Is sharing a mothertongue as important in a marriage?

My brother recently gave the green signal to our parents to look for a suitable bride for him.Ma, visibly excited by his consent, has already started looking out for a
worthy Malayali,homely,family-oriented,etc,etc..girl for Ragz.
Upon seeing her excitement,Ragz put across a very interesting question to Ma yesterday. He asked if,in the due course,he happened to like a non-Malayali girl who would be as homely,family-oriented as any prospective Malayali girl,who fulfilled all the criteria of a worthy daughter-in-law and wife,and more importantly who he felt would be ideal for him ,would Ma and Achan be as forthcoming and encouraging towards his choice? And Ma answered without even thinking twice that she couldn’t be a part of that liaison. She said she didnt have any problems if the girl was a Christian or a Muslim,but a liaison with a girl who couldn’t speak Malayalm was a complete no-no.She did say immediately though that she wont stop him from getting married to the girl.She was quite matter of fact in saying that she couldn’t consider the girl a part of our family.As though sensing a worried tone in Ma’s voice,Ragz quickly clarified he didn’t have anyone in mind and he had asked what he did purely out of curiosity.

This conversation got me thinking -is it really important to get married to a person who shares your mothertongue? I agree if a malayali marries a malayali or a Punjabi a Punjabi,the custom,the rituals could be smoother.More so the communication becomes easier.But is that what defines a good marriage? So many marriages happen because the families belong to the same communities and yet they fall apart in no time. At the same time I have many friends who got married to their spouses belonging to drastically different communities and yet they are leading one of the most fulfilling and contented lives.
So,in my opinion there is so much more than sharing your mothertongue that goes into making a successful marriage that its not fair to bind yourself into a set ideology. So what if you speak the same language?Does it mean you can understand each other?
Ma says if a person has made up his/her mind to marry someone even if that means marrying someone outside the community,then the parents’ wishes don’t hold any importance. I beg to disagree,ma. If your parents are not happy with your choice,you may go against them and fulfill your wishes but in your heart of hearts you will hope they had given their consents.And you will do all that there is in your power to make them understand that you took the right decision.
How can language be a barrier?If you are really determined you can easily mould yourself into your new family’s way of life yet maintain your own individuality.Mind you,it holds true to both men and women.
For two people to get married isn’t it more important that they love each other? Isnt it convincing enough that the two people involved make each other happy?How can the fact that they share their mothertongue ensure that they can express each other well?

Having said all of this I got married to a person purely chosen by my parents and I’ll forever be grateful to them for finding him for me.I couldn’t have had a better person for a husband. Although he is half-Tamilian and half-Malayali,he had more of a Malayali upbringing which was why this alliance came knocking at my parents’ door in the first place. But thats not why my life with Ravs is so fulfilling. We hardly speak Malayalam with each other.We could come this far because we compliment each other really well.I can say we complete each other.He is my best friend and that ,in my opinion,is what is far far more important in a marriage.There is nothing in the world that I cant discuss with him.He understands me perfectly well even when I’ve not been explicit. He can sense even my inner thoughts.And so can I.
So,all I’m trying to say is lets have an open mind and not confine ourselves to a set belief.You can be in touch with your community despite marrying into a different one. It solely depends on you.

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6 thoughts on “Is sharing a mothertongue as important in a marriage?

  1. We Indians are very culturaly different from each other and If u get a girl from ur region with ur own language and culture, it wont take time to teach her and will be comfortable for her to mingle with ur family’s babrick.

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  2. true..but my concern is what if the girl/boy is from a different region with different language and culture,will the families be as accomodating?

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  3. then in india where a majority of marriages are made between people of same community/lingo etc, there should be no unhappy marriages. but that’s far from the truth. common customs or language are just conveniences in a marriage. it’s not integral. compatible peronalities? now, that’s integral.

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  4. I am a Tamilian married to a Maharashtrian. We spoke in English till I learnt to speak Hindi. Now we use both seamlessly. Did it matter that we couldn’t speak each other’s languages? Nope. Not a bit.
    Honoured to see my blog on your blog list… will drop by to read you regularly.

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  5. Wow! Deeps – I read this very quickly – will come back and read it properly. I have first hand experience on this 🙂 Will come back and comment properly.

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  6. Mother tongue shouldn’t be an integral part of marriage. It’s very much personality and compatibility that’s more important. Plus sharing a mother tongue doesn’t mean marriages will go well. That caste/community/linguistic environment thing is old now and does not exist any longer in this new world we are living in, even in third world countries. I’m a Malayalee married to a Dutch man. He learned a lot about our culture, even speaks a little bit Malayalam, and I learned a lot about Dutch culture and am aiming to learn the language though it’s extremely tough! We both love learning and spending time with both families. My parents, even though they never set foot outside Kerala love him and treat him like their own son, and I’m very well respected in his family who consider me as their daughter. For some reason it was a match made in heaven when I first met him during my stay in Netherlands. We were married for a long time and have a infant son. I personally find it fascinating that he will get to explore three cultures (Dutch, Keralite and UK since that’s where we are living). I think it depends on one’s personal preferences. So if one wants to marry one of the same linguistic background/caste, that’s totally ok, but if one does not, that is also fine. To be honest, when people say we have to marry someone who’s of the same race, for some reason it rubs on me that they have something against other people and cultures (unless it’s individual preference). I personally seen Indians prefer to stick to their own group, particularly and won’t mingle with anyone else, even other Indians. Shouldn’t we be welcoming people with open arms that way they will have a good insight about our culture? You know what I mean? I probably wouldn’t learned as much had I married a malayalee. Marrying someone of a different culture has broadened my horizons tremendously, and again, there’s nothing wrong if one prefers to marry someone of their community, linguistic background..etc. It’s all up to the individual. Just being honest here.

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