Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wedding Celebration in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is better known to the outside world for its influence in the Middle East politics and as a major oil producing nation. The culture of the people is one of the mysteries only known to the Saudi people.  As a mater of fact, the world knows very little about this great nation’s traditions and culture. Some of this information is not reliable since it is either from story books or movies. One of the well guarded cultures and traditions is the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, spouses did not have the liberty of choosing their partners. Weddings were the agreements between the parents of the couple in question. Such arrangements were seen as tribal alliances to ensure wealth or power remained within the family circle. For this reason, one could be married off to a distance cousin. This was and is a known and accepted practice.

It is impossible for one to get married outside the community unless with the express permission from the king. Saudi women who break from this position normally spend the rest of their lives outside Saudi Arabia after the wedding. Amazingly, the rule is not as binding to the Saudi men as is the case with the women. Western women who decide to marry Saudi men should bear in mind that the spouse’s parents have the final say in their son’s marriage. She should be willings to live with the husband’s parents and the extended family in one compound. Married women are not allowed to participate in certain activities such as bike riding, driving or even board a public vehicle unless in the company of a relative.

Women are not allowed to work outside the homestead. As a mater of fact, there are very few opportunities for women to practice their profession if any. One can however opt to teach other women or work with the medical centers. Most Saudi women would prefer being a doctor instead of working as a nurse or clinical officer. Such positions are despised by the community.

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