Aug 232012

Kinship means, incestuous relationship (Had Nata). Kinship include all kith and kin that are very close to the concerned person. It includes his/her own sister or brother, her own son, sisters and brothers from the side of stepmother. It further includes grandmother, daughter-in-law, daughter etc. Some castes of Nepal arrange marriage among their own relatives.

In Jirel community, for an example, a man can marry his sister-in-law after the death of brother. The same custom is prevalent in Sunuwar, Danuwar and Chepang communities. The son of brother and the daughter of sister get priority in marriage among the Tamangs. Generally, marriage cannot be arranged within very close relations. The law has allowed for the arrangement of marriage among the blood relations if such a custom is prevalent in that community. There is no law and scientific base to prove that a certain relationship is blood relationship. The marriage arranged within bone kinship cannot be evaluated properly as there lacks proper law related to it.

The existing law about kinship helps to control population growth to some extent, as it does not allow arranging marriage with someone considered a kin. It delays the marriage as it consumes time to search suitable partner. It is necessary to get permission from protector if girl gets marriage before 18 years and boy gets marriage before 21 years. The marriage should not be arranged without the consent of both partners. If marriage is arranged without their consent, the arranger is punished and the marriage is voided. No male is legally allowed to arrange his marriage before he is 22 years old. It is very important for both sides to agree for marriage because it is the most important event of their life.

Supreme Court has made a strong decision that if the male has sexual intercourse without the consent of female, it is to be regarded as a criminal act and the culprit can be sent to jail for having committed rape. This decision became effective since 19th Baishakh 2059 B.S. The Supreme Court also issued an order to the effect that if someone has sexual intercourse with widow, a maiden or the wife of somebody, without his or her consent, he is imprisoned with the charge of rape. No one can have sexual relationship with the girl less than 16 years of age no matter whether she permits or not. This law brought a hidden fact into light that even husbands rape their wives and such husbands are punishable by law. The existing law has discrimination between the so called good and bad women. If sexual intercourse is made with a sex worker, he should pay only 500 as a fine. But this system has been modified and made a law that such persons are also punished as others may commit adultery.

Aug 232012

Various Cultural Practices of Marriage
Since Nepal is a country with different races and ethnic groups, varieties of marriage arrangements are found to be prevalent based on locality, traditions, customs and cultures.

Some of the prevalent marriage arrangements are listed below:

  • Marriage made by giving the beetle nut (Supari Bibaha): Marriage is be arranged by providing girl’s party with the beetle nut (supari) by boy’s party for confirmation of marriage.
  • Marriage by request (Magi bibaha): Marriage is arranged by asking with humble request made by boy’s or girl’s party.
  • Levirate Marriage (Bhahuju Behorne Bibaha): A marriage custom in which brother-in-law accepts a widow sister-in-law as his wife after the death of his own brother. In other words, it is a marriage custom which requires a widow sister-in-law to marry the younger brother (dewar) of her husband.
  • Marriage by taking away secretly or elopement (Chori Bibaha): It is a marriage by taking away secretly without consent of guardians either by boy’s or by girl’s party.
  • Widow Marriage (Bidhawa Bibaha): This is such a marriage which is arranged voluntarily by a widow after the death of her husband.
  • Marriage by performance (Gandharva Bibaha): It is a marriage to be arranged by performing extra ordinary activities and skills during social celebration, festivals, musical nights and cultivation or harvesting season.
  • Marriage by paying fine (Jari Bibaha): It is a marriage to be arranged by paying the necessary amount of money for taking away other’s wife.

 Legal Provision for Marriage

There are some legal provisions for marriage arrangement. Some marriage practices are accepted by law whereas some others are not.

The followings are the types of marriage on the basis of legal provision:

  • Void Marriage: Marriage should be arranged by both boy’s and girls’ agreement. If it is arranged without the consent of either of one party, it is voided.
  • Voidable Marriage: Marriage can be voided if the boys and the girls have been married before they are 16 years of age.
  • Punishable Marriage: Marriage is punishable if it is arranged among the kins whether it is done voluntarily or unwillingly.
  • Legal Marriage: The marriage arranged according to traditions, customs and cultures in proper age for it of both the party is known as legal marriage. The prevalent laws of nation determine all such marriages. The legal act of Nepal has given permission to arrange in any type of traditional marriage according to culture and customs. But the law has neither defined the marriage nor determined any system in accordance with culture, religion and belief. After the initiation of “Marriage Restriction Act”, marriage according to religion, caste and tradition and not opposing the rules laid down by this act can be registered in the registration office.

 On the basis of Number of Spouse/ Forms of Marriage

The various forms of marriage are described below:

  • Monogamy: Union of one man and one woman. This form of marriage allows a man to marry only one woman at a given time. The practice is well accepted worldwide because of its advantages. In Nepal, monogamy is the accepted legal form of marriage.
  • Polygamy: One person marries two or more persons of the opposite sex at the same time. This is commonly known as multiple marriages.