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Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation

Introduction

Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in the continent of Asia. It is a country that is dominated by the Islamic religion which means that the people’s cultural values and beliefs are Islamic-based. In Saudi Arabia, a family is the most important institution as far as their culture is concerned. Above all, it is actually the basic structure of the communities. The identity of children in Saudi Arabia lies in the father’s tribe (Long, p. 122). The culture of Saudi Arabia greatly condemns the act of immorality and bearing of children out of wedlock. This means that marriage is the key for anyone to have a family of his or her own. In addition to that, each family member including the spouses and the children has different responsibilities which define their social life. Therefore, in Saudi Arabia, the social life of individuals is defined by their responsibilities in their marriage and family.

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Marriage in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, marriage is a very important step in everyone’s life because the foundation of their culture is drawn from the Islamic religion. Marriage is viewed strictly in the sense that one should never get married to a person from a different faith apart from Islam. In case there is such a situation, one is supposed to seek a license which permits him or her before marrying any Muslim who is not a Saudi Arabian (Long, p. 322). It should be noted that the issue of chastity before marriage is of main concern. A woman is strictly required to be a virgin on the day of the wedding. However, polygamy is not a taboo. A man is entitled to marry as many as four wives. The traditional marriage especially in the earlier days was between two related people’s most preferably cousins. The parents, particularly fathers, are supposed to arrange for the marriage. Once the two are engaged, there is a change in the dressing of the girl. She is supposed to be completely veiled on the face except on the eyes. According to their culture this is to avoid cases of immorality. Parents are the ones that are involved in all marriage negotiations. The man is responsible for catering for all the expenses of the ceremony and the family he is starting. After the dowry is paid, the woman is presented to the man as his wife in a ceremony. The ceremony is done in the girl’s father’s compound.

The Family in Saudi Arabia

As it has been stated earlier, the man is the one responsible for taking care of the family’s expenses. However, every citizen of Saudi Arabia has the responsibility of taking a keen interest in the progress of the family. In most cases, people live in extended families; rarely are there nuclear families (Long, p. 34). This means that they live in a kind of a social network whereby they assist each other in times of needs. In actual sense, each one of them has a responsibility to cater for the needs of the family irrespective of the gender. However, much of the burden is on the man rather than the woman. This is because he is referred to as the bread winner, family protector, manager as well as the priest of the family. He is also required to lead the prayers and religious matters of the family. Since most of the families are extended families, the newly wedded woman is totally under the mother-in-law. This means that in an event whereby the husband is not in a position to cater for the needs of the family, the mother-in-law chips in. It is also the duty of the woman to seek to know the needs of the children and those she is not able to cater for. She then forwards them to the husband who in turn expresses the ones he can not cater for to the extended family for assistance (Long, p. 65). The wife is the home maker. This means that she is responsible for maintaining and running the home. She is mainly involved in making decisions concerning the home particularly food matters and also child upbringing and bearing. Wives are required to submit to and serve their husbands.

Social Life in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, the manner in which life is lived is what defines their social life. Basically, the social life of the man is very different from the social life of the woman. This is because the culture has strictly drawn a line between the two. One of the factors that bring the distinction is the issue of gender roles. The roles of the women and the men dictate the kind of social life they live. There is no free interaction between the two genders (Long, p. 166). Women for instance are to work in girls’ schools, banks that deal with women and also in the market places where there are more women. On the other hand, men are to work in men-based environments but are also allowed to work in women-oriented environments. Also due to the fact that men have more rights than the women, they are better exposed socially than the women. For instance, they can travel on their own unlike women who need a guardian.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is a fact that in Saudi Arabia the social life of individuals is defined by their responsibilities in their marriage and family. This is because according to the culture, gender roles are very diverse. In addition, a family is the most important and the key unit for the prevalence of any community in Saudi Arabia.

Work Cited

Long, David. Culture and customs of Saudi Arabia. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2005.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 1). Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/saudi-arabia-marriage-and-family-formation/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 1). Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation. https://studycorgi.com/saudi-arabia-marriage-and-family-formation/

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"Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation." StudyCorgi, 1 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/saudi-arabia-marriage-and-family-formation/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation." December 1, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/saudi-arabia-marriage-and-family-formation/.


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StudyCorgi. "Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation." December 1, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/saudi-arabia-marriage-and-family-formation/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation." December 1, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/saudi-arabia-marriage-and-family-formation/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Saudi Arabia: Marriage and Family Formation'. 1 December.

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