23 May 2016
A lot has been said about marriage, from the sweetly adoring, to the bitter cynical. What these all have in common is the universal truth about marriage from its purpose, to the kinds of relationships it covers, to the kinds of rites and responsibilities involved. All these have varied greatly in different areas, classes and cultures.
Bonding and raising children is as old as humanity itself. About 10,000 years ago, marriage was a way of securing rights to land and property (smh), by designating children born under certain circumstances as rightful heirs. As these societies became larger and more complex, marriage became not only a partnership between individuals but also governed by religious and civil authorities. It was already well established by 2100BC, when the earliest surviving written laws providing specific laws governing marriage – from punishments of adultery to the legal status of children to slaves.
Many ancient civilizations allowed some form of many simultaneous marriage even till today. The concept of monogamy was born from the impossibility of men of different demographic status to manage more than one wife. An interesting fact to mention here is that same sex marriages have been since the beginning of days in certain religious practices. Another, is that marriage wasn’t only between two living people but ghost marriages were also practiced.
In earlier times, marriage between two people were not dependent on young love, where matches were made by their families. The modern idea of love has been mainly about love and companionship, this only emerged in the recent century. With the introduction of industrialization and improvement of the middle class, more people became more independent and were able to support new households on their own.
One thing to also note is that the ideas of marriage has been created by society and will continue to change over time in definitions, standards and ideals as the years go by.
That’s been a rather weary dig into marriage but to that I say, ‘it is what YOU make of it’.