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印度难容剩女存在

2014-03-10    来源:英语点津    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

No country for single women

对许多年轻人来说,印度是一个充满机会的国度。无论男女,只要接受过高等教育,能随机应变,就有机会获得高薪工作。只有一个问题,Suruchi Sharma说,女性必须在25岁左右结婚。

For many young people, India is a land of opportunity. Male or female, if you're well educated and resourceful there's the chance of a well-paid career. Just one problem, says Suruchi Sharma - if you're a woman, you must marry by your mid-20s.

"Single? Why, what's your age?"
"28"
"Okay, that's too bad. How are you managing it? Couldn't find anyone?"

Welcome to the conversation that a single woman in India, in her late 20s faces, almost all the time. Yes, it's a big deal if you're 28 and unmarried. You're looked upon as a big failure. I am serious.

I live in Mumbai, the biggest metro city in India. I belong to a typical urban middle-class family. My life is same as that of many young women who move away from home and pursue their dream of an independent life.

How does it feel to be living in the city on my own? It's awesome! I'm independent with a lifestyle I used to dream of. Indian women are getting the chance to grow, to prove their worth and shine. We struggle with gender bias at every step of the ladder, but we find a way out and advance.

But there is one pressure that just refuses to leave us alone, a question that follows us everywhere: "What are your marriage plans?" In India, a girl's identity revolves around her marriage. As children, we are all raised to understand that we must end up with the right partner, and must go to a nice family as a daughter-in-law.

Even today, arranged marriage is normal in India. Parents find you a suitable match and you get married. In some cases the bride and groom don't have a say. In some cases they get to meet once or twice. In a few cases, they can take time to get to know each other and decide. In all cases, you are a part of a tradition where you have to try to like someone.

Everything we learn is taught to us bearing in mind our future role as a wife and daughter-in-law. We learn how to cook, how to do household chores, to behave ourselves and maintain the right image. The moment the "image" part gets problematic, our prospects of getting decent grooms are affected.

If you look at any matrimonial website (a common trend in India these days) you will find the terms "family-oriented", "homely", "not too much into career" - these are the qualities in a bride people most often look for.

Everyone wants a wife who will be a home-maker first and a career woman second. Every family wants a daughter-in-law who will respect elders, and give up on her career the moment other more important things like her husband's transfer, children, and other emergencies pop up.

To be an ideal woman in a man's life, you must have the best education possible, a pretty face, and a sound career and yet be willing to put it all on the back burner.

The reason I am single is quite simple - I have yet to come across my Mr Right.
I might sound like a person who is against marriage. I am not. I love the idea of being married. I believe in this institution and I look forward to being married one day to the right guy. This is where the problem starts, with that phrase "the right guy".

At 28, ideally I would have been married for a couple of years.
By Indian standards, I've left it late and I am probably at the bottom of the pyramid of eligible women. But I still don't find the idea of "settling for" someone appealing.

Everyone reminds me how I should make compromises and lower my expectations. As long as the man has decent looks and a respectable career and family background I shouldn't complain.

I don't see it that way. Everyone around me may tell me a man is perfect for me, but I feel it's me who gets to decide.

He might be earning a lot, might belong to the best of families and might be a nice person, but if I don't find him compatible to talk to or to be with, I can't picture being married to him. I don't subscribe to the idea of striking a compromise right at the advent of my married life. The adjustments and compromises should be made in the marriage, not while finding the person you want to be with.

There is a stigma associated with a woman who is single. When a woman says she is single by choice, it's more or less assumed that she is not respectable.
There have been many occasions when I have tried to rent an apartment in a good locality and been refused. People don't like to rent apartments to single, professional women. They are afraid that someone like me will behave immorally - have loud parties, have men to stay overnight, be a bad influence on the surrounding families. No-one can imagine that I might be an ordinary person with a perfect social life and a normal, healthy lifestyle.

Property owners are always looking for a chance to evict us. The slightest of errors and we are asked to leave. We can't live a normal lifestyle. There are rules and regulations for everything. And if by any chance it happens that a male friend comes to drop you home one day, you're immediately branded a prostitute.

Essentially, if a single woman lives an independent life, away from her family it's assumed she may have loose morals.

The more I keep living this life, the less chance there is of finding a good husband from a well-respected family. At times I wonder whether I should just give in and marry the next guy who is more or less suitable, in order to spare my parents.

I am lucky that my family is extremely supportive. My parents stand by me when it comes to waiting for the right guy to come along, but they too face extreme pressure from relatives and everyone in their circle. "When is Suruchi getting married?" They get asked this question every day, and it makes them anxious. They begin to wonder if they are doing the wrong thing by letting their daughter make her own choices. They worry about my well-being. They are not sure that Indian society will allow me to live happily if I remain single.


There were cases where people told my parents that educating their daughter and letting her become an independent person had been a grave mistake. Now their daughter has high expectations and getting her married has become so difficult! I can't thank my parents enough for shouldering that burden. They are a great support but I keep wondering what to do to make it easier for them. I am much less worried about myself. I know that being with the wrong man would be far worse than being by myself.

As long as I remain in this society, the pressure will only keep increasing. To be honest, I have thought about moving abroad if I end up being single for another year or so.

Going away from society's prying eyes is the only way to be left alone and allowed to live a peaceful life. People won't question my marriage plans if I am in a foreign country. Surprisingly, Indians then become quite open-minded. Everything is OK if you're living abroad.

At the end, it's not easy being single at 28. It's a struggle I face 24/7. I have decided to live with it.(英语点津)

相关内容

“没结婚?为什么?你多大了?”
“28。”
“这,这可不行,怎么回事?找不到对象吗?”

欢迎加入印度28岁左右女性面临的无休止的谈话。是的,28岁,未婚,这可是一桩大事,在他人眼里,你是个不折不扣的失败者,我可没开玩笑。

我住在印度最大的大都市孟买,出生于一个典型的城市中产阶级家庭。我和许多年轻女性一样,搬出父母的家,过着独立的生活,追逐着自己的梦想。

独自一人住在大城市是什么感觉?棒极了!我很独立,过着曾经梦想过的生活。印度的女性正获得改善自己、证明自己的价值和散发光芒的机会。在抗议性别歧视的阶梯上,我们每向上爬一步都得奋力斗争,但我们找到了出路,不断地前进。

可是还有一种赖着不走的压力,一个和我们如影随形的问题:“打算什么时候结婚啊?”在印度,女孩的生活围绕着结婚展开。从小到大,我们接受到的观念是我们一定得找到门当户对的另一半,找个好婆家。

甚至是在现在的印度,包办婚姻还是常态。父母给你找个般配的对象,安排好婚事。有时,新娘新郎都没发言权;有时他们只见过一、两次面。他们很少有时间认识彼此,无法自己做出决定。不管怎样,你是包办婚姻传统的一部分,你必须试着喜欢上某个人。

我们学到的一切都告诉我们要铭记我们未来的身份是妻子和儿媳。我们学会做饭、做家务,举止要得体,形象要合宜。一旦“形象”出了问题,我们找到好夫君的可能性就会降低。

点开任意一个婚介网站(在印度,最近婚介网站是大势所趋),你会发现诸如“以家庭为重”、“顾家”、“对事业不太热心”等要求,人们往往希望新娘具备上述品质。

大家都希望讨个把家庭放在第一位,事业放在第二位的妻子。每个男方家庭都希望有一个尊敬老人的儿媳,一旦出现其他更重要的事,如丈夫工作上的调动、孩子或其他紧急情况,儿媳会放弃自己的事业。

要成为男人生活中的完美女人,你必须接受过最好的教育,相貌出众,事业有成,并且愿意把事业放在次要位置。

我至今单身的原因很简单——我还没遇到我的白马王子。

你看我的文章也许会觉得我反对婚姻,其实不然。我喜欢结婚这种想法,我相信婚姻制度,我渴望有一天嫁给对的人。问题就出在这——“对的人”。

我今年28岁了,理想的情景是我已经结婚多年了。

按照印度本地的标准,我已经是剩女了,很可能处在适婚女子金字塔的最底层;不过我并不认同“找个一起过日子的人算了”这种观点。

所有的人都提醒我,我应该做出妥协,降低期望。只要对方长相得体、工作体面、家庭背景不错就行了,我不该发什么牢骚。

我可不这么看,也许身边的每个人都跟我说他和我是天生一对,但我觉得做决定的人是我自己。

也许他收入高,来自上层的家庭,人也很好,可如果我和他谈不来或合不来,我就无法想象自己会嫁给他。我不认同结婚之前就做出妥协的看法,找对象这件事容不得妥协,调整和妥协应该在结婚以后。

在印度,单身女人和耻辱联系在一起,一个女人如果说自己选择单身,或多或少,人们会认为她不是个值得尊敬的女人。

有很多次,我想在一个风气好的居住区租一套公寓,都遭到了拒绝。人们不喜欢把公寓租给单身的职业女性。他们害怕像我这样的人会做出伤风败德的事——举办吵闹的聚会,留男人过夜,给周边有家室的邻居带来坏影响。没有人能想象我也许是个社交生活正常、生活方式健康的普通人。

业主总是在寻找机会赶我们出门,稍有不慎,就叫我们走人。我们无法过上正常的生活,凡事都有条条框框。一旦有一天有男性朋友送你回公寓,你马上就会被贴上“妓女”的标签。

基本上可以说,一个单身女人若不和家人住在一起,而是独自一人生活,人们就会认为她道德沦丧。

要是继续过这种独立的生活,找到受人尊敬的婆家和好丈夫的机率会越来越小。有时我会想为了让父母少遭罪,自己是不是该做出让步,嫁给下一个和我差不多般配的男人?

我很幸运,因为我的家人极力支持我的做法。在“等待对的那个人”的问题上,我的父母和我站在同一战线,但他们也面临着来自亲戚和朋友圈的巨大压力。“Suruchi什么时候结婚啊?”每天都有人问他们这个问题,这让他们十分担忧。他们开始怀疑,把选择权交给女儿,是不是做错了?他们担心我会不会过得幸福。他们不确定在印度这样的社会里,单身的我会不会活得开心。

有时,有人会跟我父母说,送女儿上学,让她们变独立,是个大错误。现在女儿有了高期望,结婚变得非常困难。我很感谢我的父母承担着这个负担。他们很支持我,但是我不由得想着该怎样让他们的日子好过些,我倒没那么担心自己。我知道和错的人一起生活比自己一个人生活要糟糕得多。

只要我留在这个社会中,压力只会越来越大。老实说,我想过要是再过一年,我还是单身的话,我就搬到国外去。

逃离印度社会爱窥探的眼睛是不受人打扰、过上平静的生活的唯一方法。如果是在国外,人们不会问我对结婚的打算。出人意料的是,那时印度人也变得非常开明了。住在国外,一切都会很好。

总之,28岁了,还单身,真不容易,我每时每刻都为此挣扎,我已决定要忍受下去。


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