One of my English students is taking a break for a while, since she will have to do a great amount of preparations in the near future: Her daughter is getting married! It’s a pity somehow, because this would be my first close-up of a Japanese wedding, but I hope she will send an email every now and then to let me know how things are going.

Photo by Ben Rosett on UnsplashWhat I know so far: It’s an omiai wedding, meaning that when the couple had met for the very first time, they had done so for the express purpose of meeting a partner for marriage. In these kinds of arranged marriages (although the couple nowadays has full veto powers), things tend to go very quickly. These two met in the beginning of February, and the groom already wanted to get married on May 1st…

The groom was introduced to the bride’s parents only last week, and this weekend, the parents will meet. That the marriage will take place is already decided upon, now it’s just about the date and the type of wedding – traditional shinto or modern Japanese – that needs to be fixed.

To me, this seems a bit strange and very exciting at the same time. Not necessarily the way the couple met – I guess every single person ever has had friends play matchmaking on occasion – but the fact that it’s already clear that they will marry, after not even three months. I realize that there is something like “love on first sight”, but even so, this is a speed that I’m not used to. Western bias, I’m sure.

2 thoughts on “Preparations”

  1. “Love” might not have anything to do with this. Not every person/culture is so fixated on finding love as Western cultures are. Marriages of convenience are pretty common all around the world. 🙂

    1. I did not express myself properly here 😉 Probably because the whole idea of “marriages of convenience” give me the shivers… I understand that, evaluated over many years, many arranged marriages are not faring worse than love marriages. Still, my idea of getting married is much based on love on the grounds of “if it does go downhill, at least there’s something to look back upon…”

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