Wherever we come from on this planet, whether we are religious or not, traditional or not, we all go through the same hormonal changes during puberty and then teenage years, discovering desire and all that jazz. The difference is that some wait and some don’t. In the Western world, except for a few Mormons and other true believers, not only couples already had sex before getting married, but some even already have children (and that’s if they ever do get married).
So just imagine. You are and Indian person aged 22, 25 or maybe 28. Getting married to the man/woman you love, or maybe whom you don’t love yet because you met her/him recently and you and your family thought it would be a good idea (I am not going into the arrange marriage vs. love marriage debate, maybe another time). Anyhow, whatever the form of this union, you’ve been waiting and spending hours on the phone, and now finally you will know what it’s REALLY like. Not just books, movies, and gossips, real sex that is even socially allowed, finally.
In the West, the only thing that matters for the big day is that the sun is shining and the bride is in a good mood. Everyone knows that when the wedding night comes, the couple is usually so exhausted and so drunk that they fall asleep like stones without even taking their wedding gowns off.
In India it can apparently be a bit more complicated. Once everyone has agreed that the bride and groom have compatible love astrogoly profiles, they will rely again on astrology to chose the wedding date to ensure that you have a happy and fruitful marriage. The wedding day comes, dancing and eating and 800 guests later, finally you are alone with your better half…and now it is finally allowed to get naked and throw yourself at each other. But it turns out some old aunt of yours did some Indian astrology analysis and realised this night is not ideal to conceive: the alignment of stars and planets is not ideal to produce a healthy and beautiful baby. “Are you kidding me?” is probably a healthy reaction. So the couple needs to wait and wait and wait until there is a “good” night to do it. Sometimes a week, sometimes more. My friend told me this had happened to his friend, who was going crazy from waiting: 14 days after the wedding day and still counting. “You might have to kidnap her and rape her” he said to his friend, which I thought was quite a shocking thing to say. “I think she is the one who is going to rape me if I don’t do something. She is calling me everyday for me to convince my aunt to say it is okay for us to do it now”. All this frustration and desire built up inside until the N-night, no wonder India has such a huge population.
I have to admit my knoweldge of India, Indian cultures and its many many traditions is very Limited (but growing fast). Please forgive me if I made any mistakes or generalisations (I know I did, but remember this is not an anthropological study, just a little blog post). But I have just one question: these young adults have had years of sex in hiding or no sex at all, and now that they are finally allowed to do it. Why must they conceive from the first night? Can’t Indian astrology and old aunts give these kids a break? Have time to know each other before a screaming baby keeps them up all night? But then again, I am just a French living in Norway, how would I know anything about Indian astrology? My parents don’t even remember what exact time I was born, they were too busy taking pictures.