Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Interesting similarity

This article is from a couple months back, but the comments thread on this post made me think of it. Excerpt:
"For scarf-wearing Muslims like me, premarital interaction between the sexes (touching, talking or even looking) is strictly controlled. Our mosques have his and her entrances and stairwells. Men and women pray, eat and congregate separately. At private dinner parties, women exit the dining room so the men can serve themselves platefuls of spicy curry and kebabs. Family celebrations are segregated: boys sit on one side of the hall, girls on the other, and married couples in the middle.

When out in public — at school or the mall or the movie theater — interactions with non-Muslim boys tend to be less constrained but still formal. A playful push from a boy would bring an awkward explanation of how touching is against my religion.

So my friends and I had high expectations when it came to marriage, which was supposed to quickly follow graduation from college. That’s when our parents, many of whom had entered into arranged marriages, told us it was time to find the one man we would be waking up with for the rest of our lives, God willing. They just didn’t tell us how.

There were no tips from our mothers or anyone else on how to meet the right man or to talk to him. It’s simply expected that our lives will consist of two phases: unmarried and in the company of women, and then married and in the company of a man. There is no middle ground and no map of how to cross from one phase to the next."

I find the similarity between the communities to be both unsurprising and oddly comforting. I don't think we're quite as on our own as she and her peers seem to be with regard to people handing out marriage advice and stuff though ;).


Madd Hatter said...

wow. that is so cool. this is not a problem exclusive to the orthodox jewish community:)

corner point said...

Cool, Apple

I think our HS principal would appreciate this post :) (wow...we seem to be talking about her a lot recently...wonder if that's some kind of sign...maybe she's the right one? :) hmmm...)

the apple said...

Madd Hatter - yup.

Corner Point - she would, probably. (Maybe . . . ;))