Friday, March 13, 2009


Traditions, rituals, customs.

No don't show you're hair to any man he will be tempted. You know if he is tempted it is your fault right?

No don't walk anywhere without another male to protect you because you know if someone attacks you it'll be your fault right?

Oh and please if you get beat up while dating well how can someone feel bad for you, you weren't supposed to date in the first place.

old world customs do not make us prosper

Now I don't mean that we shouldn't maintain our traditions and culture because in fact that is an important facet to identifying and differentiating between vast amounts of cultures. However, do not accept all customs and rituals without asking yourself first is it holding me back or it is driving my progress further?

The South Asian culture has so many old folktales, and traditions that often are observed and practiced and go unquestioned. We hear about them sparingly, and sometimes we feel upset about whats going on but grab our newspaper and coffee and go on about our day.

One tradition I want to address today is marriage.

Marriage is perhaps one of the most desirable contracts to sign. Western world has raised marriage into a romantic, enchanted, affection filled concept and has created a multi-billion dollar industry of it. Yes marriage can be filled with those things but what else can it be filled with? Violence, torture, oppression, domesticate slavery, loss of self. These are the marriages that all too often exist in the South Asian culture.

Children are sold as child brides, daughters are married off before they become a burden or have chance to become "impure." Why, why must marriage be such an important goal to achieve? Why must marriage be a form of liberation for father and families who have daughters in their homes? Why don't we question those traditions that have stolen the happiness and childhood of so many girls all around the South Asian world?

Marriage should happen when a girl is ready to commit herself to such a commitment, when she finds a man (love or arrange) with whom she feels that she could spend the rest of her life with. Yes, nothing is ever guaranteed but should she not have a say with whom she plans to live with, procreate with, fall in love with, or even simply spend her whole life with? Yes, of course she should. If you agree with me then do something about that

Why are children and young girls being married off against their will? Because of financial oppression. If a father cannot even afford to clothe and feed his daughters and he knows another man is willing to do that then he will not see the problem in marrying his daughter off. We shouldn't necessarily judge families who do this to their children because we are not in their situation to even understand their turmoil. What we need to do is educate and liberate. Educating families in South Asian countries and helping them find resources that will help their daughters not only become independent and confident but as employed and educated women. We need to provide resources for these families, create policies in junction with the government and make them understand how economically and socially significant these girls can be in progressing their country.

Change never happens over night, nor does it happen when we are inanimate. We need to take charge, make progress and do whatever we can wherever we are. Go out and look for resources that help you make a contribution to those who are actively participating in providing girls with an education and job so they don't have to be forced to marry. Instead they become resourceful, happy, and make themselves and their families proud.

I always feel honored and blessed to be my father's daughter. The man who made me know and believe that I am the planter of my own garden and the captain of my own ship. I feel I have a civil duty to make other fathers be as proud, if not more, of their daughters.