Marriage in Buddhist Countries

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Buckwheat
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Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Buckwheat » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:40 am

Hello Everybody,

I've been wondering how marriage is approached in Buddhist countries. Americans tend to see marriage as a religious institution, a vow taken before God. I am wondering, is marriage in Asia a religious affair, or more of a social affair? Are monks involved, or is it just friends and family?

Thanks,
Scott
:anjali:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:31 am

In Burmese its called "Falling into house prison." We monks are not involved so they cannot blame us if it doesn't work out as well as expected. :shrug:

The tradition is for the newly weds to offer alms to the monks, who admonish them about mutual responsibilities, and give a blessing after the event, which is a secular arrangement. As far as I know, the parents "give away" the bride by pouring water over the joined hands of the young couple.

Wedding receptions are sometimes held in the Mahāsi Meditation Centre. After offering alms to the whole meditation centre community, they feed family, friends, and invited guests.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

chownah
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby chownah » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:05 pm

Marriage in Thailand can be either legally registerd or not....it can involve religious elements or not.....when I married my wife it consisted of her mother tieing a string on my wrist and saying a blessing and then tieing a string on my wife's wrist and saying a blessing. It happened while sitting in the living space with no one else present and with no ritual or ceremony other than the tieing of the strings and the blessings.....total time elapsed: about 3 minutes.....total cost: none.....realistic effect: a lasting commitment between my wife and myself and her mother (the mother's commitment to the marriage is very important in Thai society...without it life would be really really difficult) and complete acceptance by the village community. The next night we had a big dinner with everyone invited to announce our marriage.....
chownah

Buckwheat
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Location: California USA

Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:49 am

Thanks!! :thumbsup:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

sattva
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby sattva » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:56 am

Hi Buckwheat,
I don't know too much about marriage in traditional Buddhist countries, but i thought you would like to know about my Buddhist wedding (Zen) in the USA in 199-. It consisted of our taking refuge in the triple gems and the precepts and promising to help our spouse keep the precepts. It ended with Pachebel's Canon

Buckwheat
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:05 am

Sounds great, sattva. That's similar to what spurred this. I used to attend a Zen temple and they had a wedding for a couple sangha memebers. Then, not too long ago, I heard a monk say that hosting weddings is kind of appeasing American's because that's whats we're used to.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

chownah
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby chownah » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:04 pm

Buckwheat,
Getting married in a temple is never done in our village and my wife says that she has never heard of anyone getting married at a temple (she is sometimes wrong) but she says sometimes but not usually a couple may go briefly to a temple to give food to the monks....but this is just one part of the days activities or similarly they might arrange for on the day of the wedding in the morning before the wedding to have some monks do bindabaat where the wedding will be held (usually at the bride's parent's home)and food will be given there....... and this is for making merit......in my village the formal part of the ceremony is officiated by the head lay person from the temple....he is call the "ajarn wat" which more or less means "the wat teacher"...he used to be a monk but has disrobed (long ago) and now he leads the laypeople in chanting at the temple and also teaches people the rituals etc...he also plays an active role in funerals etc........he is also the village welder....last week he welded up a broken shovel and a garden rake for 75 cents US for both and now they are both better than new!!!!...most times when I break a tractor implement I can take it out of the field and take it to him and if he's not busy he'll weld it up for around $US4 or 5 and I'll be back in the field plowing within a couple of hours total lost time!!!! (Off topic...Sorry)
chownah

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Goofaholix
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:36 pm


Buckwheat
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Location: California USA

Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:04 pm

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:20 pm


Buckwheat
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:34 pm

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

sattva
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby sattva » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:13 pm

I am wondering if there is a difference between countries that are mainly Theravadan and Mahayana ones or maybe it is even more narrow culturally than that. For instance, I wonder how marriage is observed in Japanese culture and also how that is changing with western influence. It would be interesting to ask someone.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:56 pm


chownah
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Re: Marriage in Buddhist Countries

Postby chownah » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:48 am

There are many advantages for the gov't for it to be involved with marriages....one which is not commonly understood is that when the custom of registering a marriage with the gov't becomes the accepted and unquestioned practice then this is one instance where people accept and don't question the idea that the gov't has the right to dominate over ones private life......it is just one attitude that makes up one piece of the commonly held attitude that the gov't is something special and rightfully controls us......in short, registering marriage is helpful in creating a population which acquiesses and even supports gov't's meddling in people's private affairs...
chownah


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