One can only hope that Bangladesh will be able to maintain its unique and interesting culture and at the same time get rid of the obsolete unnecessary family customs. Perhaps, there is an option to allow finding a woman at least some rights without departing far from religious norms. A woman who feels society’s concern for her well-being will be able to bring even more warmth to her house.