“You may now kiss the bride.”, and “You are now married to this person you just met, now you will be taken away to his home, where you will cook, clean and be his wife.” are both what is said after a marriage ceremony is held. There is a big difference between those two quotes; one is after a marriage in America, and the second is from an Islamic country. Marriage is a tradition that almost all cultures follow and respect. It can be radically different according to the culture’s view on religion. Religion is a large part of marriage in most cultures. Marriage in America is much different then marriage in Islamic countries because of the way people are wed, the way couples act when they are married, and the amount of rights the wife has.
In America, two people fall in love, and are happily married to each other. It is not so much like this in Islamic countries, where the women are forced to marry a man, and if they don’t get married, then it shames their whole family. The “average marriage” in America is thoroughly planned out, and everyone in the family goes, and it’s a huge amazing thing. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, the woman is married almost without notice, and before that faithful day, she had dreaded being shipped away from her home with a strange man, which eventually happened. So the marriages are differently planned and differently looked upon.
The way a wife is supposed to act in an Islamic culture marriage referring to A Thousand Splendid Suns, is to be the cook, clean everything, take care of the man, and be there for sex. This usually doesn’t occur in America because it is more about relationship. Many couples in America love each other when they are married. That is not always the case in the book, where the woman dreads every day, and hates her husband and life. I think that marriage in American culture if mostly for companionship, so being married is different in the two cultures.
In America the woman has many more rights than a woman in an Islamic Country. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, the man chooses when to have a baby, where the woman goes, what she wears, and controls the woman’s’ lives! He even makes her chew rocks that break her teeth because her rice was “like tiny pebbles”! In America woman have many more rights by law. So this is important to how governments control and regulate rights in their countries. If these countries had laws about woman and how much respect and rights they should have, marriage would change. One thing to note on this, the woman do agree to marry, but if they do not agree they are looked down upon and shamed by their families.
In conclusion, marriage is a huge part of these two cultures. If you think about it, who doesn’t get married? 2002 statistics say that 59% of the U.S. population is married. (http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsUS.shtml) It’s amazing how popular something like this is. Marriage is affected by rights, and religion in a culture. The rights affect how the woman is treated, and religion determines how the ceremony is held, and what marriage means. So marriage is marriage, but there are many influences that alter everything about it.