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Pre-Politically Correct History: Traditional Hindu Marriage vs. Western ‘Romantic’ Marriage

“The child was hardly born when the parents began to think of its marriage. For marriage, in the Hindusystem, was compulsory; an unmarried man was an outcast, without social status or consideration, and prolonged virginity was a disgrace. Nor was marriage to be left to the whim of individual choice or romantic love; it was a vital concern of society and the race, and could not safely be entrusted to the myopia of passion of the accidents of proximity; it must be arranged by the parents before the fever of sex should have time to precipitate a union doomed, in the Hindu view, to disillusionment and bitterness…

Should marriage be arranged to coincide with sexual maturity, or should it be postponed, as in America, until the male arrives at economic maturity? The first solution apparently weakens the national physique, unduly accelerates the growth of population, and sacrifices the woman almost completely to reproduction; the second solution leaves the problems of unnatural delay, sexual frustration, prostitution, and venereal disease. The Hindus chose child marriage as the lesser evil and tried to mitigate its dangers by establishing, between the marriage and its consummation, a period in which the bride should remain with her parents until the coming of puberty. The institution was old…it had been rooted in the desire to prevent intercaste marriage through casual sexual attraction…”

Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

One response to “Pre-Politically Correct History: Traditional Hindu Marriage vs. Western ‘Romantic’ Marriage

  1. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You – 7-29-12 | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

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