Much of our early lives we often have to fend for ourselves. All of our actions are done with the intent to benefit us alone, with little thought given to how it may affect those around us. However, this all changes when the time comes for one to settle down and get married, and the realization sets in that we can no longer act selfishly. Today, most of what we know from wedding ceremonies either comes from personal experiences, or cliché representations that can be seen on TV or movies. All over the world, there is no doubt that wedding ceremonies are considered momentous occasions. However, the typical grand celebration that can been seen in American culture is entirely different from cultures around the world, such as in Pakistan, where multiple wedding traditions are upheld to this very day and are very different from traditions that Americans partake in, mostly in terms of the search of a partner, wedding attire and ceremonial events.Before any wedding ceremony however, there is a period of time in which one has to search for a partner.
For some, this process can take years and for others, this may take just a few months after they begin their search. This is an aspect of getting married in which Pakistani culture greatly differs from American culture. There are generally three types of marriages, which include: arranged marriages, semi-arranged marriages, and love marriages. With traditional Pakistani culture, people would partake in arranged marriages, in which the parents or close family members would help in the search of a bride or groom. The bride and groom generally don’t meet until the day of their wedding, which may sound odd to some but used to be very common. This practice still exists in rural areas, but since more and more cities in Pakistan are developing and becoming more modernized, semi-arranged marriages are what is the most common as of right now. With this form of marriage, the potential bride and groom meet on their own, somewhat like “dating” and interact without the family being involved. Once they agree on wanting to get married, the “groom” will ask the “bride’s” family for her hand in marriage.
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Lastly, there are love marriages, which are very uncommon in Pakistan but very common in America. In this form of marriage, the bride and groom decide on their own to get married or not. In Pakistan, this is looked down upon as there is no family consent. However, in America, this is generally the most common way for people to meet.As with both Pakistani and American cultures, there are ceremonial events besides the wedding itself that have their own cultural significance. In America, there are generally 3 main events which include: a bridal registry, wedding shower and bachelor party. Long before the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom get together, invite their closest family and friends, and those people will generally bring gifts such as household necessities, which signify a new life for the couple and are actually useful in their movement forward. It is generally the maid of honor’s job to plan the wedding shower, in which the future bride is surprised by her family and friends and once again receives gifts.
Lastly, as wedding time approaches, the best man plans a bachelor party for the future groom, in which the groom and all of his closest friends get together for a night of fun, and signifies the groom’s last night as a single and free man.