I think the purpose of marriage is to legally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally unite two people that are in love and committed to each other. I also believe that marriage is an important step that precedes having children. In terms of a family I think “normal” is just having people whether they are blood related or not love, support, and care for one another. My family consists of me, my brother, parents, and relatives. My family’s purpose in my life is to love and care for me, provide for me and help me grow, as well as support me until I’m ready to leave and live independently or whenever I'm in need of it.
This is different from other cultures. It was surprising to see how marriage is used for economic purposes. In the Masai culture, men married many women in order to increase wealth and security. The more women a man married, the more children he could have and the more workers he had to do work. In one of the readings of the Tibetans in Northern Nepal, groups of brothers were married to only one woman. This helped to preserve their family resources and prevent instability. These marriages are also different from my view of marriage because people are allowed to marry more than one person. The arranged marriages of the Bhils in India are different from my view of marriage in that families decide who you marry and you basically have to live with a total stranger. There is no time for dating or building up a relationship, which I think should come before marriage. The approval of lineage mates in an arrange marriage is similar to how families in the US meet up with the family of who their child is marrying to discuss plans of marriage. In both types of marriages, family or lineage is an important part of the process. Another difference I noticed is how in the marriages of India or the Masai culture, women may leave their home to live with their husband and his family. They not only give their self to the husband, but also their labor, loyalty, and children. Men and women in the US have more of a choice of where they want to live and what they want to do. It seems like in the cultures that we learned about, there are a lot of rules or expectations for what a family has to do or how to behave but in the US there is more choice. The diversity in how people view sexuality, marriage, and family did not surprise me because there is already a lot of differences here in the US alone so I figured there would be even more throughout the whole world. Many cultures have their own ways of doing things and I have realized that different things work for different people because we are not the same.