September 19, 2006

Muslim speed-dating.

Except don't call it dating, because dating is hell.

8 comments:

Goesh said...

I'll give the muslim elders credit for this much: them head scarves keep my eyes off the mammary glands.

Seven Machos said...

I was pretty astounded at reading that for a number of reasons. What really struck me is how the author clearly thought that this was a neat little curiosity: look at the Muslims, all different in their pre-marriage rituals.

I wonder how the same author would treat, say, rural Pentecostals who, "shudder," are against abortion and want to teach creationism in their own schools...

PatCA said...

Yes, Seven, the double multicultural standard ("aren't they cute?") at work.

If they are really so worried about the culture or a kid marrying a (shudder) Roman Catholic, they could always choose to live in a Muslim country.

Dave said...

So, I've never understood the no premarital sex thing.

How do you know if you're compatible with someone if you can't do it till after the wedding?

(This is a serious question, BTW.)

Seven Machos said...

Yeah, Dave, it's crazy.

I don't know why the idea was introduced that people should get married before they have sex? When was that? 1974? 1975? Because people have always entered the institution of marriage for love. That's what it has been there for. Nothing else. No economic or social or religious or political or familial motivation.

Also, Muslim countries: everybody knows that they are fundamentally the same as the little enclave of Western liberalism where you live. Right? Doesn't everybody understand that?

Balfegor said...

Hmm. I find it interesting that Muslims are arranging something like this in the US. Normally an arranged marriage would be put together by the family, but as the article notes, it's hard to find suitable candidates out of the extremely small pool of Muslims living in most American communities. I guess this kind of large free-for-all(?) meeting is the result they've come to.

I wonder why they don't have stronger personal matchmaking services yet, though. The way it is in Korea or Japan, today, if you're going to do miai -- Japanese for the meeting where you meet a prospective spouse; in Korean this is covered by the term "meeting," I think, although we usually call it miai in my family to avoid confusion with the English -- you have the photo and the resume and all that, and a matchmaker (in theory a respectable go-between) shops you around to prospective families. In the US, you'd think there would be links between Muslim communities in different parts of the country (even if it's just organisations like CAIR or whatever), such that elders in the community could exchange the profiles of young people in their community. If that were the case, then people and their parents could select the candidates they most want beforehand, and arrange proper miai with the relevant family representatives present. Conceivably, one could even send the prospective bridegroom/bride with elders and kinfolk, even without there being some general meeting like in the article. Time it for work holidays or something.

Anyhow, I find it interesting since I've many relatives in arranged marriages, and will likely have an arranged marriage myself. Many of the concerns (e.g. that when you marry, you don't just marry the individual member of the family, you marry his entire family, so just meeting him is not enough) are concerns that play out in the East Asian arranged marriage context. So I feel a certain affinity to the Muslim participants in this whole thing. Even if I don't think hellfire will rain down on me if I go on a date. Haha.

Balfegor said...

How do you know if you're compatible with someone if you can't do it till after the wedding?

(This is a serious question, BTW.)

Sexually? Well, I've never asked the people I know who are in arranged marriages, but they've all got children, so it seems to work out. More generally, though, in the initial meetings, you're looking for a degree of compatibility in lifestyle, goals, personality, etc. Essentially, will you be able to live with each other for the next 60 years. And you can get a sense of this talking to the person, perhaps, but also from the person's family -- what are they like? And what do they say the prospective spouse is like? You might think there's an incentive to lie about how great your child/niece/nephew/grandchild is (there is, of course), but in this deal, if you stretch the truth too far, it's your own kin that pays the price, either with an unpleasant marriage, or a divorce, so there's also a strong incentive to make sure the partner is the kind of person who'll be willing to put up with the faults, as well as the good points.

As far as sexual compatibility, that's kind of secondary to the whole affair. There's a certain "lie back and think of England" aspect to it. But anyhow, sexual satisfaction, while an important part of human life, is by no means the most important part of human life. Or marriage.

Anyhow, in looking for compatibility, there's a certain element of chance, of course. There's chance involved in every marriage, though, unless you cohabit for years before you marry. In that case, you'll have complete knowledge of your spouse's faults. But in that case, you're practically married anyhow (everything but the certificate!), so it's sort of moot.

Dave said...

Balfegor--thanks for your response. That's an interesting perspective.