Marriage traditions vary with culture

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    By Rachael Wilson

    Weddings may be universal, but traditions definitely are not.

    Arranged marriages have worked for centuries in the Middle East. Tradition stands that parents, especially fathers, are responsible for finding the ideal spouse for their child.

    In Romania, ‘Girl Fairs’ have assisted Romanian men until late to locate their bride of choice.

    And once the right one is found, the engagement is not necessarily the right step.

    In some countries, like Romania and the Czech Republic, an engagement is not necessary.

    “They just decide to get married and do it. They don’t have an engagement like here,” said Dragos Tieru-Hatu, 21, a sophomore from Romania, majoring in management.

    In Brazil, the engagement is also downplayed. Brazilians use the same ring as both an engagement ring and a wedding ring.

    “You wear the band on your right hand until you are married, and then you switch to the left,” said Luna Crookston, 26, a junior from Brazil, majoring in nursing.

    Wedding costs are also different in the United States.

    In the Czech Republic, the bride is kidnapped by her friends. They go to a nice restaurant or club and spend as much money as possible before the groom finds them. Then he has to pay for everything, said Lucie Evans, 24, a sophomore from the Czech Republic, majoring in international law and diplomacy.

    Leaving the groom waiting at the altar can be considered rude, but in Jamaica, it is not only expected but also required.

    Tradition stands that brides must arrive a few hours late. Otherwise, the marriage won’t work, said Mark Nugent from Jamaica.

    In Taiwan, once the bride does arrive, she must be escorted with a black umbrella held over her head.

    Shu-Chuan Chung, 28, English as a second language student from Taiwan, said it was a superstition to protect the bride and must be performed.

    Honoring the bride and groom on their special day is not necessary everywhere in the world.

    In the Czech Republic, wedding guests actually mock the couple as they walk out of the wedding ceremony. Guests also break glass and force the bride and groom to clean up the mess together.

    “Broken glass is a sign of happiness. Cleaning up the mess together means they will cooperate well and be happy together,” Evans said.

    And, who knows how to throw the best party?

    “Mexican weddings are the most fun activities,” said Yasser Fernando Sanchez, from Mexico, majoring in international politics.

    In Mexico, weddings are not as formal. The receptions include huge dinners, many guests and a night full of dancing.

    In Albania, the wedding party lasts three days – one day for both families, one day for the bride’s family and then one day for the groom’s family, said Earta S., 23, a senior from Albania, majoring in psychology.

    Despite the cultural differences one aspect seems to be redundant.

    Marriage is important – no matter where someone lives.

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