Many Believe Parents Are the Best Judge of Character

By Mask, Teresa | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 19, 1998 | Go to article overview

Many Believe Parents Are the Best Judge of Character


Mask, Teresa, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Teresa Mask Daily Herald Staff Writer

The mere mention of an arranged marriage shocks most Americans.

But it is a way of uniting couples that has been accepted in several cultures for centuries.

In the United States, some immigrant Muslim, Turkish, Iranian, Indian, Greek and Jewish communities still practice the custom.

Parents who come from a tradition of arranged marriages often consider it their responsibility to help their children find mates. They look for a spouse who comes from the same religion, and has similar educational and economic backgrounds.

"The thinking is the less variables there are, the more likely it is that the marriage will succeed," said Shuby Dewan, a professor who teaches Indian history at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

In reality, matchmaking could be considered nothing more than a successful blind date. What makes it different is that instead of following up with several other dates, the parties quickly turn to the important issue at hand: are they compatible enough to marry?

Families play such a crucial role because adults don't think young people are educated enough to make such an important decision.

Parents, it is believed, are a better judge of character.

Nothing could be truer, said Northern Illinois University professor of history Stephen Kern, author of "The Culture of Love: Victorians to Modern.

"Young people make dumb choices," he said. "Anyone under the age of 26 who gets married, I feel sorry for them - it never works."

Still, arranged marriage has always carried with it the stigma that the women have no say in the situation, and will be submissive in the union. …

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