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Courtship and Marriage in Afghanistan

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Mel Guttenbeil

on 23 May 2014

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Transcript of Courtship and Marriage in Afghanistan

Courtship and Marriage: Afghanistan
Wedding Customs and Traditions
Qur'an states: weddings should be conducted in financial means of family

for most this does not ring true

planning can take years

usually a three day occurrence

Shao-e-Henna; Henna Party day before wedding

in the ceremony men and women are completely separate
Arranged Marriage: Child Bride
Segregation between Men and Women
How would you feel, if you were going to be in an arranged marriage? Would you accept this forced marriage, or deny him/her?
Explain the irony of this statement.
Arranged Marriage
up to 80% of marriages in poor rural areas are either forced or arranged

constitution: must be 16 yr.s and agree

many do not take legal action because they do not have papers to prove citizenship

mostly occurs in poor, uneducated families

when engaged, there is no divorce

many couples do not meet until the day of wedding

Child Brides
more than 50% of Afghan girls are married or engaged by 10

many girls marry far older men


lack of security; risk of kidnap and rape

widespread poverty still compels; avoid the cost of caring for them

Henna Night: Takht e Khina
Prohibited in Afghanistan

due to security reasons for the family

before marriage it is unusual for a boy to court the girl, as in 'dating'

Afghan women are not allowed to marry non muslim men

Afghan men marry whomever they choose

father does a background check on the potential bride's family

The Aftermath
relatives of the groom offer his fiance sweet gifts

fiances can exchange gifts through a 3rd person

negotiate dowry for the brides family

dowry varies on family expectancy, brides ethnicity, or grooms class

after acceptance a party is thrown for celebration of agreement; Sher- E Ne Khore Party
many Afghan women become widows by age 35

unlikely to find a new husband

widows viewed as bad omen in Afghan society

difficult to cope emotionally and financially

forced to beg or engage in prostitution

94% are illiterate

faced with rape, poverty, and social condemnation

occurs day before wedding

bride has fun; she can close her right palm, and refuse to decorate
if not given a gift by grooms mother
groom promises her gifts
or groom opens her hand with force

7 female relatives begin to decorate the brides hands and feet

present female relatives also decorate henna on themselves

Unmarried girls put henna on their pinkie fingers
many marriages are arranged

child brides most often are poor, and illiterate

weddings are very fancy whether or not it is able to be funded

there are superstitions in Afghanistan society about widows

most widows would rather die than be titled as a widow
The Nikkah
An Islamic marriage ceremony

the bride wears green clothing

During ceremony, bride and groom exchange vows

the priest will read sections from the Qur'an

It's a closed ceremony for friends and family

a party is later held with food, drinks, and dancing!
Full transcript