Marriage in Iran and America: A Study in Contrasts
Though marriage is practiced in almost all countries of the world, the customs are quite different from one culture to another. It is interesting for me to compare the customs of marriage in the United States with those in my country.
I've lived in the U.S. for four years now, but I'm still not comfortable with the customs here. In fact, what seems strange to me is that courting or dating is not always for the purpose of finding a husband or wife. Some people seem to do it as a hobby.
Here in the United States, I have noticed that courting is begun by the young couple themselves, and they seem to have a lot of freedom to decide and do what they want. Both young men and women date a number of different people. They do it without the knowledge or help or their parents. In fact, I have known several friends who got married without even telling their parents or other family members.
At the actual wedding ceremony, the father of the bride symbolically gives his daughter to the groom. It's only a custom, I think, because the bride and groom already know each other quit well. The bride and groom stand together in front of the religious leader or government official to be married. The official reads from a short prepared speech and then asks both the man and woman if they are willing to be married to the other. If they both say "yes," and nobody attending the wedding stands up to object, they are declared "man and wife." It is interesting that the two families are asked if there are any objections right during the ceremony. Perhaps it is because the family members are not as involved in the wedding preparations as they are in Iran.