Guebukanmonyet!

A short opinion on marriage (just for laughs)

Posted on: August 8, 2009

Marriage is a big deal in this country. In this country, if you’re a woman, you’re 25 something, and you’re not married, then you’re in a big problem. It’s so much worse if you don’t have a boyfriend or anything. Your whole family will keep asking the same kind of question every time they meet you: “When will you get married?”

If you’re a guy, most likely you have more time. If you’re 25 and you’re single, that’s totally fine. Wait until you’re 30 something; that’s the time your parents will start asking that frustrating question.

Most Indonesians believe that marriage is so damn sacred. It’s a noble thing to do; in fact, it’s probably the most important thing in this culture.

It’s a different story in other places. Cultures in most Western countries don’t really see marriage as the only solution for happiness. It doesn’t matter if you’re 40 and you’re single. You won’t have your parents ask you that annoying question.

I’m not saying that marriage is good or bad. I think it’s all about a person’s choice. Whatever makes you happy, dude.

I remember I used to talk about school and future jobs with my friends a few years ago. But now, it’s always “marriage” we talk about every time we meet. “Hey, when are you getting married with your boyfriend?” a friend would ask another friend. And we all laugh together.

One of my very best friends is getting married in this coming November. And I’m happy for her. We once had a bet on who would get married first. I guess I’ll have to start thinking where to buy her some food. Damn.

I used to boast to my friends that I would get married at 25. Yeah right! That’s what I always said back then. People would ask me, “Are you serious? Don’t you think 25 is too young for a guy to get married?” And I always replied, “I’ll be ready when I’m 25.”

But that was the theory 2 to 3 years ago. Now I’m thinking to get married at least 1.5 years from now.. What the hell am I talking about marriage for, anyway?

I was reading this op-ed on The Jakarta Globe on marriage; it’s titled “Being Single Is OK in Germany, But Unimaginable in Indonesia” (http://thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/piece-of-mind-being-single-is-ok-in-germany-but-unimaginable-in-indonesia/322478). It’s a funny article showing how difficult it is to be a 30-year-old single woman in Indonesia.

As a man coming from a so-called modern conservative family, I do see that marriage is sacred. My parents have taught me how beautiful it is to have a family (a normal family, by the way). My mom, a simple housewife, used to remind me that raising a family is so beautiful. The happiness that somebody can feel through a marriage can’t be measured by money, she said.

It’s funny to know that different cultures treat marriage differently. In the West when you find your the one you can just go straight to your parents and say, “Mom and Dad, I love her. We’re getting married next week.” That’s not a problem at all.

In Indonesia, if you meet your parents and you tell them you’re getting married next month what you’ll get is a slap in the face. They’ll say, “Are you crazy?” You see, in Indonesia (or perhaps in most Eastern cultures) a marriage is not really an individual act. Yes, it does unite two people. But it’s more than just that in the East; a marriage is also about making uniting two families, and sometimes that’s the hardest part. Not to mention that parents’ approval is a must.

In the West, if your parents don’t approve that doesn’t mean you’re not getting married. It only means your parents will have the ugliest faces during the wedding.

Anyway, enough with this whole marriage thing. I’m getting sleepy and I think I need to take a rest for tomorrow’s meeting at Museum Bank Mandiri in Kota Toea.

Ciao.

4 Responses to "A short opinion on marriage (just for laughs)"

yes indeed just for laugh post. I like this one. And may I forward this post to my female friend from Russia (she’s not blogger, anyway)? but always curious to Indonesia cultures.😀

Of course you may🙂

Marriage is sacred (at least for me).

based on my observation, the big difference between Indonesian culture vs. western culture, well, may be more like ‘American’ culture (since it’s probably different in many European countries such as Italy or Greece), is that in Indonesia, as marriage is a sacred process to uniting two families, weddings are usually grand and very big and overwhelming. It is almost unimaginable to have a simple, small wedding with few guests. no, more likely we’ll have guests that we don’t even know, because our parents invite their friends and colleagues IN ADDITION to the large number of relatives.

weddings that I have attended in America is more personal and private. only families and close friends. we will know all of our guests, we can dine and dance gaily after the vow… I personally want that kind of wedding, but I doubt that my parents will agree. (may be I’ll try an economical approach: small wedding = cheap budget)😀 I won’t talk much about marriages, it’s something that’s still seem way ahead of me for now, and I’m 23. :))

by the way, I see that you still have my old URL in your blog roll. I changed my address to http://oktavinaa.blogspot.com so please do update it, and I will re-list your blog in mine. thank you! long time no visit.🙂

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guebukanmonyet is Tasa Nugraza Barley. He's a free man with unique thoughts and dreams. He sees his life and this world differently from anyone else. That's because he knows what he wants; and for that reason he doesn't want to be the same. Read why he blogs, here.

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