Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eat Pray Love & Desert Flower: Arranged Marriages

Desert Flower's dramatic story and the romantic Eat, Pray, Love have two completely different arranged marriages scenes. They're great to talk about this topic.

Arranged marriage, with its emphasis on compatibility in religious, educational, and financial backgrounds, is most convenient. It's also often pleasing to the parents, since they have approved or even decided on the choice of partner. In some cases, parents will arrange a marriage for business reasons. When a parent engineers a match for a child in order to grow or expand the family business, this is less convenient and compatible. These marriages may fail, being need based and not based in companionship. Often, people who agree to this option only do so because they feel they have no other options or they have previously failed in love.

I. Discuss these questions:

1. How are arranged marriages seen by you and your culture?

2. Would you consider having an arranged marriage for yourself or someone in your family? How so?

3. Why do you think the lowest divorce rates come from countries where arranged marriages are common practice?

4. Is love the most important reason for a couple to get married?

5. Do you consider a marriage in which one of the mates is looking for a better financial situation arranged? Explain it.

6. Do you consider arranged marriages are solutions for illegal immigrants to become legal citizens?

II. Read the statements below and decide if they are true about arranged marriages, according to your own opinion.

( ) There is a deeper trust among the boy and the girl.

( ) There is full family support from both sides.

( ) The bond is stronger and healthier if the families know each other4. Boy and the girl can concentrate on other important

( ) Issues in life, like career and studies, leave the decision on the parents, so the couple can dedicate themselves to their own professional lives while parents decide on the marriage.

( ) The parents take the risk and the most important decision in the boy's and girl's lives.

( ) Arranged marriages encourage caste system, seldom do they look for partners from different social backgrounds.

( ) Parents should choose who is supposed to be the most important person in their children's lives.

( ) It encourages the dependence of children on their parents and does not help in making an individual identity.

( ) They tend to be long-lasting and more stable.

( ) You're likely to develop a close friendship as well as a love relationship with time.

( ) There is the excitement of the unknown and uncontrollable.

III. Watch the segment from the movie Eat, Pray, Love and discuss the questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. How are the couple's feeling towards their arranged marriage?

3. What is the wedding like?

4. What's your opinion about this marriage? How likely is it to succeed?

5. What do you think will happen to the couple in the future?

6. Why are they having this kind of marriage?

IV. Watch the scene from the movie The Desert Flower and discuss the questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. How do you know this marriage is arranged?

3. How common is this reason for an arranged marriage?

4. Would you consider this kind of marriage if you needed to move to another country for professional reasons? What about political reasons? And financial reasons?

5. Is it fair that social workers visit immigrants who have married native citizens' homes to check if the marriage is for real? Why (not)?

6. How likely to succeed is this kind of marriage?




  1. Thanks! Great topic, just in time for Valentine's day.
    Discussing dating with teens. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you so much. You did an excellent job. I teach high school Health in CT.

  3. Wow!! Great as always!! Thanks! ;0)

  4. Thanks for your words. Great to hear that.