TODAY -

Love vis-a-vis Arranged Marriage in Meitei (Meetei) Society : A View

Samar Kshetri *

Keinya - Lu-hong-ba-gee Dollai-da - a Meitei marriage ceremony ending where the bride goes on top of a 'Dollai' with her hand tied to her brother who guides the bride to her new home
Keinya - Lu-hong-ba-gee Dollai-da - a Meitei marriage ceremony ending where the bride goes on top of a 'Dollai' with her hand tied to her brother who guides the bride to her new home
Pix - David M Mayum



I am just wondering "What is happening in Manipur in recent times particularly rape, betrayal and killing of young girls in Meitei (Meetei) society!" and is on the rise. Most of the cases involved persons known to these girls (who claimed to be in love) in these heinous crimes. The reasons are many but mostly involved love angle like married boy pretend to be in love with a girl who didn't know about his marital status and sometimes vice versa and so on.....

These recent incidents of rape and killing of young girls in Manipuri society has angered many where love marriage is continuing as a tradition since ages. There are many folklore like Khamba Thoibi, NaothingKhong Pitang-nga etc which tells the custom of love marriages. In Manipur, eloping a girl by a boy for getting married is a tradition where the boy and girl (who are in love for some time) stays together away from families for a night which is known as "NUPI CHENBA" (meaning eloping the girl with intention of getting married). Next day morning, the boy's family is informed by his friends or himself about the eloping and then the father of the boy and some elders go to the girl's place in traditional dress to inform about the elopement of the girl which is known as "HAIDOKPA" (means to reveal). Thereafter, the two families fix the date of marriage after consulting the astrologers if they agree that the boy and girl should get married. If the girls family disown then the boy's family manage the wedding on their own without the family of the girl. There after the (fairy) tale continues.............

In some occasions, after "HAINABA" (arranged marriage between the families of the boy and girl) the boy and girl are told to elope on a planned day to show to the society that they were in love and following the tradition of "NUPI CHENBA". Nothing to laugh but is a tradition!!!

Though there are pros of love marriage, there are many flaws and disadvantages in the practice/tradition in present situation which I feel needs to change for the betterment of the society. These disadvantages have been more highlighted with the recent rape and killing of young girls. The misuse of the mobile telephones adds to these woes in the present context. Some of the relevant cons of love marriage in our society out of many are:

a. There is a believe among the high percentage of teenagers that from the young age, they have to run after the opposite sex to woo and make their girlfriend or boyfriend. The peer pressure is also highly effective to these teenagers as they keep telling "Don't you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?" They believe that each one of them should have one. Boys look out for good looking girls and girls look out boys preferably from a richer family (pretend to be rich). Girl looks for boys who comes with a bike or car (hire or rented or stolen). However, there seems to be slight change in these criteria after seeing domestic violence, drug addicts & AIDS/HIV issue, alcoholic and school dropouts. But this ratio is only about 10 %. Still the major problem is the tradition or culture to seek for boyfriend or girlfriend at young age.

b. Those seeking for love may suffer rejection and relationship breakups many times before they are successful in finding their life partner. This can result in waste of valuable time, wealth, low self-esteem, confidence and affect their studies. In present scenario, it may lead to crime against the girls.

c. The participation of parents in match making are nil but they think their sons will bring a good looking working girl from a richer family and also their daughters will get married to a handsome rich boy working as white collar job in a Govt department. What a ridiculous thought or believe! Can a kid of 14/ 15 years who is not mature enough decide their future?? That is where the whole believe goes wrong and we are still following! It is really like a "LUCKY DIP"! The boy, girl and also the families are to share the brunt for their whole life with this lucky dip. Some are successful or the syndrome called "MOU MANGKHRE" (missing of married girl) increases!

d. Due to this, child marriage (below the permissible age) is also in the rise. The marriageable age as per Indian Hindu law of 21 years for boys and 18 years for girls is not applicable in Meitei (Meetei) society with an excuse/tradition that the boy and girl had consent to elope and enter into the wedlock. Most of the Meitei (Meetei) follow Hindu as religion (Muslim personnel law allows girl can get married at puberty. Christian law allows minor girls to get married with consent of parents). Parents and guardians are also not bothered by believing themselves that they did the same. That is where the society continue to suffer continuously and much more now-a-days.

e. "Love is blind" is actually happening as these teenager's life are in the dreams of love and not understanding the actual realm of life. It leads to non-concentration in their career as they think they will get married with the boys/ girl they fall in love whether their career are in place or not. Most alarming is the affairs between unmarried boys/girls with married girls/boys (using boys/girls because of their age) without/with the knowledge of previous marriage.

f. The increase in premarital sex is on the rise and leads to increase in number of so call RESTAURANTS with that mud wall and rusted steel roof sheets without light in those dark cabins to give that intimate privacy. These are the places where most of these heinous crimes originated.

g. The boys elope girls without realising whether they are mentally and financially ready to start a married life. Marriage by eloping looks like a child's play in our society. No planning is required to get married but decided in fraction of second. Later on they expect the women to earn for their living while they got drunk (pretend to get drunk) to avoid any responsibilities of the family. Manipur has a renowned IMA Keithel (Women's market) which is the only market in the world where, as the name suggests (Ima-Mother, Keithel-Market), all the stalls are run by women. All the markets with sitting temporary stalls in Manipur are run by women only (very young mothers to aged mothers). In my opinion as the men do not take the responsibilities to run the house after marriage (most of the unemployed), the women took the responsibilities and come out at market selling petty stocks of all items.

h. Love marriage looks good in cinema where love birds run around singing, dancing and sharing a piece of bread. Life is not a cinema where you enjoy sharing the hard earn bread. Have you seen any love birds running around and dancing in real life!!!

Some pros of arrange marriages though it also has some cons

a. This practice or tradition is being followed in mature societies where parents involve in deciding the match by considering similar class, background of the family, reputation, wealth, vocation, health, qualification and job profile of the boys/girls. The boys/girls understand that according to their career they can get married to boys/girls of reputed or good families. So the boys/girls concentrate more to their studies and careers.

b. In an arranged marriage, the bride and groom are usually selected by their parents, rather than by each other. Arranged marriages are accepted by the boy and girl as they believe their elders are able to make the best decision when it comes to who they marry. Arranged marriages have been one of the more dominant forms of marriage recorded throughout history even in Manipur like Panthoibi and Tarang Khoinucha (son of Khaba Shokchongba), Khuyoi Tompok (son of Nongda Lairen Pakhangba) and Langmainu Ahongbi, marriage of Princess of Manipur to Ruler of Kabaw who was latter known as "Kabaw Leima Sana Hekpi" etc.

c. The boy and girl have time to understand each other and adjust accordingly. If they found that they cannot adjust, the engagement can be broken without any heartbreak.

d. One of the major benefits of an arranged marriage is that young boys/girls do not need to dedicate their time searching for a life partner. They are able to concentrate on their education and career knowing that when the time is right, their parents will look for a suitable girl or boy. They are also saved from the pain of rejection that is inevitable when seeking to find your own love partner. Above all for those who are shy or suffer from social anxiety, having their partner provided for them is a huge relief.

Need of the hour

We need to change the tradition for the better future of the society and the parents need to involve and take lead in making their wards understand what the life is after marriage. Few suggestions are:

a. The participation of the parents in guiding their wards to make them understand what is marriage and life after marriage is the urgent need of the hour. We cannot leave it to our wards to decide their future married life as we guide them about their career. The span of bachelor/spinster varies from 22 to 25 years in normal course of life (15 to 20 years for most of cases in Manipur) and rest of life they have to spend with their spouses (wife/husband). The need to concentrate on their career should be encouraged so that they do not waste time running around the girls/boys. Once the career is set, there are many options to look forward. The boy who made to believe that can afford a Palace and many vehicles around with billions in his suitcases (black money so not in bank balance) may not be able to give a square meal after marriage, forget the Palace and vehicle.

b. The practice or tradition that is being followed in our society is that of immature society or that of a primitive tribe. The community does not accept to be a tribe by itself, however the practices that are being followed are of that of a primitive tribe. This point will be agreed by most of the anthropologist and sociologist. We need to grow ourselves and sensitise our wards and society as per the prevailing conditions and environment. We cannot go back to history to hamper progress in the society.

c. Parents cannot stay as a mute spectator waiting for the doomsday of their wards and their families. The involvement of parents in changing over to arrange from love marriage is the call of the day. Parent should not be waiting their daughters to elope and HAIDOKPA from the boy's family. Instead we should go for match making under proper supervision for their better future married life.

d. As Meitei (Meetei) parents are liberal, they always ask their wards whether they are in relation with someone (KHANGNABA KAANA LEI). Instead of eloping to get married, if families are also involved love cum arrange marriage can be planned. The advantage is as families are to be involved, the boy/girl will have to concentrate in their career or at a marriageable age.

When people are going and thinking about live in relationship, this view may be awkward to few. However, the crime against girl in the name of love and betrayal can be reduce if the practice of elope marriage is changed to arranged marriage. However, it will take years to change the tradition but earlier the better. Before I conclude, I like to question all those parents "Would you like your daughter or son to elope for getting married?"

Please refer my previous articles
1. When You Are In Rome, Do As Roman do!
2. Chinese LED lamps: A Boon for People of Manipur


* Samar Kshetri wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at samar_dp(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was posted on October 19, 2013.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Heigru Hidongba (Boat Race)
  • Get down to business
  • The Eternal Moment :: Poem
  • Why is oiling good for the hair
  • Jobs at SKY Hospital
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Creating Future Media Leaders in NE
  • Understanding Communist ideology
  • Suspended but drama not over yet
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Chingyainu, Chingnguremba :: eMing
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco, Tura
  • Condemns MU VC's vindictive stance
  • 'Policy of India to suppress people'
  • NDPP congratulates Abu Metha
  • Pandey back at MU! Violating spirit of MoA
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Life's heck :: Poem
  • Environment & lung health are vital
  • Innovation for the common man
  • Humanitarian crisis with NRC in Assam
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [02 Sep]
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Rebirth of Manipur Human Rights Comm
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Lecture: Governance & Public Services
  • X-rated poem :: Poem
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Baton changes hands at IGAR (South)
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [01 Sept]
  • A Wake-up call
  • Lok Sabha polls : More crucial for BJP
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Effects of the Burning of Meitei Puyas
  • Soil Technician required at MaolKeki
  • Jr. Mr. India 2018, Gyanendra Thokchom
  • Rejoinder to HTC & allies' statement
  • Consensual sex..Does it amount to rape ?
  • Need for all to keep their sanity
  • Sanagi Tenawa :: Funga Wari
  • MU: Den of Insurgents or Den of Ideas?
  • Can NRC Update save Assam and NE ?
  • Victim of Enforced Disappearances
  • Admission for Ph.D. at Tripura University
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco College
  • Resolution: Right of Human Right Defender
  • Advancing rights of Human Right Defender
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • 47th Nagas Annual Meet at Mumbai
  • Transcending Patriots' Day(s) #4
  • Sangai Fest: Fashion Show #2 : Gallery
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #3
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Architects announces 1st MADE 2018
  • Expedite FA Rally #2 : Gallery
  • Billie's Book by Ranjeeta Mayanglambam
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS