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As we are all aware, marriage is the human institution where two people, one male and one female, come together for the purposes of creating a family.  The union is usually sealed with a civil or a religious ceremony.  Of course, many people raise families without the benefit of a ceremony, but that's a modern trend and a personal choice.

When Yash and I decided to marry, I wasn't a bit put off by the fact that we were different cultures and religions.  We were human beings, weren't we?  Well, yes.  The problem is, as I didn't yet realize, eastern perceptions and western perceptions of marriage are quite similar and yet rather different as the cultural perceptions are different.  Eighteen years later it all makes sense, but it drove me mad initially.

In the west, because, I suppose, of the Christian perspective, two people getting married usually set up a new home independent of the homes either of them originated from.  That's based on the Biblical verse that a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves only unto his wife.  I had yet to learn that in the east, a man cleaves  unto his parents until death us do part and the missus had better realize this or else she's in a bit of trouble.  Or a lot of trouble depending on the family.

Of course not all cultural groups in India are innately patriarchal, but I'm afraid most of them are.  A girl is considered to have actually cut ties with her natal family after marriage and henceforward, she belongs to the husband's family.  For example, her husband's parents would be considered to be the 'real' grandparents of her children, and maybe even in the eyes of some cultural groups, the legal guardians.  That's a bitter pill for a feminist to swallow.  Not to mention one of western origin.

In those long ago, early days, I dreamed of Yash and I moving out to a house of our own as the ultimate nirvana.  It came as a bit of a shock to realize that this would be considered as traitorous to the family group.  His elder brother and his family don't live with us, but that's because he happens to have a job far away poor thing.    Poor thing?  I was jealous!

But time moved on.  I continued to bring up my children as close to my own way as possible.  I continued with my passion for reading and writing.  I continued to read my Bible and meditate on it.  And do you know what?  I've learnt to make the best of my situation and even be thankful for it (sometimes!).

I think this is the marital skill that Indians call 'adjustment'.  I call it being flexible.  But I do know that I couldn't have saved my east/west marriage without it.

This is my weekly post for the Loose Blogger Consortium. We are a group of bloggers from different parts of the world with diverse views and styles of writing, and we post simultaneously (well, we try to) on a weekly basis on a given topic.  Our members  are, in no particular order,  Anu,  Maria Silverfox,   Magpie, Will Knott,   Rohit,  Noor, JoePaulAkankshaDelirious, Padmini, AshokConrad, Maria, Grannymar, and Rummuser.  This topic 'Marriage' was chosen by Conrad  


  1. I agree with's all about flexibility! We can make our life as happy, or as unhappy as we choose.

  2. If it was ok for elder brother and his family to move to a home of their own, then why is it so different for you and Yash? After all, he works in a different city to where you live.

  3. Your tongue must be bitten through - also your lip.

  4. You have indeed done well and I have no doubts that you will continue to. What you call it is unimportant. What matters is the willingness to do what it takes to keep the marriage intact. All the best.

  5. I think you are marvellous and have obviously made a success of the marriage through your attitiude.
    Far different from many MIL & DIL relationships over here.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  6. How right you are...the 'adjustment' has to be mostly on the woman's part. In my mother's time it was 99%. In my time it has been 80 : 20. In my daughter and daughter-in-law's times it has slightly improved to 70 : 30. I wonder what it will be in your daughter and my granddaughter's times?

  7. I agree with you, but to me as a person of cross-cultural marriage, it's about compromise. I have to compromise for my husband's culture and he has to do it for me.

    Thanks, it was great reading this post!


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