Tuesday, 1 December 2009

..arranged marriages and learning love...

..a few generations ago in rural Kelantan, Bachok especially, marriages were mostly arranged, and early...girls were known to be arranged for marriage as early as when they were thirteen or fourteen..transiting between dolls and husband within a night...and boys marry in their late teens or early twenties...

..engagement ceremony of niece, Wani..

...early marriages had almost always been the tradition among Malays.. arranged by their parents..

..my present mother-in-law, now in her seventies, married before puberty, when she was just twelve..and I remember my late father-in-law telling me in one of his frank moments with me, whilst resting after tending to his cows, how he had to wait a few years before consummating the marriage..

"I waited a while before I could really touched her, not knowing much myself."

He was then in his late sixties.. and I remembered him looking fondly at his wife as he said it. We both guffawed, to the perplexed look of my MIL...

..my neighbour's daughter's marriage..
..Siti Zamrah with husband Rosli..

..these days we cannot wait to fall in love and marry..whereas in days of yore, you marry first, and learn to love each other later..as my wife's parent did.

..imagine getting to see and speak to your bride for the first time only on the first night..and to discover that she is just a little girl yet to attain puberty..

..Siti Zamrah in her bridal chamber, listening
to her husband accepting her hand in marriage..

..but those marriages tend to last..there were few divorces..maybe because women were not really emancipated as they are today..and education to women then was not an option..and parents played a major part in charting out their destiny..

..but acquaintances today do marry, only to divorce on knowing each other well..whereas before, strangers marry, learn to love each other and stayed married...until death do they part..

..but it is easier to fall in love today...what with love being extolled in every facets of our 'modern society'... where every songs and images alluded to it..so much so that our youth are carried away by it, forever looking for that 'true love'...putting importance on courtship..without caring for commitment, patience and devotion...qualities stressed by our elders when they entered into arranged marriages...both not really knowing what love is, but discovering it together..and learning about it together..enjoying the beauty of love as it grew..the flower as it bloomed..

..and that to Pakmat is simply beautiful..

..all pics taken by pakmat..


Shifu67 said...

musim hujan ni memang besh la kan.... kedinginan dan kehangatan akan bersatu.... jom raikan musim hujan (dengan cara masing-masing la)

nataliaku said...

but sometimes marriage without love can ruin our life.... :)

pakmat said...

..salam sifu..
..cara mesti masing-masing..:)

..salam nataliaku..
..but that's where we differ, lady..your 're today's generation.. love before marriage is of utmost importance..for you grew up with that message drummed into your subconscious by the songs,movies, dramas and every other thing that you come into contact with..it is a culture fed by outside influence..so much so that we have come to accept it as normal..the in thing to do..
..but think awhile..our great grandparents married strangers..but they worked at knowing each other..committed to each other..learning to love each other..with patience and with devotion..
..pakmat did not get the chance do experience this kind of love..for, like you, even in the 70s, pop-culture has already taken a grip on todays youth..pakmat was too much in love with love..
..take care lady..

ps..pakmat visited yr blog..nice and cheery place..but cannot leave comment..something is wrong..please check it out..

Anonymous said...

Salam Pak Mat
You are such a loving person to see such beauty in almost everything. However much I try and wish those positive vibes will rub off on me, I cannot help but feel that you are over romancing the idea of arranged marriages.
How can I forget the conversation I had with my mum's friend who told me of her anxieties and uncertainties she felt upon hearing her pending marriage at such a young age to someone whom she does not even know how he looks.
Commitment, patience and devotion -yes those qualities are all expected from her. And I know of many who shed tears, silently locked in a loveless marriage. From what I gather its the women who most of the time who does the loving and understanding
Sorry Pak Mat ,I see arranged marriage as some sort of subjugation of women and girls.

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Pakmat, your niece looks beautiful in the pic, the hubby handsome.
I have heard, know also of young girls being booked or married very young....

And matchmaking marriages, seeing brides first time on wedding day, yes....this was during my parents time.
Nasib baik I was born motor car time, kalu tidak, habis cherita, ha ha...
macham saya main poker hoping to get an Ace, dapat a 2. Ha ha.
Have a nice day, Lee.

yushida03 said...


ambo dulu.. ayoh ambo buwi no hp.. "hoh, ambik no ni.. mu ejah sendiri la.." he proposed the candidate, but i have to 'earn' her by myself. :)

pakmat said...

..then I am a sentimental and a romantic old coot..for pakmat cannot help but to subscribe a little to old values upon seeing the chaos and the unhappiness that came about from the influence of todays' trobadours..from Cliff Richard to u2, eagles and zee avi..exhalting premarital love..maybe there is some substance on arranged marriage..but marriage is not falling in love with the right partner alone..it is also learning to love and making the one you marry right..but maybe you r right..pakmat too much of a romantic..
..take care, aini..
..take the first step..and blog..

..ah..Uncle Lee..man of all seasons..forever a raging Valentino..a true gentleman, if ever there is one..yes, I supposed we were lucky..at least we know whether the card we drew is an ace or not..but in blackjack, a humble 2 can save the day..:)
..take care, lee..you and i, we are of a kind...a dying species..:)

..you were lucky..your dad mixed the old and the new..he helped point the way..its raining cats and dogs in Bachok..after a week of sun..God is indeed great..
..take care, yus..

Justiffa said...

Salam pakmat..wonder what the bachok people are doing with the surplus 'cats & dogs' ;) jokes aside, hope you're coping well with the bad weather.

I cant say i'm an advocate of arranged marriages bcos i think it not only demands a high level of trust & commitment but a large dose of luck as well. i'd rather have the freedom to decide who i live my life with, for better for worse ;)

But this generation has not only been fed the idea of romantic love but also the convenience of dumping whatever they dont need or want. now its the pakai-buang era and the market is flooded with alternatives & possibilities.. from cars to baby napkins, everything is replaceable or disposable. theres not much value placed on loyalty or commitment anymore.

With temptation at every corner, i worry for the children bcos it must be hard. the only salvation would be their faith..semoga dilimpahi iman & taqwa.

anneaziz said...

Salam Pak mat,

Arranged marriage from the perspective of one who married for love...hmmm...what do they say about the grass is always greener on the other side?

But truth be told...the facts you mentioned of love and commitment after marriage is apparently in short supply in today's marriages. I've got a cousin who at 34 has got 3 children with 3 ex wives! Talk about alimony and child support! Sometimes, when talking to him, I just wonder why his heart continues to rove (roving eyes I can understand) esp since all ex wives were his choice and anak dara trang tang tang.

Love is an over rated over commercialised commodity. It would be nice to have, yes, but I think once becoming a wife, commitment, togetherness, sense of responsibility, thoughtfulness, empathy more than make up for the flash in the pan!

Or have I lost touch with romance? Hmmm...sejuk jugak musim hujan ni...kihkihkih

pakmat said...

..salam justi..
..we learn to live with it..the extra cats and dogs..but the cats are finding it a bit hard..no place to poo..
..no, i do not expect it these days, of anyone to advocate arranged marriages..like uncle lee, I rather see what card I am drawing..and looking at my children, much tho I would like to match them, I wouldn't..but there's nothing to stop this old man from hoping..
..but you touched on iman..and that is something that I did not factor in..and not just the children, lady..hubbies most of all..
..you take care, justi..and don't worry about the fast..Tuhan Maha Mengetahui..:)

Anonymous said...

Salam Pak Mat
Probably I was a bit hasty and went too far in my criticism(I'm known for my impetousness)

On the hindsight,after reading the feedbacks and your comments I think the key word here is responsbility.If we were to integrate responsbility into our lives everything else will fall into place.
I'm sure the question of "pakai -buang'(aptly put it by Justiffa)wont't happen.

Remember I told you earlier that you touch on topics that are close to me heart so much so that I find myself putting my thoughts here. Well many other bloggers write the same themes -after all they are universal topics.What caught my attention is the style it's presented and that is a result of your personality -Im sure one of it is the romantic side of you. So keep the romance alive!

elviza said...

Salam Pak,

I don't know much about true love. It's a concept still foreign to me. That few times I fell in love were, well to be honest, disastrous.

Neither am I a believer in arranged marriage, though I heard so much about its possibility to last longer.

But I am glad I heeded my grandma's advice before I married my husband: kalau nak kahwin, kahwin dengan kawan.

For when all the thunderous effect of young love dies down, the only thing left is a good conversation.

Don't think am making any sense, but I hope you get the drift.

Anonymous said...

may i add that with responsbility we won't be easily swayed by the commercialisation of love.


pakmat said...

..salam AnneAziz,
..yes, from someone who unashamedly married for love..it is greener the other side, viewed thro the tinted lense of age..roving eyes is the symptoms of a roving heart..he's 34..still at effervescent stage..he'll settled..and it is not just a flash in the pan..the glitter will mellow into a steady flame..but we have to work at it..as those in arranged marriage did..and you have not lost touch with romance..going by your writing, you're as romantic as...the next guy..I nearly said me..:) Bachok on a rainy day? we have ubi itek rebus with grated young coconut, a dash of brown sugar or gula melaka..at the verandah..and the patter of rain or zinc roof in rhythm with the roar of waves from the relentless sea..

..there's no need to apologise..pakmat is an incorrigible romantic..beyond redemption..:)I am sure what Justi meant by pakai buang is the hit and run cases that we all feared for our children..we can teach and lead them so much..beyond that they are on their own..your last para? I take it as a compliment..
..take care, aini..jdbb..

nataliaku said...

salam pakmat,

ya, that`s right, i agree with you.. means a lot to me, a few couple that married of their parent`s choice can live with happy but some unhappy, i always wondering how my father met my mother.. after reading this blog..:) thank you.. and their answers make me never stop smiling.. so sweet....
pray for a lady like me find the true love in the deep love.. hahaha.. should i find the stranger now? haha. just kidding... :)

pakmat said...

..Salam Elviza,
..you honour me with your presence here..
..I got the drift, lady..my wife married an old man, now pakmat is the conversation piece..:)..
.but by marrying a friend your are mixing pakmat's antiquated laws with your todays acts..like the tapai my mil is known for, the mix is allowed to ferment..almost hidden..and comes out later sweet and juicy..(excuse the bad metaphor)..and for that youre indeed, blessed..
..take care, elvi..pakmat been following you everywhere..from fb to tweet...:)

..welcome back, nataliaku..
..but it is still touch and go, young lady..marriage after all is a gamble..but the thing is we still have to work at making it work..and yr deep true love is waiting out there..just relax..to get glimpses of what it is all about, follow the thoughts of the likes of Elviza, Justiffa, AnneAziz..and others..for a view on our world before yours..go to Uncle Lee..
..take care, an..life is always good..you just try to make it better..

yushida03 said...


Yes. In my case, dad paved the way, but the decision is still mine, or better said, negotiable by both parties. My take on this is quite simple:
1) if u prefer to be with someone of your parents' choice (to avoid disagreement/conflict/whatever), then just ensure that he/she is the one that u are happy with.
2) if u have to choose on your own, then choose the one that your parents agree/happy with.
In my case it's the option no 1.

pakmat said...

..salam yus03..
..then you're a real filial son..'anak juruh'...for whatever your choice, your parents' happiness is paramount..and your parents must be very proud of you...but to strike that balance is difficult..but I think you subscribe a bit to old values..