Arranged marriages - PAU 2009

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Indian weddingStrange as it may seem arranged marriages are common in Asia, where people often repeat the saying: “In the West you marry the one you love, in the East we love the one we marry.” You learn to love the person you marry because the people who selected that person chose very well.
Parents and close relatives are the people who know you better than anyone else, so why not let them choose something as important as a life partner?
Now the British Television (BBC) hopes to bring this philosophy into our homes and hearts with a new show: “Arrange Me a Marriage”. The idea is to help lonesome singles to find the partner of their dreams using the principles of an Asian arranged marriage.
The TV show which airs next month is conducted by Aneela Rahman, a British Pakistani TV star. Ms Rahman believes that the key to successfully finding a life partner is by matching up class, education, family background, life goals and earnings. So, compatibility is crucial for her.
Ms Rahman is a living proof that this kind of marriages work, she’s been married to her husband Gurwinder for 15 years and they have two children. That’s why she is convinced that in the European society, where more people live alone unhappily, this Asian tradition may be exactly what we need.
Nevertheless, Aneela doesn’t want people getting together in the show if they are not interested in each other. Her way of arranging marriages is pragmatic, focusing on the following factors: shared goals, education, values and financial potencial, but love and attraction cannot be left aside. She believes that there is a chance of making a successful marriage if as many of these key factors as possible are taken into account.
Geeta Singh, the UK head of the global matrimonial website Shaadi.com, does not only agree with Aneela but she adds one more argument: “Because an arranged marriage is supported by a family from the start, when you go on a bad patch, you still have the support of the two families that proposed that marriage in the very first place.”
In her opinion many British people have trouble with the idea of an arranged marriage because they confuse it with a forced marriage. Geeta says: “The majority of arranged marriages are not forced in any way, you can often spend a few months with somebody the family has chosen and at the end of it just decide what you want.”
But Geeta also recognises that nowadays many young Asians increasingly believe that the concept of an arranged marriage is incompatible with living in the modern world. They strongly believe that arranged marriages are simply too artificial for modern times because in an arranged marriage both future partners only show their best side so you don’t get to know the real person. In a love relationship, they think, you already know everything you have to know about your partner before you get married.
The Independent. Adapted
  • partner: cònjuge, parella / cónyuge, pareja
  • lonesome: solitari -ària, / solitario -a
  • air: emetre / emitir
  • a bad patch: una mala temporada

Part 1: Reading comprehension

Choose the best answer according to the text. Only ONE answer is possible.

1. Arranged marriages…
  • are banned in western countries.
  • are illegal in some western countries.
  • are not common in Eastern countries.
  • are usual in Asian countries.
2. The objective of “Arrange Me a Marriage” is…
3. The participants in “Arrange Me a Marriage” are people who…
4. Ms Rahman’s key for the perfect marriage is…
5. Which factor is not considered by Aneela as important for a successful marriage?
  • Upbringing.
  • Origin.
  • Income.
  • Attraction.
6. Geeta Singh affirms that in an arranged marriage, the couple…
7. Geeta Singh thinks that in Great Britain people…
8. A lot of young people in Asia believe that in arranged marriages future partners…

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