‘Consanguineuism’ means relating to people descending from the same ancestor. Hence consanguineus marriage refers to marital bond within the same ancestor line. You must have the heard the term, for many religions, castes , ethnicity and subgroups of people around the world follow this. And Nepal is no exception. I’m discussing this because i’m well aware too.. including its pros and cons because my own ethnic group ‘magar’ follows this custom.
Here, let me try to explain to you ‘ how it goes in magars’. My mother’s son (my brother of course) will be allowed to marry my maternal uncle’s daughter. They will call each other ‘solta, soltini’ and marriage between them is acceptable to the society. But , my maternal uncle’s son will not be allowed to pursue my mom’s daughter(example me) because the bond is now a pure relationship of brotherhood hence considered a Sin. Although in some other ethnic groups like ‘gurungs’ vice versa is also allowed whether its from the mother’s side or the maternal uncle’s side.
And I know it sounds off to many people who donot know about these. But when one is bound religiously, culturally and by customs of society believe me it dosen’t sound out of ordinary. And eventually the decision is up to you , whether you accept it or not..
I asked my mom recently why is consanguineus marriage allowed in our ethnicity (Thank God I don’t have any maternal uncles). ‘Because daughters will be safe that way..’ she replied. ‘My brother will have known my son from the day he has been born. So he will know his nature and his whereabouts. And someday when his daughter comes of right age he will have no problem deciding if he should lend his daughter’s hand to my son for marriage. Plus advantage is she will not go to a new home. I’ m her aunt who is also her mother in law. So not only I’m bound to her as her mother in law from my son’s side but also as her aunt from my brother’. ‘Relationships are stronger that way’ she said proudly.
When she puts it that way, a part of me wants to accept the rules with which consanguineus works. Because I would love to be the most awesum aunt!! The cool one the loveable one and godmother one!! Will I have a problem accepting my own niece as my daughter in law? IDK I do love her even before she is born. I do love the idea of hanging out with her already but as daughter in law?? idk. Let future decide that..because a part of me just hates ‘consanguineus ‘ thing.
To love, to accept some one must be a freedom one should choose. I can’t believe how men would just kidnap women of their intrest and force her to marry him claiming his first right with law of consanguinity. Surprised? I said that. Because that is the way it is in my culture. Atleast in the rural areas still.. And believe me even though nowdays ,there are many laws fighting against it and woman now can go and seek justice, it still is happening. Yes, some societies have evolved past the decades and they seek to know first the girl’s intrest but one cannot ignore the fact that in many instances there is family pressure too. Yes it is difficult to believe society would just accept such injustice in name of custom.
‘Thank God’ my mother says remembering her own days. ‘You girls are safe. Otherwise when I was pulled(kidnapped) by the supposed to be married men, I held the khukuri in my hand and made sure if anything was to happen then and there I would chop him first than chop myself second’ .