Friday, June 25, 2010

Marriage in Palestine


One of the things that is changing in Palestinian society is how people meet and get married. I am staying with a woman close to my age who was married when she was 17!  She describes how when she was still in High School her current husband saw her in her father’s shop and liked her and wanted to marry her. He came to her father to ask for her hand in marriage (keep in mind that they had never talked) and the father told him to send some female relatives to meet her first. They came and she hid and would not come out. He did not give up and they came the next week and an agreement was made between the parents.

Then for a month he would come over and sit with the family in the evenings with her there (but she was too shy to say anything) and then in a month they were married and she was not a student anymore!  By age 22 she had 4 children! Now she says it is good because she is fairly young and can find herself and enjoy life.
Now it is somewhat different. She has 4 boys. All of them are married. She said that they did not consult her or her husband before finding who they wanted to marry. They each came after they had already decided to tell them that they were going to marry a certain person. They all got married in their early 20s. The family of the man is responsible for all of the expenses of the wedding and setting up a household. The couple must have an apartment and all of the furnishings. The man also pays for the bride having her hair done, the flowers and everything at the wedding. At the wedding everyone who attends donates money for the couple. This ends up paying for the wedding which might cost as much as $50,000 shekel. There are 4 shekels for one dollar, so you can figure out how much that is! 

1 comment:

  1. So interesting to read about how life has changed for the parents and their children in one generation - thanks for sharing, Janice.


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