Sample Paper on Marriage Practices of Indian and American Natives

Marriage practices of Indian and American Natives Culture

Introduction

Culture denotes the pattern of people’s actions and the symbolic formations that offer such conduct vital significance. Marriage practices are some instances of cultural norms and entail a legal unification of a mature female and male for life; a covenant, complete life transformation, dedication and even an intimate connection involving a woman and man. Marriage creates the backbone in a society, and its definitions seek to clarify the significance of marriage and its meaning to any given person as it is deemed a kind of transition in the life of a person. The kind, functions, and attributes of marriage differ with culture and can differ with time (International encyclopedia of marriage and family, 2003). Normally, there are a couple of marriage practices across cultures: religious marriage and civil marriage, but, characteristically, marriages utilize the two practices since religious marriages have to be licensed and recognized by the state and, equally, civil marriages not endorsed under religious regulations are, all the same, revered. Different traditional practices are conducted in dissimilar cultures to offer marriage the influence and the importance it holds in the two people who choose to go into marriage. Currently, marriage still bears its opinions and reactions across every facet since it is vital both traditionally and presently. This paper discusses comparison and contrast between marriage practices of Indian and American Natives culture in an attempt to elucidate differences and similarities across societies. Marriage practices between the Indian people and American Natives have different aspects but have a few similarities.

Differences

To excellently comprehend cultural diversity, comparison and contrast between cultures are normally employed to explain differences and similarities across cultures. The American Indians are native to North American, and there are many languages with the most common encompassing Iroquoian from Cherokee. Kinship ties were between blood and marriage, which had to be used to get better political, economic, and religious standing; in the Indian culture, kinship and arranged marriages prevail (Plains Indian, 2013). The greatest dissimilarity in the marriage practices of Indian and American Natives culture is that, for American Natives, people are allowed to marry as they desire, when they desire and to the person they choose. In the Indian culture, the families decide the mate for their children, which is referred to as an arranged marriage. Most of the time, the bride and groom do not get a chance to chat until after marriage. For the American Natives, the notions of “love marriages” override the culture, marrying for love and not a selection of a mate by the family. Although love marriages happen in the Indian culture, the majority of the families choose a spouse in advance for their children. Nonetheless, it is turning out to be more widespread to allow the couple befriend each other and approve the marriage ahead of time, particularly amid the middle and upper class.

In the Indian culture, marriage practices are not just cherished and supported, but they are highly evident and alluring. Whereas in the American Natives culture married women are mainly recognized by a ring (usually diamond) on the ring finger of the left hand, in the Indian culture, the status of married of women is literally indicated on the forehead. The majority of married women in the Indian culture wear a red line on their faces, known as Sindoor (vermillion), beginning from the section of their hair and reaching the middle of their forehead (Plains Indian, 2013). A number of women prefer just a little red powder at their hairline while others like making the mark very distinct. The Sindoor is dissimilar from the bindi, the dot or jewel put at the middle of the forehead but both can be put on together. The husband puts the Sindoor on the wife for the first instance in the course of the wedding occasion (religious marriage), and the wife can then wear it herself each time she deems fit. The Great Indian Wedding denotes an enormous section of the culture where the brides obtain mehndi, the pictures on their hands and legs drawn with an impermanent dye prepared from henna (Plains Indian, 2013). They put on sophisticated red saris and golden jewellery, and they act as the objects of every person’s concentration throughout a festivity that takes days. After the wedding, there are still some items that only married women put on. For example, in the Indian culture, red bangles are put on by new wives for one year after the wedding ceremony in the Punjabi custom.

On the contrary, in the American Natives culture, marriages are can neither be described as civil nor religious, but just a public acknowledgment of the reality of marriage with a formal procedure. In the majority of instances though, the wedding happens way after the couple has begun residing together. The original marriage practices varied from one clan or community to the other, though they employed similar ritual factors. In the Cherokee community, it is not allowed for a person to tie the knot with another from the same clan (Prairie tribes, 1996). In the ceremony, the bride’s mother and the eldest brother stick around her as they take on the responsibility of upholding the religious and spiritual requirements. The bridegroom offers venison symbolizing his desire and zeal to ensure that his family is well fed while the bride offers corn, which symbolizes her willingness to be a good wife. The spiritual instance of the marriage practice is blessed for one week after the start of the ceremony. Moreover, the groom and bride convene at the spiritual fire, and the persons, in addition to the place has to be consecrated. The symbol employed is a blue blanket after which the blankets switched for white blankets. The ceremony is brought to an end with the expression “the blankets are connected”, and the bride and groom drink from the wedding vase simultaneously. There is a conviction that if they do not spill anything, their marriage will have a good fortune and flourish.

In the American natives culture, the average marriage age for the brides is twenty-four years of age whereas for the grooms is twenty-six years (Prairie tribes, 1996). On the other hand, the average marriage age for the brides in the Indian culture is sixteen years of age while for the grooms is twenty-one years of age. In the American natives’ culture, marriage practices are deemed quiet and nice with the female wearing a white gown and the groom wearing a black tie. Furthermore, the American natives marriage practices can be conducted at any chosen venue, for instance, in churches, on someone’s yard, and outside at the beach just to mention a few. The customs are typified by a nuptial shower, bachelor festivity, and the wedding ceremony culminating in a reception. The foods are normally hamburgers, salads, and meat while the outfits for ordinary days are typically shirts and pants for both the bride and groom. The American natives’ culture has a courtship ceremony that permits clan women to endorse match in the aforementioned manner where deer and corn are present and once approved they are cooked. Most importantly, the authorization of a medicine man is vital. The banquet for men and women are organized separately where there is the learning of new and essential things in life. Quite the opposite, the marriage practices in the Indian culture are more multifaceted. The wedding ceremonies are normally conducted in temples, and several religious denominations prefer conducting them at the backyard of the bride. The wife-to-be puts on a heavy outfit red in colour and is referred to as a lengha while the husband-to-be puts on traditional attire known as a kaurta (Indian myth, 1996). Their customs are extremely lengthy and commence about one month prior to the wedding and extends to some days after the wedding. The weddings are vibrant and ear-splitting with numerous little traditions accompanying it. The foods have a great deal of spices and a range of dissimilar vegetables. Even on ordinary days, the outfits are suits for brides while the grooms have kaurta (Plains Indian, 2013).

Similarities

Even though marriage practices in American natives and Indian cultures have much dissimilarity, they also have a few resemblances (International encyclopedia of marriage and family, 2003). In both American natives and Indian cultures, marriage practices mark the entry into a union that influences the individuals mentally, economically, and socially. The decisions made affect the union either positively or negatively, the responsibilities increase, and the judgments made matter a lot. The implication of marriage practices is the same in both cultures; they connect a couple together. Moreover, they not only connect the couple but the two families, and the two communities at large. In the wedding ceremonies, symbolic outfits are put on, and flowers are employed not only for decoration but also to symbolize fruitfulness and convey special connotations. Gifts are offered to the bride and bridegroom, in addition to the individuals assisting with the wedding preparations. The families of the bridegroom and bride are significant and in most instances, there would be no wedding devoid of the guidance and monetary assistance of the families. Marriage practices denote a period of celebration in the two cultures and are frequently accompanied by foods and music. In the two cultures, it is normal for a husband to go to work whilst the wife is left home with the children.

Conclusion

Marriage practices denote cases of cultural standards and involve a legal merger of a mature female and male for all their days alive. The utmost distinction in the marriage practices of Indian and American Natives culture is that, for American Natives, individuals are allowed to wed to the person they decide while in the Indian culture, the families choose the spouse for their children. While in the American Natives culture married females are particularly identified by a ring on the finger, in the Indian culture, the position of married of females is shown on the forehead. To sum it up, amid the differences there are a few similarities that encompass the fact that in both cultures, marriage practices mark the way in to a union that impacts on the individuals psychologically, financially, and socially.

 

References

Indian myth. (1996). Bloomsbury dictionary of myth. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/bloommyth/indian_myth/0

International encyclopedia of marriage and family. (2003). International encyclopedia of marriage and family. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/galemarriage/international_encyclopedia_of_marriage_ and_family/0

Plains Indian. (2013). The Hutchinson unabridged encyclopedia with atlas and weather guide. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/heliconhe/plains_indian/0

Prairie tribes. (1996). Encyclopedia of north American Indians, Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/hmenai/prairie_tribes/0