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Old 20-04-2002, 01:34 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Port Moresby
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Marry for love, not bride price

Letter to the editor, The National Newspaper, April, 19, 2002:

BRIDE price, from my point of view, is the exchange of goods and shell money for a bride. Even though I am from PNG, I'd like to let you know that I think it isn't necessary.

Of course, I know that there are other points to consider in this topic, especially that it is a part of our traditional background, and the elders prefer if it were carried on by us, the new generation. And don't think that I have now been influenced by the modern world.

Often we hear parliamentarians, leaders, and elders say that this country, PNG, is a Christian country, but if we really look at ourselves, we still continue on with our own beliefs, and traditional lifestyles.

The Bible talks about marriage in the church, and the bride and groom exchange vows as a sign of love in their village. I think this is better than having an arrangement marriage, and getting paid for, in other words this means getting married because of money. I think, getting biblically married is better than being sold by my parents, to a groom that I don't even know.

Sometimes the marriage is arranged before hand, when the bride and groom have been marked for each other in their early teens, and they have no choice but to get married.

I think that this shouldn't be done because the parents of the bride and groom are forcing them to love each other. How are they supposed to love each other and how are they supposed to make up a good relationship in their future life?

This is what happened to my mum's friend. She had an arranged marriage, and she really hated it. It took her months and years, to love him deeply, and it wasn't only hard for her but hard for him also.

After being traditionally married for four years, they had a child. Now they have three children. And they're starting to have a good family life, finally. Of course, the bride price was paid for, and the amount of it was K37,000, with two pigs and other raw materials.

I'd like to get the point across, that it isn't really necessary for bride price to be paid because it's better if they get married in the church, and also it's better in the long run.

The bride and the groom have the right to choose their partner, and need to love each other in order to raise a good family.
It isn't really necessary, it's the love between them that's important. Not because the groom's family is rich and wealthy. But if it's still continued, it's best if the couple love each other, and then it must be carried on as it was in the early days when money wasn't even considered.

Concerned Citizen
Port Moresby
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