Thursday, August 30, 2012

Married in the Village

Back in the days I was working in Lampung, I've seen kids of 15 year old who are already married. I wasnt that shocked seeing that phenomenon, since I personally have a childhood friend who was married to someone much older when we were 12 year old because of her parents debts.

This week, one of my masseuses was telling me the story of her life, starting with getting married at 12 year old to a 17 year old. She said it's a common practice in her area to get married young, without any papers as long as there were two witnesses and an imam. To get divorce is even more easy, just by letting the other person know that he divorces her, even only by phone.

Tonight I just learned that my new help's brother, who is only 17 year old is already divorced five times! Seriously, let those kids date each others instead of getting them married so young so often.


colson said...

If would be ridiculous if it weren't that sad. The secular rule of law should protect children against these 'marriages'.

Some ten years ago I met a lady who had gone through such an experience. She had given birth to her first baby when she was sixteen.

It's one of those anachronistic habits which sometimes make it hard to fight off my Western cultural prejudices.

TA said...

To be fair, in the America (north and south) and Europe we see a lot of teenage pregnancy.. so it happens around the world. I think the different is over here a lot of parents in the village choose marrying their kids so that they are not dating to avoid out of wedlock pregnancy.. while in the West, the kids date, got pregnant and maybe get married.

colson said...

The more sex is taboo, the more teenage pregnancies. Government policies can have an impact here. Which, by the way, is one of the few world records the Dutch hold: lowest teenage pregnancy.

Yet the story of the lady I was referring to, still sends shivers along my spine because of the pre-emptive solution to out of wedlock pregnancy: marrying off a child. It suggests family honour prevails over the children's interest.

The law should step in to protect them if family and community don't.

TA said...

Yupe, I agree with the Dutch approach. Too bad, most of Indonesians dont.

The sad thing is, I have this feeling that our law is serving vested interest.