American versus Asian marriages

Introduction

A family is a group of related individuals by hereditary. This may include parents, children and siblings. The term marriage viewed from a broad perspective includes those related by marriage and other who have been incorporated to live in the same household especially those emotionally involved and their interaction is quite often.

A family wholesomeness is determined by their constant sharing in growth and development of all the individuals of the group.

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A family is debatably a society’s main and very important institution. It is the center of major socialization of individuals to the society. They offer the individuals a sense of belonging, support and guidance. Family is described in sociology as a social structure or group and is also a well established institution.

This is more so defined by set norms and rules that govern it enriched by the statuses and roles organized to fulfill specified for the society. The set regulations are set to direct issues that revolve around social relations and sexual activities within the sexual unions (Eshleman 2000).

A family’s genesis is a social union which is referred to as a marriage. A marriage is a union or a contract between people which builds up a kinship. The relationships that are formed by marriage are interpersonal which are intimate and sexual. They are accepted differently depending on the diversity of the cultures. The formalization of the marriage is a wedding ceremony.

Similarities of the American and Asian marriage cultures

The marital paths are of different kinds which can be termed as ideologies that differ. Traditional the typically accepted marital path was the nuclear family. This was built on the foundation of steadiness and commitment which was fully accepted by the society. Currently the paths have diversified and over the time different societies are accepting and absorbing them. (Young 2002).

A wedding in both cultures is used as a stepping stone to marriage. It is an event that is used by both the parents and the families to offer their blessings to their children as they cross over the bridge. The weddings are specially prepared with the parents and the religious group’s consent.

The American men seeking for women to give them a hand in marriage tend to follow the already set paths by their elders. They therefore have adopted the nuclear marriages. The Asian likewise follow the example and the models set by their elders.

In both the American and the Asian cultures big parties crown the wedding days. This goes along with big feasts, dancing and mingling among friends. The two families mingle together and interact well in foods, drinks and even dances. The reception in both cultures is the major interest in planning for a wedding they plan it for fun. This also brings the friends to the families together.

Differences between the two cultures in marriage

The American marriages are preceded by bridal showers which is a moment for the friends to bring in gifts which include all the necessary things one needs to starts a home. This is after the engagement ceremony but just before the wedding ceremony. For the Asians, marriages are riddled with credulous beliefs.

This is mandatory for both the grooms and the brides who are believed to yield complete fun in the marriage and traditionalisms of it (National healthy marriage resource center 2009).

The American weddings which are an integral part of marriages are held in the church. They are conducted by a priest and thereafter a party is held and all the guests are given a favor that reminds them of the marriage. Those who prefer other places apart from the church a member of the clergy marry them.

Among the Asians the weddings are scheduled on a fortune day and they are held corporately. They are held in specified areas which are in falls and springs. They hold their ceremonies in parks near water ways like water falls and oceans (Buckley 2002).

The bride in the American cultures wears a white gown especially for virgins and those who are first timers in marriage. In the Asian culture they wear blue which signifies luck for them. Other colors can also be incorporated depending on the culture defines and situation of different marriages. Their marriages are governed by love and there are no rigid rules that govern marriage as compared to other cultures.

The newly wedded bride receives gifts for all family members. This is according to the Asian culture. This is an indication of a sweet relationship between her and the family. The bride is expected to throw grains behind her as she leaves her paternal house. This shows her paying back to the parents for all they have provided to her. This is an evidence of a transformation to a new family.

The married people were also interwoven with two strings. This was a symbolic mark of newly wedded souls. This shows they have come together and they are now a family. For the Japanese who are an integral part of the Asian culture they were purple which signifies love to them. This is not common in the western countries marriage cultures (Young 2002).

The Asian culture does not so much approve intermarriages. They are expected to conform to the norms of marrying from other Asian ethnic groups not outside that circle. This is due to avoidance of mingling which may consequently lead to loss of the Asian strong culture. In the twentieth century there have been a lot of interracial marriages with the American but most of them according to research have not gone far leaving most of the Asian women single.

One of the cultures that are hitting the headlines today is the gay marriages. This is unheard of in the Asian cultures it is actually an abomination taking into consideration that their marriages as much more inclined towards religious practices.

There are mostly in to the polygamy kind of families while the American believes in nuclear marriages. In the American culture marriage is done on contact basis while in the Asian cultures marriage is a life long commitment (Buckley 2002).

Another major difference in the two cultures is the roles they partake in a marriage. In the west men can help out in the household chores especially when their wives are committed elsewhere. In the Asian culture the woman’s place cannot be taken up by the men in the society.

Their roles are very well defined in that they have different activities and they are not mandated to take each other roles. In the western countries there has been an increased rate nuclear and single family while the extended families have decreased (Young 2002).

In the traditional cultures the men were supposed to work for the upkeep of the family. The Asians have held this up to date while in the American culture both the wife and the husband work to share the cost of living for the family. They also do not allow so much of divorced marriages which are predominant in the western cultures leading to increased existence of single families.

Unlike the American families, the Asians have closely knit families. Their families ties are very close hence their families both nuclear and extended families live under one roof.

Advancement of marriage cultures

Through the twentieth century the marriage cultures have really changed and diversified. The culture of marriage has changed over the time and people have lost some of the issues and rituals that accompanied marriage.

The incorporation of parents at the genesis of a marriage has declined hence cohabitation has become the most common culture in marriage today especially in the western countries. This has adversely affected the intended culture of marriage.

Major roles in marriages have changed which is assumable been known for causing a lot of divorces. With the increased rates of women education and good careers they are enjoying today, the marriage cultures have changed drastically. The women have taken up roles initially meant for men and men have no option than to try and fit in the setting (Young 2002).

Conclusion

Despite the diversity of two marriage cultures intermarriages are a common occurrence among this two diverse communities. They have mingled well and all cultures in the world have the freedom to mingle and develop new cultures which can blend the tradition ones and even make them better.

Marriage cultures are most build on the religious standards of different communities. Therefore they are become more common for different communities especially those who share similar religious backgrounds

References

Buckley, V. (2002). Differences between Asian and Western cultures. UK: Helium. Inc Retrieved on 11th October, 2010 from
http://www.helium.com/items/932844-differences-between-asian-and-western-cultures

Eshleman, R. J. (2000). The Family, Ninth Editition. Allyn & Bacon: Needham Heights.

Young, R. (2002). Sociology of the Family.
Allyn & Bacon: Needham Heights. Retrieved on 11th October, 2010 from
http://ryoung001.homestead.com/Family.html

National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. (2009). Marriage and intermarriage among Asian American. USA: Healthymarriageinfo.Org. Retrieved on 11th October, 2010 from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/pdf/marriageamongasianamericans.pdf

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