At work, we have a substantial team in India. The rather unique thing is that the people in the Netherlands and those in India are really a single team, with a lot of interaction and cooperation. (Quite different from what I’ve seen elsewhere!) As a way to foster mutual understanding, there is a ‘coffee break chat’ every week where someone from the Netherlands gets paired up with someone from India, and they talk about whatever subject they want. I always make sure to participate, if I have the time.
So I was chatting with one of our testers in India, and we talked about our career so far and things like that. Of course the topic of our respective living arrangements came up too, and I told him about I live together with my partner close to the office, no kids, two cats, etc. I was not really prepared for his follow-up question: “Do you have a love marriage or an arranged marriage?”
Turns out that most of the media portrayal of marriage is of love marriages, so in his mind the fact that all ‘western’ media portrays love marriages doesn’t mean they don’t do arranged marriages too!
I used to have a colleague from India who was looking forward to his arranged marriage. His reasoning was that his parents know him the best, and so they could make the right choice in partner for him. And while in the Netherlands we don’t do it like that, I have to admit that having your parents approve of your choice of partner sure makes some things a lot easier in a relationship.
And while I’m glad it apparently worked out well for my former colleague, I’m glad I was able to make my own choice.