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Intercultural Viewpoints on Marriage
Read:4663  2015/9/14 10:03:01

InterculturalViewpoints on Marriage

(By Zhao Ningning )


Marriage is a social union or legalcontract between individuals that creates kinship. It is an institution inwhich interpersonal relationships are acknowledged in a variety of ways,depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found. People marry formany reasons, most often including one or more of the following: legal, social,emotional, economical, spiritual, and religious. But due to the varieties incultures and religions, the people from different countries have variousattitudes and various point of views on marriage which is changing with thetimes and the social development.


With the social advancement and theglobalization, the views on marriage have been changing for most of Chineseeven though over five thousand year history of culture and tradition is rooted.In Chinese traditions, marriage is necessary in the life without which thereshall be regret in the life and most Chinese prefer a forever-lasting marriage.In contrast to Chinese, Westerners believe marriage is just a private matterwhich is chased after freely.


As a romantic country, France is witnessingthe fewer marriages and more cohabitation without legal marriage. Thecohabitation without marriage is no longer the teenagers’ imprudence andtreason, but acceptable generally. In recent years, in France nearly one out oftwo marriages ends in divorce, according to the country's National Institute ofDemographic Studies. More than 130,000 divorces were registered in 2007, ascompared to just 50,000 three decades ago.


According to the analysis by sociologists,the high rate in divorce does not mean the French are not responsible for theirmarriage and their partners, but their being exigent on their marriage andpartners in some extent.


Marriage and family is always playing avery important role in German lives and social customs, and the strong sense ofduty and family tradition is always deep in German concept. However, dramaticchanges have contributed to more liberal attitudes towards marriage, so likemost other advanced countries in the postwar era, Germany recorded fewermarriages, more divorces, and smaller families. In 1960 there were 690,000marriages, compared with 516,000 in 1990. The total for 1993 amounted to only442,000, but most of this decline was caused by the dramatic social changes. Asthe number of marriages declined, the frequency of divorce increased.Meanwhile, the 1990s saw a rise in non-marital cohabitation.


The views of Americans on marriage havealways changed. The survey showed that over three quarter of American surveyedbelieve the main purpose of marriage is the “mutual happiness and fulfillment”of adults rather than “bearing and raising of children”. According the surveyconducted by Pew Research Center, it is found that children have fallen to theeighth out of nine on the list of factors that people associate with successfulmarriage. It reported non-marital cohabitations are on the rise, and more andmore children are up brought by non-marital single mothers which are provingmarriage is not their must thing in their lives. And the new analysis foundthat the in the USA from 1995 to 2005, the marriage rate declined almost 20%.


Anciently, our ancestors stay in themarriage even though they were on longer in love with their partners. In theirminds, it is natural and necessary to get married, have children and live toold; and many couples stay living together not because of their love for eachother, but of the responsibility for each other and children which cause themnot to choose on their will.


With social reformation and development,women have the equal rights and social status in politics, finance, educationas well as family, men and women have enough rights and freedom to pursue theirlove and happiness. Nowadays, with more temptations in our lives andopportunities for us to meet more people to share our interests and goals in life,marriage seems so vulnerable with the high divorce rate and prevalentnon-marital cohabitations. But it does not mean the marriage can not lastforever because It depends on your view of marriage, and the sacrifices you arewilling to put in to make your marriage work.

                                                                                                                                                                                         (By Zhao Ningning)


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