Bride Kidnapping: Culturally Right But Morally Wrong

A Cultural Shock: Bride Kidnapping Still Exists In Kyrgyzstan

Image Source - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kyrgyz_women_offering_butter_and_salt.jpg
One of the best events a woman cannot forget in her life is to marry the person whom she truly loves. It is not a joke when a couple seriously prepares and organize their wedding day so as not to forget the happiest day of their life.

This is a common celebration and notion of marriage in most countries. To some, being embodied by the doctrine of eternal love in Christian gathering should not be based from forced love. They should follow by what their heart dictates and by their physical and emotional attraction with each other. During wedding, the groom and the bride will make a vow to help and love one another, whether in sickness or in health, for richer and for poorer. Both parents and relatives of each side gather together and develop sense of friendship and joyfully promote strong relationships. This is indeed considered a great form of tradition.

                                                              
However, what if one country withholds a tradition that is opposite from the above statement?

BRIDE KIDNAPPING

Don't get shocked if I tell you that some villages in Kyrgyzstan consider kidnapping women to become the bride of any man normal and culturally accepted.

The kidnappers are those men searching for a bride. If they successfully caught a woman who is not married yet, the woman could do nothing but to be forced to marry the man. The plan and decision of kidnapping will be successfully done with the help of the groom’s family. Be it in the school, in the market, church and even residences- target  places of these kidnappers. The kidnapped woman will be put inside the vehicle and she will lead them into a place where the wedding has been set and prepared. All witnesses and attendees of the wedding covers only the groom's side. This is one of the ways the woman cannot escape and reject the wedding because no one will dare to help her. It is also culturally accepted even if the forced bride and her family has no knowledge that the woman was already married. The woman will be in big trouble and she will face consequences if she would disagree to marry the kidnapper.

THE TRADITION

This tradition has been long done for many years because Kyrg families believe it is a way to a lesser and cheaper wedding celebration. Men do not anymore need expenses for dating. Another reason is because of the free payment for the forced bride. It said that Kyrgyz culture on Dowry would require men to pay any material or cash amounting to at least $800.00 for the woman's family before courting and asking her for a wedding proposal.  

KYRGYZ GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

Recently, statistics have shown that Kyrgyzstan has one of the highest rates of women committing suicide. Majority of the reasons came from this kidnapping culture. Many Krygs still believe that this should not be eliminated and that this type of culture has been preserved by their ancestors for so many years. The government is divided in this social issue because it seems culture is stronger. However, many officials are now on the peak of creating laws and policies about domestic violence which includes stronger and harsher penalties to bride kidnapping.

 HOW IS IT NOW?

Still no update with the action taken by the government but hopefully, stricter laws has now been implemented.


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