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Arranged Marriage and Caste

asked 2016-09-09 21:26:12 -0600

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In 2006 when I was thirteen years old, my mother and I were living in Ludhiana, India due to her managerial job with a multinational company. My mother was still recovering from the shock of losing her late husband (my father) due to a brain aneurism that killed him the year prior, and as a result of his death my mother accepted a transfer in her company to go to India for a few years in which she took me with her. During the first few months living in Ludhiana, my mother fell head over heels with a 32 year old Sikh handsome clean shaven Sikh named Rashpal Singh. My mother was deeply in love with Rashpal and that love was reciprocated (Rashpal married my mother anyway in a civil ceremony). However, a few weeks later during a trip back to Canada to visit my grandmother by myself who was terminally ill, I was told that my mother and Rashpal Singh passed were killed in a freak car accident. I was absolutely devastated and worried about the future at the same time as my grandmother was the only living relative I had. A few days later, my grandmother passed away leaving me completely heartbroken and distraught. After a few months of living in a foster care home I was visited by a Social Worker who came to tell me that Rashpal Singh’s parents officially adopted me and they were in Canada to take me back to India. During the plane trip to India I learnt that Raspal Singh was completely disowned by his parents when he was 19 years old for cutting his Kesh and the true reason they decided to adopt me was to have a son to take over their business when they got very old and to care for them in old age. Raspal’s parent’s names are Aanand Singh Nanda and Manat Kaur Nanda and they were well off since they owned several business in Ludhiana, also they are very strict Amritdhari Khatri Sikhs. Adjusting to a new language and culture was hard enough but the biggest culture shock was being taken to the quarterly samagam held at the Gurdwara Sahib Brahm Bunga in Dodra beginning the next day after I arrived in India and returning home as an Amritdari Sikh wearing a Patiala Shahi Pagg Turban.

Today I am twenty-three years old and I still live with my adoptive parents Aanand Singh and Manat Kaur. At first I was upset at having to never being allowed to cut my hair and having to wear a turban all the time but when I gradually learnt how to read Gurmukhi and Speak Punjabi fluently and understand the Banis that I recite every day, I am quite happy and content being a fully bearded turbaned Amritdhari Sikh and I have a great job working for my adoptive father as a manager at his various businesses. Even then, I am unhappy about one thing, I am not ... (more)

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answered 2016-09-12 00:04:38 -0600

strongKaur gravatar image

I’m sorry to hear about the death of your biological parents. As for your situation: All I can do is really help you expand your options. No one can really say what to do, you are the expert on your life and have to live with your choices. (If I was to tell you what to do it would be based off of what I would do and that’s not going to be right for you and honestly I don’t even know what I’d do in your situation because I haven't lived your life!). As per Sikhi, caste does not matter. But many people are still stuck in looking at caste differences and your parents aren’t alone in this.

OPTION 1 tell your parents the truth/negotiate

PROs You’re no longer lying to your parents. You can tell them you love this other girl. Try to change the thinking that as per Sikhism caste is not an issue. Get a chance at your relationship with this other girl.

CONs Your parents may not change their minds. May in fact be very angry you lied and disobeyed them. May disown you as happened with Raspal Singh. They may be more forceful about this marriage and you end up going with what they want anyways except it creates distrust now in your relationship with your parents.

OPTION 2: leave the girl you love for your parent’s choice and don’t tell them about the girl you love

PROs Maybe your parents have made a good choice for you if you give her a chance. Often arranged marriages are based on similar values/ what parents believe will be best for you based on her values and your values. You might learn to love each other. You don’t have to tell your parents the truth, you are following what they say so you won’t be disowned. (Even if you don’t want to pursue this option it would be an option for you to meet the girl that they have set up for you to see if you’d be a fit. That’s complicated of course because there might be an expectation you say yes or no on the spot, and the girl might like you but you don’t agree so that’s an issue or hurting her, and lastly it would kind of be a false meeting unless you intend on leaving the hindu girl).

CONs You marry someone you don’t love and might be stuck spending your life regretting giving up the girl you did. You give up the person you do love. You don’t tell your parents the truth.

OPTION 3 turn down the arranged marriage, stay with the girl you like and don’t tell the parents

PROs You could delay by turning down this arranged marriage and telling your parents whatever. Maybe you tell them you’d rather find someone you love or get to ... (more)

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Asked: 2016-09-09 21:26:12 -0600

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Last updated: Sep 12 '16