traditional marriages

My country is celebrating 100 years of independence this year and we are also achieving marriage equality on the 1st of March. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our achievements as a nation than celebrating equality and human rights. Congratulations, Finland, may there be many more victories such as this and may your freedom last a thousand years!

(yes, the Finnish flag appears backwards because she’s waving it around)

I am still not over that pair skate from episode 12 of Yuri on Ice, not just because it was freaking beautiful but also because it was a powerful political statement.

I mean, you could say that about the entire anime, and that’s great, but the same-sex ice dancing was literally a political statement, I’m not even exaggerating.

Because in the anime it took place during the exhibition at the Grand Prix Final. The GPF is organized by the ISU (International Skating Union) and they actually define pair skating as a performance of “one lady and one man”. Doesn’t that sound awfully similar to something? Like, you know, the definition of marriage in most constitutions? (including the Russian and Japanese one)

Not all viewers may be aware of this, but the pair skate is a brave defiance not only of the conservative nature of the figure skating world, but also of traditional definitions of marriage. It is an overt, straightforward and positive statement on love and how it has nothing to do with sex or gender of the two partners. Victor and Yuuri’s pair skate is presented beautifully, genuinely and is taken seriously at all times, showing the viewer the irrelevance of the sex of the partners in the presence of true love. And in a world where same-sex marriage is still impossible in most countries and same-sex competitive pair skating is still unthinkable, this is huge.

And it is more than that because, as other users have pointed out, the performance also rejects traditional gender roles, through elements like Victor being represented by the soprano in the duet and wearing a pink/purple outfit, which are colors traditionally associated with women, but despite that showing him as leading the dance on multiple occasions.

But at the same time, he often shares the lead with Yuuri, making them truly equal both in the performance and in their relationship.

(beautiful cleaning job done by @postpigeon)

Overall, the performance is not only a beautiful presentation of Victor and Yuuri’s love but is also a poignant statement on same-sex relationships and indeed, marriage as whole.

And this must be talked about and appreciated.

So I’m watching The Crown on Netflix, real banger of a show, and Prince Phillip goes “you’ve taken my career and my home and my family name from me what kind of marriage is this” and I was like shit. he’s the woman in a traditional marriage. that’s a completely normal classic marriage, it’s just that the gender roles are reversed. I don’t know if that was intentional from the show writers but DAMN

Marital Signifiers

So I had a dream where two people from very different cultures have to get married to prevent a war, and in it, one culture used rings to signify marriage while the other used (pierced) earrings.

This got me thinking about what traditions exist to visually show that someone is married. So a bit of research later, some examples are:

  • Wearing a ring (left or right hand, depending on culture) on the “ring” finger (third finger), sometimes getting a tattoo on the appropriate finger (especially if the person’s job makes wearing an actual ring dangerous and/or impractical)
  • (For men) having a beard, or wearing a prayer shawl
  • (For women) wearing a special necklace, or special bangles, or special hair style/covering, or a sindoor

So that’s pretty cool, but I think there are lots of other ways people could show that they’re married. (And maybe there are cultures that do–they just weren’t among the ones I found in my 30 minutes of googling). Maybe things like:

  • Pierced ears/nose/lip
  • Specific colour of nail polish and/or tattoo on hands/fingers
  • Hair length (either unwed individuals must keep hair short, or unwed individuals are not allowed to cut their hair until after marriage)
  • Special type of clothing (a sash, shawl, belt, or scarf)
  • Specific colour of clothing (for example, maybe only married people can wear blue)
  • Less visual, but what if only married people could use certain scents (like lavender) for their soaps and/or fragrances?

There are lots of possibilities! So why not use something other than “exchanging rings” in your fantasy story? Just make sure you think about what that means for the culture. (For example, puzzle rings [which are super cool–I love the ‘woven’ look] were originally developed to catch wives who cheated on their husbands, because they fall apart when taken off. Which shows that women weren’t trusted, and that they weren’t expected to be very clever [otherwise they could put the ring back together])

Permanent markings (like tattoos and piercings) are likely used in a culture where divorces are either not common, or not allowed. Might make for an interesting exploration to look at how such a culture might handle widows/widowers, or those rare instances of divorce. (Do they have a different way to show widowhood vs divorce? How easy/hard is it for a divorcee to make it look like their widowed instead?)

For specific colours/items only available to married individuals, think about how easy it is for the poorest people in the society to access. Do they have to use alternatives to achieve the same visual representation of their marriage? (For example, if a sparkling teal nail polish is what denotes a married person, but it’s expensive, do poor use a fruit/flower that stains their fingertips instead? Maybe the polish is accessible to everyone, but then the rich are going to want some way to denote their wealth as well [comparable to massive engagement rings], so maybe they use a flat teal and then add the sparkle by placing tiny slivers of diamonds on the wet polish?)

And then you must think about the difference in how men and women (and other genders, if it’s a multi-gendered society) present their symbol of marriage. Even with a symbol like a ring that both men and women use, the rings are often very different in appearance. Men’s rings tend to be thicker and simpler, while women’s rings tend to be thinner and more “elegant” (swoops, swirls, curls, multiple gems, etc.). So in a society that uses nail polish or piercings to show marriage, how might it be worn by different genders?

My parents’ anniversary candle (which has only been lit once, at the wedding) next to my grandparents’ green glass table lamp. My mother keeps it with the Christmas stuff because my folks had a December wedding. Had they kept up on this, there wouldn’t be much of a picture at all… you’d only see a short stout thing with just a book at the bottom and no remaining bluebirds.

For Catholics discerning marriage

For Catholics discerning marriage, a summary of the traditional stages/steps towards marriage

FRIENDSHIP PHASE - the couple are friends, getting to know each other

COURTSHIP PHASE - the couple become a bit more exclusive

ENGAGEMENT PHASE- when the man proposes to the woman, with an engagement ring

BETROTHAL PHASE- usually done with the priest blessing the couple, blessing the engagement ring & publicly declaring the couple betrothed in the church.  This also provides additional spiritual protection to the engaged couple during their engagement.  Traditionally, this is when the engagement ring can now be publicly worn.  I think this is a beautiful tradition that should be revived.  

THE WEDDING/MARRIAGE - 


See below for full details on what to do and what not to do in these stages 

http://thebeautifulcatholicfaith.tumblr.com/post/154987935849/four-stages-of-courtship-for-those-discerning

Prayer in Defense of Marriage

God our Father, we give you thanks for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love, and the font of the family.

The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.

The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the
request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son,
through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us
a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.

May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.

Father, we ask that our prayers
be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Queer, Hindu, and Marriage

Hi there! So I have a question about a story I plan to write featuring a pansexual Hindu Punjabi woman (a second generation immigrant to the US, mid thirties, if this is useful to know?) who lost her (American, Christian) husband but has come to fall in love with a woman years later. In the course of my research, I found some information on remarriage for Hindu widows, and queer Hindu marriages, but not much on the intersection between the two. I’ve read that there is some controversy over remarriage and the role of widows in general, but I don’t know how much of what I’m finding is influenced by western feminist judgment (in line with freakouts over women wearing hijab, etc), and in turn how much reflects the contemporary opinions of actual Hindu people. In addition, I’m finding a good amount of information on cross-cultural and inter-faith Hindu weddings between women from different cultural backgrounds celebrating the “fusion of traditions”, but not a great deal on the ceremonies, practices, and realities of queer Hindu women who marry other women. I’m sorry if these topics are very broad! I don’t know that there’s a specific question I’m asking about any of this, but any thoughts from the mods and followers would be much appreciated. Also, if there are any films/books/posts you would recommend I look into as further reading to inform this character, I would greatly appreciate it (my list right now is kind of short, unfortunately). 

(Thanks so much for all the hard work you do running this blog. I learn more with every post!)

There’s a lot of issues here and I’ll try to sort through them all.  The TL;DR of it, though, is: she should make her own path and doesn’t have to get hung up on what tradition dictates. This is the state of many, if not most, Hindus alive today.

Now, on to the details:

There is no specific position on non-hetero relationships enumerated across the various Hindu scriptures (and what someone counts as “scripture” is itself variable).  Reactions to LGBT topics among everyday Hindus and Indians/Indian-diaspora folks can range from very negative to very positive.

While trying to find the most severe thing Hindu scripture has to say about homosexuality, I reread relevant parts of the Manu Smṛti, which is notorious for being hugely judgy about everything.  It turns out that that’s quite tepid in its homophobia.  For instance, it condones death for hetero adultery, but it’s like “Gay sex?  Whatever, take a bath,” which is incidentally the same punishment as for having straight sex in an ox cart.  Religion is weird.  Anyway, there’s this contradiction between revered texts being fairly laissez-faire on the matter and how homophobic and uptight Indian society can actually be.  Those of us who are more secularized, regardless of our level of personal belief, tend to just ignore the crappy bits of our ancestral culture. For some, that is easier than for others.  Sometimes you ignore it until you can’t anymore.

Consider your character’s own level of religiosity.  There are some characters to be found in Hindu mythology who could be interpreted as various shades of queer (Shikhandin, Ila, Aravan, Mitra and Varuna, the mothers of Bhagiratha in some stories, gender-bending deities, etc.)  These might mean a lot to her, or they might mean very little depending on how religious she considers herself.  Her Hindu identification could be more of a cultural one without much thought given to mythological characters and details.  Either way is perfectly fine.  You’ll just have to do some research into queer religious Hindu perspectives versus more secular ones.

Regardless, a second generation immigrant probably wouldn’t put much stock in orthodox freakouts over widows, especially if she’s only in her mid-30s.  Everything you’ve described points to a secular/liberal interpretation of Hinduism, and sounds like more of a “Diwali and Janamashtami” Hindu (that’s our version of a Christmas and Easter Christian).  And, yeah, there are a lot of people, especially in the west and the US/Canada particularly, who may observe certain Hindu holidays in some way, and may also do things like celebrating secular Christmas and other western holidays.  Sometimes cultural identification is much more subtle than overt, as I discussed in a recent post.

Ceremonies and practices are completely up to the couple, really.  They can’t control the reaction of the community, but community reaction could be anything, because there’s no overarching Hindu position on same-sex relationships, or interracial or interfaith relationships.  It sounds like the woman she falls in love with is not Indian/Hindu?  Correct?  Would she convert to Hinduism in any sense?  That could change a few things.  Here are a few options to consider regarding Hindu conversion.  However, you will find Hindu groups across the US, at least, that celebrate both interfaith and same-sex marriages, and so I doubt that widowhood would be any hangup for them.  You could also find more traditional groups who would frown on all these things, but, you know, don’t ask that priest to officiate your wedding.

I had an interfaith wedding myself, so I can attest to how these traditions blend. For instance, there’s not really a formal aisle in the setup for a traditional Hindu ceremony, but it’s very easy to demarcate one without disruption so that there can be a processional.  The Hindu ceremony contains many substeps, just like the western one, so you can interlace them.  For instance, we had garlands (Hindu) and rings (western).  There’s also some chance overlaps in traditions.  For instance, both Hindu and Jewish weddings take place under a canopy, and both Hindu and Greek Orthodox ceremonies have the couple take ceremonial and symbolic steps together.  IMO, an interfaith wedding is a chance for a couple to really construct something meaningful for them, their traditions, and their background, together.

Finally, there’s a fairly thriving Indian queer indie cinema scene.  I don’t know that much about it beyond being able to throw down a few titles (Fire, for example), but I know it’s out there.  Some of our followers may know more.

In general, would any LGBT+ Hindu/Indian/Desi followers like to weigh in here?

~Mod Nikhil

Traditional Marriage = A Marriage With Children

Traditional marriage is between and man and a woman. Traditional marriage involves children, plain and simple, whether you adopt or have them biologically. Marriage is about making a family. Marriage is about preserving the culture, preserving your bloodline and making society more orderly. The family is the most important unit on the planet, and having children is of the utmost importance to creating a family.

People insinuate that the idea of traditional marriage comes from the bible, and they use their non-Christianity as an excuse to not fulfill it. That’s just stupid. Before empires, before nations, before states or groups, or cities or towns or even tribes, people first organized themselves by families. Parents, children, end of story. Families are the foundation that society was built upon. They are the oldest and most important unit. If your “family unit” consists of only you and your spouse, that’s not enough. Your unit will end as soon as you’re both dead in the ground. If early people had chosen to do that, society would have never existed. So, it’s crucial to have children.

One reason people don’t have children is selfishness, and that’s detrimental to society. People with children are particularly invested in the future; while it’s still a far-off thing, they are preparing the world for their children, their life and blood. Thus, people are more willing to make sacrifices. People who are willing to toil and make sacrifices are the sort of people you want in your society. Selfish, self-centered people are not. Having solid family units is ultimately good for the state, your race, and society as a whole. If someone claims they don’t want children because it doesn’t suit their lifestyle, it infuriates me. You’re supposed to set up your life so that you can have children, not the other way around.

Another common excuse for not having children, especially in our movement, is that the future is so uncertain and people don’t want to doom their future children should things not work out in our favor. While this is on the surface a noble ideal, in a way it’s still detrimental for the cause. Like I said before, having children means you have something to fight for, and by that token have “skin in the game”. If you don’t have children of your own, who are you fighting for? We can love other people’s children, we can love our race or our country, but nothing compares to the devotion we have for our children. If you have your own, you’ll fight harder. Fight for the future, and make yourself a good enough parent that you’ll teach your children to be survivors and fighters.

Finally, I understand that not everyone is biologically blessed to have the ability to conceive children. Blood is important, there’s no denying that, but there are thousands upon thousands of white children in this country waiting to be adopted. If you cannot biologically have children, then that’s that. But, you can be the one to teach them right from wrong. You can educate them on the history of their race. You can teach them to be proud. You can teach them to fight and survive. You can raise children and try to prevent them from becoming degenerates. This is all within your ability.

We can all raise children, and if you don’t feel like you’re the sort of person who could raise a child, man/woman up and become the sort of person who can. Otherwise, you aren’t doing your part for society, plain and simple.

  • Tumblr liberals, SJWs, and feminists: We have to be openminded, tolerant, and accepting of everyone!
  • Me: *posts opinion*
  • Tumblr liberals, SJWs, and feminists: OH MY GOD HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE WITH US YOU IGNORANT AND DISGUSTING BIGOT
Bangtan in 20 Years
  • <p> <b><p></b> <b>Yoongi:</b> Still feels like he hasn't reached his mental age, got a statue of him flipping everyone off in Daegu cause he made that city famous with just one finger bihhh, accomplished producer<p/><b>Jungkook:</b> Owns a gym in the states, was featured in the playboy magazine twice, won Mister Universe, married to G-Dragon's rich ass BOOM YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING<p/><b>Rapmon:</b> Received the Nobel Peace Price, never stopped posting #KimDaily, finally replies to Jackson Wang's texts, works as a poet, dyes his hair in pastel colors<p/><b>Jimin:</b> Opened a modern dance academy in Busan with Kai and Taemin aw yeahh, Chanyeol is currently his fiancee, didn't get rid of his mochi image so far<p/><b>Taehyung:</b> Moved in with Minho, won SMTM Season 34 performing Cypher pt. 760, founded a fancy noraebang in Seoul that plays BIGBANG songs only<p/><b>Jin:</b> Took over Jungkook's failed lamb skewers restaurant and became a millionaire, no wrinkles in sight cuz he immortal, the sole member in a traditional marriage<p/><b>J-Hope:</b> Became a comedian and MC on literally every variety show, permanent host of Weekly Idol with BamBam, actually the only one still involved in the K-Pop industry<p/></p><p/></p>