Cousin Marriage Debate: Weigh the Pros & Cons, then take the poll at the end & tell us where you stand.
Cousin marriages have often been a very controversial topic in our society. While commonly practised only a few decades ago, cousin marriages have now become less common. However, like always, there are advocates of the practice and those who oppose it – and often when those two groups are in the same vicinity, they end up butting heads…
I stumbled upon a Twitter space last night where people were passionately defending cousin marriages in the face of someone who was questioning this very ‘Desi Tradition’… The thing is, disregarding the science & biology of it (I am not a medical person so won’t dwell into that, but I think we all must know enough, or Google it!), cousin marriages have certain cons and very few pros.
Let’s Learn To Integrate
We must learn to integrate with each other as different communities – Punjabis, Urdu Speaking, Pathans, Sindhis, Baluchis & other ethnicities. This will not happen if we keep repeating this phrase “we only marry in our community” – a breeding ground for intolerance & inbred prejudice. We will never understand each other if we don’t forge relationships, have children & expand families together, across communities. Have you never wanted to eat different foods, learn how daal (lentils) is cooked in another community, or learn a different language?
If you haven’t maybe you need to jump on the evolution bandwagon? We all do!
My take? If we continue to advocate cousin marriages as a culturally acceptable practice, we will always have many mini Pakistans in a common(?) country where we fail to identify as a nation & more as people belonging to a certain region. Nothing wrong with that, but let’s make ‘US’ more hybrid? Let’s learn to respect each other’s differences by learning how to love those differences. There is a saying I love, (although it refers to Migration… even further away than cousin marriages):
A Convenient Option For Many
Cousin marriages are not taboo. They can exist where people show a natural romantic interest in each other. Or often, young men & women have been unable to meet a match outside their community & happily enter into a union, but they can be fewer & far between, not necessarily the norm… Also, bear in mind that, these pros are in themselves, a self-fulfilling prophecy because when you don’t marry outside as a norm, you automatically seek from within the family – when a relationship doesn’t work out, there’s always the cousin in the family who’s available! Btw, often, relationships don’t work out because families aren’t willing to be accept a proposal outside the community (get the drift)?
A gentle reminder – perhaps our dramas and entertainment content can show a red flag here, rather than promoting the mindset. Yeah, cousin marriages are a plot and a half in most drama narratives. The list of dramas that pursue this narrative is endless so I’ll save you by mentioning that there are few stories that do NOT bring this romantic connection into the equation.
Do we need to break free from this chicken & egg situation? I would say, yes. If we can. Check out a few health sites to find out more on why it’s not the healthiest option for your family genealogy either!
Why then, do we continue to support a practice that should have become obsolete by now? Perhaps because those advocating it are in a cousin marriage relationship, or have helped forge one, or have experienced the comforts of staying within the family? No new in laws to break, everyone knows everyone and it’s just so easy to fit in? Do remember though, that where there are gains, there are losses too. The medical facts perhaps, are the strongest validation that we need to expand our gene pool. Another would be, the giving up of a beautifully platonic cousin relationship that you might have enjoyed through childhood. Cousins are, after all, the nearest alternative to siblings. We share many precious memories together. Some would argue that we can make them stronger by cementing them with a marriage? Others disagree. Which side are you on?
Are You For Or Against Cousin Marriages? Live
- For50% 48 / 96
- Against50% 48 / 96
Cheers & may you meet your match in 2022!