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.