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Is culture really all that important when it comes to marriage?

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  • Is culture really all that important when it comes to marriage?

    20
    Yes (explain)
    40.00%
    8
    No (explain)
    35.00%
    7
    Kind of/undecided (explain)
    25.00%
    5
    Most of us are either immigrants or children of immigrants, meaning that we have a "back home" that isn't the country that we currently reside in. When it comes to marriage, people have many different preferences (job/education status, weight, looks, etc...) but one thing that people include is "Must come from the same background as me."

    The reason for this is so that if you come from the same cultural background it's easier to get along and for the families to get along...the thing is, if you've lived in the UK or the US or whatever for all or most of your life, then culturally you'd gel with anyone right?

    A first generation Chinese person and a Senegal immigrant who came here when they were young would have a similar culture despite coming from different countries.

    So, my question is this: In this day and age, is culture really all that important when it comes to marriage?

  • muslimahc
    replied
    Salaams all,

    I would say culture is not everything when it comes to marriage and is not a deal breaker for me. However, it is very important. Even everyday things such as what to cook become complicated. If I marry a man from a different culture, he would not be familiar with the cultural foods I cook. I grew up in the US, but the culture I follow at home is that of my country of origin. It is just a matter of convenience for me to marry within my culture. However, I would marry outside of my culture, but first choice is to marry a man from my culture. Also, it would be harder to relate to inlaws from a different culture. It is a lot more work trying to blend 2 cultures. I know we can make Islam our culture, but what is Islamic culture? What is Islamic food? There is halal food, but it can be cooked a variety of ways. You cannot completely erase culture or our differences because it is ingrained in our everyday lives with food being the perfect example. If I marry man from a different culture I would have to learn how to cook all those dishes from his culture & that is a lot of work lol.. Also, I would feel like an outsider with his family. They might be ok with him marrying me, but I know I would not be their ideal choice for him. I think many people choose to marry within their culture due to compatibility & practicality. It is not always due to feelings of superiority or racism though that might be the reason sometimes as well.

    I also feel like I would be more welcome into a family of the same culture who shares the same language. For females we are leaving our family and joining his. It can be a difficult transition if they are not of the same culture or even skin color.

    I think this is more of an issue for us muslims who live in the west, because we live in an environment where people from our respective cultural backgrounds are a very small minority. So, there is a very small pool of potential candidates. For those living "back home", it's not an issue because they are living around a large pool of people from their cultural background. In my home country, marriage does not seem to be difficult for young females at all. I know I would have been married by now if I was living back home.. Lol.. This conversation comes up for us muslims here, because we realize that if we narrow our pool to just potentials from our background it would be hard. I believe this is why a lot of brothers go back home to marry, because there are just more options back home. There are not many muslims of any culture in the west to begin with, so if you narrow it down to your culture, it's much harder to find a spouse.

    Leave a comment:


  • HelloEverybody
    replied
    Originally posted by Stoic Believer View Post
    There are still Western raised Muslims who are very in tune with their "back home" culture. Therefore, they're more attracted to someone from the same culture.

    And even if there weren't, people prefer a similar background because it's just easier for the families to mesh well and get along.
    I think it about being in "tune" with what parents left from 20-30 years afo and not necessarily with current state.

    Leave a comment:


  • Morose
    replied
    Originally posted by eesa the kiwi View Post

    Nz culture is rugby and beer. I don't drink and I don't like rugby
    Loooool

    There’s more to it than that. Surely you like a good hāngi, don’t you?
    Last edited by Morose; 08-12-18, 06:52 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • nudgetheputri
    replied
    Originally posted by zi-zizou View Post

    If that is embedded in the culture then which culture is free from it?
    Hard to say. Doesn't mean it does not exist.

    Leave a comment:


  • zi-zizou
    replied
    Originally posted by nudgetheputri View Post

    Some cultures treat women as sub-par to men. The people who subconsciously think their culture is good, will show obvious signs of them dismissing women and have a rather close minded view towards women. This is just what I see in my community. In some cases, even women are harsher to other women if they step out of line, and pay deference to men. It's sad.

    It may not be as bad as fornicating - but this doesn't make the culture appear good either, and it can mislead some into thinking this is Islam.
    If that is embedded in the culture then which culture is free from it?

    Leave a comment:


  • nudgetheputri
    replied
    Originally posted by Indefinable View Post

    You just highlighted some random things.

    First five things on your list, are more due to the influence of the Western culture.

    Gossiping and caring about what others think, is in practically every culture.

    All cultures have accepted things and things which go against the "norm".

    Islaam is mutli cultural and multi faceted. That's the beauty of it.

    I don't get how someone could hate their culture. Unless the culture is all about getting drunk and fornicating or doing haraam in other ways.
    Some cultures treat women as sub-par to men. The people who subconsciously think their culture is good, will show obvious signs of them dismissing women and have a rather close minded view towards women. This is just what I see in my community. In some cases, even women are harsher to other women if they step out of line, and pay deference to men. It's sad.

    It may not be as bad as fornicating - but this doesn't make the culture appear good either, and it can mislead some into thinking this is Islam.
    Last edited by nudgetheputri; 08-12-18, 05:50 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Abu julaybeeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Pippin1376 View Post

    I'm not downplaying culture. But if you've grown up in a multicultural western society where you were able to make friends with people of different backgrounds and remain friends with them, then is it so hard to believe that marriages between the two would work?

    That's all I'm saying. You'll still all have different things unique to your home culture, like food, customs, and maybe language at home, but you also have similar cultures in the sense that you grew up in similar environments....i.e. school and work.
    yh it can be hard coz of family getting involved causing issues etc


    Leave a comment:


  • Pippin1376
    replied
    Originally posted by Sirius View Post

    That first generation Chinese and Senegalese immigrant don’t live in a vacuum. Maybe, a 6th generation French individual and a 5th generation Italian living in America is a different story.
    The first example ... more likely, they lived around a set of customs and practices individual to their cultures. It’s not inherently a bad thing. Whilst most people living in another society live a hybrid life, we cannot deny the influence of the dominant culture they spend a considerable amount of time around from their very birth.
    It’s just the way it is.

    it’s very, very simplistic to just say ‘culturally, you’d gel with anyone’.

    Whether we like it or not, right or not, culture plays a role from the very inception of marriage right through to death. To downplay it’s importance (and therefore its influence on preferences) isn’t sensible and just not realistic.
    I'm not downplaying culture. But if you've grown up in a multicultural western society where you were able to make friends with people of different backgrounds and remain friends with them, then is it so hard to believe that marriages between the two would work?

    That's all I'm saying. You'll still all have different things unique to your home culture, like food, customs, and maybe language at home, but you also have similar cultures in the sense that you grew up in similar environments....i.e. school and work.

    Leave a comment:


  • zi-zizou
    replied
    Originally posted by Hannahk92 View Post

    Oh yes i agree. Where I live the community is so staunch in their practices and are not open minded at all. Alhamdulillah some are, the majority are not. I still sometimes have clashes with my in laws due to cultural differences which they refuse to accept and just complain about.. even though it's minor. And there's aspects I find rude, some their mannerisms which are supposedly normal. Which I just put down to cultural differences.
    It's like that in all cultures that I have experienced in the UK. It's almost a siege mentality such that you have communities that stick to their own and that's where they think they can draw greatest strength and anyone else is just an outsider that is never fully accepted. All you can do is point out their wrongdoings and suggest alternatives and not let it influence you or pass it on to your kids. If you tackle the problems from within then hopefully things improve for the next generation.

    It's meant to be one Ummah.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hannahk92
    replied
    Originally posted by zi-zizou View Post

    You can follow a culture of your own but you can be open and accepting of other positive elements of other cultures. It all plays a part in who you are it also plays a part in how you evolve. The main issue is when you shut yourself our of learning from new experiences and cling to bad practices within your own culture.

    But generally keep good company to form a solid foundation and other things become less troublesome.
    Oh yes i agree. Where I live the community is so staunch in their practices and are not open minded at all. Alhamdulillah some are, the majority are not. I still sometimes have clashes with my in laws due to cultural differences which they refuse to accept and just complain about.. even though it's minor. And there's aspects I find rude, some their mannerisms which are supposedly normal. Which I just put down to cultural differences.

    Leave a comment:


  • Abu julaybeeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Indefinable View Post

    You just highlighted some random things.

    First five things on your list, are more due to the influence of the Western culture.

    Gossiping and caring about what others think, is in practically every culture.

    All cultures have accepted things and things which go against the "norm".

    Islaam is mutli cultural and multi faceted. That's the beauty of it.

    I don't get how someone could hate their culture. Unless the culture is all about getting drunk and fornicating or doing haraam in other ways.
    ok

    Leave a comment:


  • Indefinable
    replied
    Originally posted by Abu julaybeeb View Post

    u might aswell quote me

    well bengali culture is pretty bad
    i dont know anything good from it apart from being social with family and taking care of family and curry

    everything else i just see bad
    freemixing between in laws cousins and family friends
    focus on education and less on the deen
    focus on education dont get married
    the love of the western lifestyle
    gossip
    caring about what others will think of you and your reputation
    the hatred on divorcees and older women
    and looming down upon people of different skin color race linege and education
    all this inherited hindu traditions
    all this biddah and shirk within the culture
    list is endless
    You just highlighted some random things.

    First five things on your list, are more due to the influence of the Western culture.

    Gossiping and caring about what others think, is in practically every culture.

    All cultures have accepted things and things which go against the "norm".

    Islaam is mutli cultural and multi faceted. That's the beauty of it.

    I don't get how someone could hate their culture. Unless the culture is all about getting drunk and fornicating or doing haraam in other ways.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sirius
    replied
    Originally posted by Pippin1376 View Post
    Most of us are either immigrants or children of immigrants, meaning that we have a "back home" that isn't the country that we currently reside in. When it comes to marriage, people have many different preferences (job/education status, weight, looks, etc...) but one thing that people include is "Must come from the same background as me."

    The reason for this is so that if you come from the same cultural background it's easier to get along and for the families to get along...the thing is, if you've lived in the UK or the US or whatever for all or most of your life, then culturally you'd gel with anyone right?

    A first generation Chinese person and a Senegal immigrant who came here when they were young would have a similar culture despite coming from different countries.

    So, my question is this: In this day and age, is culture really all that important when it comes to marriage?
    That first generation Chinese and Senegalese immigrant don’t live in a vacuum. Maybe, a 6th generation French individual and a 5th generation Italian living in America is a different story.
    The first example ... more likely, they lived around a set of customs and practices individual to their cultures. It’s not inherently a bad thing. Whilst most people living in another society live a hybrid life, we cannot deny the influence of the dominant culture they spend a considerable amount of time around from their very birth.
    It’s just the way it is.

    it’s very, very simplistic to just say ‘culturally, you’d gel with anyone’.

    Whether we like it or not, right or not, culture plays a role from the very inception of marriage right through to death. To downplay it’s importance (and therefore its influence on preferences) isn’t sensible and just not realistic.

    Leave a comment:


  • ukfamilyman
    replied
    Originally posted by Ya'sin View Post

    These days anyone that doesn't agree with us their opinion becomes nonsense- that is what it seems like, then the bickering starts, but really it's just we can't accept that everybody has their own way of looking at things. They are allowed to express that opinion, therefore, speak their mind. It's being honest without bring afraid to share it, whether you think it's nonsense or not.
    agreed. lack of tolerance (and emotional intelligence) then leads to lack of adhab... and then the name calling and insults start. and not just in marriage.... happens in many places and situations and unfortunately in my experience, particularly where it shouldn't.

    thought about this one....is culture really that important when it comes to marriage??? for those that have little option, ie arranged marriages etc i think ts the fallback they have to rely on.
    But wherever possible, i always treat adhab as more important than culture, because that will help you when culture lets you down........ as we find continuously living in a non-islamic environment.


    Leave a comment:

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