Arranged Marriages

just marriedI am Muslim (I love how that sounds so scary, BAM!), and never knew how funny muslim mothers could get. A few days ago, i was at a friends’ house,who had invited us, with another couple of families (yes, we do big like that) for dinner. There was my family, a French one, and another Pakistani one.

At first the dinner thing appeared to be really nice and empty of any weird thoughts (wait for it..), until I got up to get more cups from the kitchen and that our host followed me to gossip a bit. She by the way slipped in a couple of words about the Pakistani mother who was looking for a bride to her son, and joked about how she had lied to the woman who had asked her if she knew someone, while she actually knew me! This last part of the statement made me laugh, briefly, and then got me thinking of the expectations of a young Muslim girl’s family, still traditional even in our era.

Back to dinner, I had previously made the mistake of sitting next to the Pakistani mother; She asked about my studies, and I thought she was just interested in what a young girl could be doing with her life, and I was proud to let her know about it..She had a totally different perspective apparently; later on, i learned that the two and a half years that were left for me to graduate, were a bit too much for her and her son to wait.

Meanwhile, my mother also managed to explain to me that all the story telling and question asking from the Pakistani mother, was in the purpose of getting to know me, because she had a “fiancé” for me. My mom was quite thrilled, although you could tell she was fighting it and trying to hide it-it did not work. I could tell, because all of a sudden, she had forgotten about the serious talk that we were supposed to have when we get back home.

So in brief, Pakistani mother, in less than two hours, decides that I could be wife-material for her beloved son who works in Dubai, only if I was a year older. In less than two hours, I had a spot on her option list, then I got ditched, due to age reasons. To my mother, I had become a pride material. Suddenly, I was in the center of all the discussions (my mom studied communication..), a talented, well behaved young girl, ready to marry mommy’s son.

It all made me laugh-think, how both women made assumptions, conclusions and plans for two people who haven’t seen each other before, and who will probably never do so. It made me think that women at heir age begin to live in a dream land; not the Cinderella kind of dreamland, but more like a place where they could make all the decisions, and realize all their fantasies with no limits. The sad part about it is that I thought that my mom, as a highly educated woman, had other perspectives on marriage; I was wrong, she thought exactly like the sixty year old Pakistani woman who did an arranged marriage.

I must say that I am really lucky, because eventhough my mom is traditional (I never knew about it until yesterday!! it’s about time..), I know her and my father will still let me choose when it comes to that kind of matters, but I do worry about all the other girls out there, who do not have a say in their own lives. I don’t think I could become a feminist-activist, but I do think that girls should become their own activists, say no when they need to, without fearing the results, and falling for their families’ threats to a life in hell and eternal punishment from god. Total BS.

Author: LaLoca Coca
Bio: I am an International Relations student at USIU, I like to write about relationships, fashion and politics. I like the freedom that writing gives me to be able to criticize, analyze and share situations and stories from different fields of life.

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