Dating and Marriage Customs from Around the World


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Dating and Marriage Customs from Around the World

  1. 1. Dating and Marriage Customs from around the world Karen Smith FACS Class Monticello Middle School Information taken from CultureGrams Database World Edition
  2. 2. Canada Dating usually begins about age 13. A date is similar to the US, couples enjoy going to movies, dancing, eating in restaurants, or meeting at sporting events. Some couples will live together before getting married. The average age for marriage is 30+. Weddings are usually celebrated with family and friends, but highly elaborate events are somewhat uncommon. Couples will wait a few years before having children.
  3. 3. Mexico A girl’s 15th birthday, called her quince anos, is a party that historically meant she was of marriageable age. Now days the party still happens, but it doesn’t carry the marriage significance it once did. Dating couples will often meet at their date destination instead meeting at the girl’s house. In small towns girls need to be home before dark, so young men will visit with a girl at her house instead of being out at night. Most young people live with their parents until they get married. When people get married, they often have two ceremonies. The first being the civil ceremony which is the legal ceremony and then a ceremony in the church. They have a tradition that when the marriage prayer is said, a rope is put around the couple that shows they are tied together. Quince Anos photos!
  4. 4. Brazil Group dating begins around age 14. As relationships begin to build and grow, couples will break away from the group for dating on their own. It is expected that a young man will get permission from the girl’s father to marry her. Engagements may last two or three years. It used to be that Brazilians married young, but now they will wait until they are in their 30s. Just as in Mexico, they will have two ceremonies. Some wedding traditions are that the bride must arrive 10 minutes late to the wedding. The groom must tame an untamed donkey before he is thought to be a responsible husband. Groomsmen will carry or wear the Brazilian flag instead of wearing flowers.
  5. 5. Australia Teens start dating around age 15. Usually they are in small groups going to dances or to the movies. People will get married in a church. They are usually in their 20s. There is a growing trend to live together instead of getting married. This arrangement is referred to as a de facto marriage. Older children living at home are expected to contribute toward family expenses.
  6. 6. Japan In Japan teens start to date about age 15, but do not get married until about age 26. Couples enjoy dancing, going to movies, shopping, and eating out. Weddings can be elaborate and expensive. Marriage ceremonies usually take place in hotels or wedding halls. The couple may wear the traditional kimono for the ceremony, Western wedding outfits for photographs and socializing, and different clothing for an evening party. Guests bring gifts, often cash, and leave with gifts from the couple. Arranged marriages still occur.
  7. 7. China Dating starts at about age 20. A men can’t marry they are 22 years old, while a woman can marry at age 20. People like to go to parks, dances or parties. Couples will rarely kiss in public. This kind of display is frowned upon. Living together is not common, and the parents would never be informed. Family is very important, so marriage is highly valued. If a person is not deemed “good enough“ because of their bank account, then the marriage won’t take place. In order to marry a couple must ask permission from the government. The couple signs a legal contract that the government keeps on file. But the couple isn’t married until they celebrate with their family and friends. A bride will wear red and keep her maiden name. Red represents happiness and good luck. Sometimes a bride will wear a red dress to the ceremony and change into a white gown for the banquet. Weddings in rural areas last for two days. Weddings in urban areas will combine traditional and western customs. The groom’s family will pay for the wedding, while the bride’s family will buy the household appliances. The bride’s mother will make a quilt for the couple. If the couple has children they will take their father’s last name.
  8. 8. India Dating is gaining popularity in India but marriages are still arranged. A dowry is still offered to the groom even though it is illegal. Marriage is for life, meaning you are married until you die. Weddings are elaborate and expensive. It is customary to wear bright clothing and jewelry to your wedding. Flowers are also big part of the celebration. The bride and groom will exchange garlands and words before they circle around a fire 3-7 times to complete the marriage ceremony. Following the ceremony is a big feast.
  9. 9. Afghanistan There is no such thing as dating in Afghanistan. Young people are segregated at the age of 12. Marriages are arranged by a prominent female in the family. Cousins will often marry to keep family ties strong. Matchmakers have long negotiations about the bride price, what the groom’s family pays to the bride’s family, and dowry, money the bride brings to the marriage. Wedding ceremonies can last for 3 days with festivities happening at both the bride and groom’s family homes. Most of the ceremony has the men and women segregated. They all come together for the signing of the marriage contract and reciting of the Qur'an. A man can have up to 4 wives. All a man has to do to divorce his wife is announce it 3 times in public.
  10. 10. Ukraine Young Ukrainians meet at discos and concerts, in school and at work, and through friends. From April to October they spend a lot of time in parks, engaging in a variety of outdoor activities. When dating, they usually visit friends, go to bars or movies, or dance at discos. Couples usually marry in their early twenties. A marriage is legal only if performed in a city hall or in a “wedding palace.” Most couples today also have a religious ceremony. Urban wedding parties are fancy but do not involve much tradition. On the other hand, rural weddings are big events that usually last for three days. Such weddings resemble a combination of a grand party and a performance since many people are responsible for completing traditional acts. For example, at some point the bride must be “stolen.” The successful thieves “demand” a ransom for her return.
  11. 11. Italy As in other Western countries, Italians date either in groups or as couples. Dancing and going to movies are frequent activities. Women usually marry by age 26, while the average age for men is 29. A man will rarely marry before he has finished his education and found employment. Therefore, engagements can last several years. Some couples live together before marrying. Marriage ceremonies most often follow Catholic traditions. Divorce is granted only after three or more years of legal separation. Nevertheless, the divorce rate is growing and the marriage rate is slowing as more couples live together instead of marrying (especially in northern Italy). Even in the more traditional South, single parents are becoming more accepted.
  12. 12. Costa Rica Group dating starts in the early teens. They will attend movies, dances, picnics, bullfights and the carnival (Mardi Gras). Dating rarely takes place. Girls have more dating restrictions than boys. When a couple is dating a schedule is set up for the couple for sitting on the porch or walking around the neighborhood, usually for two hours a couple nights a week. Marriage is highly valued in Costa Rica, their marriage rate is one of the highest for Latin America. Women will marry in their early twenties and men will wait a little longer. Unmarried adults will live with their parents until they marry, unless they are going to the University. When a couple gets engaged, their families will visit each other to show a formal agreement among the families.
  13. 13. Egypt Dating only happens with couples that are considering marriage. Arranged marriages still happen, but young people have the option to reject a match. Public displays of affection are frowned upon even between married couples. Once a couple becomes engaged they can talk on the telephone or visit while accompanied by family. A woman must be a virgin as stated in the marriage contract. Her family will protect a her reputation. A girl’s reputation can be ruined just by holding hands with a man or staying out too late at night. A Muslim engagement begins with the Arayet al-Fatah, in which verses of the Qur'an are read and the couple declares that they intend to marry. After the ceremony, couples are allowed more freedom to communicate, so couples commonly use the time between the Arayet al-Fatah and the actual wedding to get to know one another. This engagement can last for several years. It is common for engagements to be called off. The marriage ceremony (katb ketab) takes place in the bride's home or at a mosque and is performed by a sheikh (priest). After the ceremony, there is a reception with dancing. In more religious circles, men and women may celebrate separately.
  14. 14. Madagascar Marriages are arranged with people of similar social status. The couple can reject the proposed arrangement, but that rarely happens. Many young people marry someone from their school or neighborhood. Dating is expected to lead to marriage. It isn’t something for fun. The actual engagement is very formal. The man's family asks for the woman's hand at her parents' home. The two families choose spokesmen well versed in kabary, who present the genealogy and history of the families and praise the bride and her family. After a formal speech of consent is delivered, the bride's family receives a vodiondry (literally, “lamb's rump” but meaning bride-price). A lamb is slaughtered for the occasion and a number of live zebus are given as a dowry. In highland areas, cash takes the place of zebu and lamb. After the bride is given by her father to the groom, the couple must listen to advice by both sets of parents. Finally, the oldest family members give the couple their blessings. The bride's family pays for the engagement party and the groom's family pays for the wedding. There must be a civil wedding first . Religious weddings, usually on Saturdays, are followed by a feast and a dance. Zebu
  15. 15. Jordan Arranged marriages are common. Dating does not happen until a couple is engaged or a marriage contract has been signed. Men marry about age 30 and women marry in their late twenties. At the wedding festivities, men and women celebrate separately. The groom must give a gift to the bride’s family. The groom and the men in his wedding party perform a traditional line dance in their finest suits. At the bride's party, she dances as her guests sing and dance around her. To mark end of the celebration, the bride is seated on a chair on top of a platform. The female members of both families adorn her with gold jewelry. The women put on their veils and conservative clothing before the groom and other men present the bride with gold. Then the new couple dance together with all of their guests. Later, the bride puts on a white cape and leaves with her husband. Family members follow them in their cars until they reach the hotel where they will stay for the night.
  16. 16. Germany Germany does not have a word for dating. Instead young people socialize. They will hang out in clubs, restaurants, and pubs. If someone wants to date another person they will suggest a Verabredung (appointment). They will pay for their own things unless someone offers to pay. On-line dating services are becoming popular. A young man will still ask the girl’s father for his approval of the marriage. The family of the bride will pay for the wedding. Engagements can last up to two years. Engaged couples wait until their late twenties when their finances have become stable. It is becoming more common for young people to live together instead of marrying. The government offers tax advantages to couples who are legally married. Legal marriages are performed at the city hall. The religious ceremonies are optional.
  17. 17. United Kingdom Group dating starts during the teenage years. Once a person is in college, dating becomes more serious. Internet dating has become popular in the past few years. Meeting the family means that the relationship is serious. Most couples will live together before getting married . Many couples will simply live together instead of marrying. Weddings are lavish affairs. The tradition is to have the bride’s family pay for the wedding, but now days both families help pay. A couple can be married in the church and it is legal. After the ceremony, the couple will go into a room to sign the church registry. They need two witnesses and a registrar to make it legal. The bride will wear a long white dress, and the groom will wear a morning suit, which is a tuxedo with a top hat..