Thursday, April 1, 2010

so a jordanian, an indian, a brazilian, a german and an american are at a bar...

Well, maybe not a BAR - but a resident on-call room.  This is my medicine team - the smart residents and interns that teach me how "to DO" medicine.  They are amazing.  And compassionate.  And dedicated to their future jobs of being healers.

Interestingly...out of this bunch I am the ONLY one with student loans...they were all trained in their home countries (with tuition paid by the tax dollars of their parents)...but they chose to come to America for residency.  Whole different topic that is equally fascinating....the conversations about socialized medicine made my mind spin!! I digress...

So here we are.  In our team room.  At 10pm (because we are oncall and have been in house since 5:30am...and we are all high on caffeine and the energy is flowing like fine wine).  Someone asks me about my fiance - and in walks wedding conversation.  Two of the gals in the room are married, as the result of arranged marriages...SO INTERESTING.  The whole idea of dating is "appalling" one of them says...and both are in agreement that parents know best when it comes to selecting husbands.  I loved hearing their views, and I really wanted to understand where they were coming from.  Obviously...I couldn't wrap my mind around it.  It was incredible mind blowing stuff.  (and I just kept thanking my lucky stars that Tommy and I are free to choose each other...though I'm sure they were equally thankful that their parents' selected wisely!)

One was telling about how at her wedding celebration the women gather in one room, and the men gather in another room.  There is absolutely no mixing of genders  (wow right?!). The other talked about how her wedding had over 2000 guests (what!?), and she stood and smiled for 6 hours straight to have her picture taken with each one of them.  She also got to wear jewels...glued to her face.  Sweet.

The Brazilian, though dating the same woman for 6 years, hates the institution of marriage and thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.  He was making fun of American men and how they "fall for" Valentine's Day and anniversaries and birthday's (I was like - WHAT? you don't give your girlfriend a birthday present!??  He said, "no - why should I?")  It was craziness.  His was the most perplexing to me...but I wonder if was all for effect?  I dunno.  And the German is married to a beautiful Iranian woman whose family escaped persecution when she was a kid...whole lotta cultural intrigue.

One of the most fascinating conversations about life and marriage and (wedding customs)  I've ever been a part of.  I love our world, and the colorful diversity of thinking, loving, and uniting.

I'm going to miss these people.  New rotation in the emergency dept starts Monday.


  1. I love your title of the post!

    but yeah...arranged marriages...such an interesting topic. I have many friends whose parents marriages were arranged. I think there are lots of pros and cons, but I too am SO thankful that I could chose my partner!

  2. My Indian friends have arranged marriages and they like it that way. They still get to pick who they want, it's more like the parents are the match makers but they still got to say yes or no.

    No Valentines, Birthday, or Anniversaries?? I don't think so.

  3. I once worked with an Indian woman who had been raised in the U.S. Both her parents were doctors.

    Hers was an arranged marriage, but there is no compulsion to accept the arrangement if you don't like the person. It's more like a "suggestion" that they should marry.

    She already lived in the U.S. and he had just moved here. Anyway, she met the guy and fell in love! So they were married and very happy.

  4. So...blogger must hate me because my comment didn't go through. Ugh.
    So the gist of it is that I completely envy you because A. I love culture and B. I'm completely starved of any culture (other than Northern European which doesn't hold much interest for me) so that makes my envy even worse.

  5. I have a friend who is Brazilian who is deeply involved in making romantic gestures. He brought his now wife flowers once a week for three years while they were dating, and continues to be similarly dedicated to surprising her and giving her gifts and such now that they are married. He has always said it is because he is a Brazilian and it's part of the culture to be very romantic and grand. Maybe so, maybe not.

  6. Fascinating indeed. What great life experiences you are having in med school and throughout the country. You are blessed. :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails