Hah! That topic got you didn’t it? It’s just that I was trying to explain how it’s not a strange thing – marrying your cousin – to some of my friends yesterday. They were talking about a colleague who had gone back on vacation and came back married and when asked how he knew his wife, he said “She’s my cousin”..and these goras (white guys) got taken aback.
I tried to explain to them that it’s actually something that is still quite common in India, Pakistan, etc. from what I know at least – and it’s not really all that weird.
There are rules though – this type of a link can only be created with your Mother’s Brother’s child, or Father’s Sister’s child. You can’t marry your Mother’s Sister’s child and Father’s Brother’s child – that is not accepted.
So why didn’t *I* marry my cousin? Simple, he’s 5 years younger to me and we were brought up as siblings. If parents want their children to marry their cousin, it’s a decision they make when the kids are small (kind of like arranged marriage) and these kids grow up with that fascination for each other. There are also situations where the parents want their child to marry their cousin but the child prefers somebody else. It happens.
But imagine marrying your childhood sweetheart – it’s very similar to that.
I’m not going to comment if this is right or wrong because it’s culture – it differs for many people. I have relatives who have married their cousins and they make wonderful couples – and their children are normal as well. My former neighbour who was Chinese, she married her own cousin too but I’m not sure if this tradition is common among the Chinese.
Indian culture has it’s quirks – but it has come a long way and evolved a lot. It’s really interesting – this culture clash and sometimes all it takes is explaining it. Trust me, my first reaction was to be a bit offended, but after explaining it to my friends, I stopped feeling offended.