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What Egyptians Can Learn About Marriage From Other Cultures

January 28, 2022
Photo: Courtesy of Pat Cleveland and Paul van Ravenstein

“My mother and father have always kept their relationship private,” my friend once told me. “The family is more private in our culture, and it is considered inappropriate to ask parents questions about their relationship.” This was the first time for me to notice such stark differences in how cultures perceive marriage and family life. A Pakistani wedding is known for being a loud, colorful and vibrant celebration, yet it isn’t just the wedding ceremony that is culturally different, but also the beliefs, the traditions and the customs in a marriage.  Regardless of where you come from, marriage and family life has always been difficult to manage. Sometimes, however, there are local cultural ideas that can be rewired or replaced with different cultural practices from around the world to see marriage in a totally new light. In Egypt, marriage is seen through many different lenses, mostly of responsibility, children and caregiving, and romance. But this isn’t the only way to look at marriage. When things get difficult, it is also useful to travel and see how other cultures perceive relationships, and to borrow some lessons or lifestyles from their culture…

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