ESL student tells of Iraqi marriage customs

Editor’s Note: Following is another article in our series of stories by students in Grossmont College’s English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) program discussing customs in their native lands.

By Hiba Wadeaa

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Each country has his own cultural traditions , and we may agree or disagree with these traditions . There are differences in the cultural behavior of the countries, such as in one country this behavior is acceptable, and in another country it is not . My country like any country has some cultural traditions that I like or dislike . Two of these traditions that I dislike are about marriage, and the relationships among Iraqi  families .

The tradition of marriage is different from one country to another. In Iraq, and especially in my culture which belongs to the north of Iraq in Mousel , most of our marriages are arranged by our families or some relatives or friends. When a guy wants to marry a girl , he has to do many things before he can marry her and this takes a long time and some times results in the end of the engagement due to problems that might happen.

First, he has to ask for her hand; then, he has to go again with his parents and some relatives to ask for her hand again  from her uncles and aunts ; then, the two families plan for the engagement party . After that, all the relatives have to invite both of them with their parents for lunch or dinner.

They have to plan for the henna party . Finally , they get married . In addition , the family of the bridegroom has to do another party after the wedding party, and they have to buy a sheep and butcher him next to the bride. All of that is complicated and not necessary , so I dislike these traditions.

The close relationships between the families are good and bad at the same time. The families in my country are so close to each other and that is good because they love, support and help each other all the time . Also, these relations can be bad because they think that they have the right to control and manage your life and sometimes they arrange your marriage even if   you dislike the person . For example , in our culture when a girl is engaged to someone , her family has to ask the opinion of her uncles and aunts . All that is old-fashioned .

In conclusion, all countries have cultural behaviors or traditions that are specific to them. And my country as any country has some cultural behaviors, like the tradition of the marriage which is so old-fashioned and so complex ; therefore, I dislike it .Also, I dislike when the relatives try to  manage the life of the others due to the close relationships between the families.

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Wadeaa is a student is ESL 103

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