EXERCISE Culture: Love and Marriage

Discussion in 'BUILDING WORLDS' started by Diana, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Love and Marriage are a huge part of every culture you see in the world today. There are fables, myths, legends, and more all about the many different types of love and how it affects people. Marriage comes in to the scene often without love, be it an arranged marriage, a contract between families or nations, harems or even a means of exclusive breeding.

    In this exercise, define what a TRADITIONAL marriage means for your culture. How does this culture view love? What would this culture do about affairs? Divorce? Are there old myths and stories related to love?
  2. Hi,

    In my culture, with no actual religion, its a case of, if you find someone in which you feel happy with, care for and enjoy spending time with, and these feelings are felt by the other person, the partner, then this equals 'love' which goes on to marriage. In my culture it does not matter a great deal whether or not each family approves of your partner as long as 'you are happy'. Although whether or not the family approve of your partner, during marriage it is the families individual right, if invited to the wedding ceremony, to make a decision weather or not they would like to attend the wedding ceremony. This can cause upset with people in each family and effect the couple who want to marry. It is usually best if each family do as they are asked by the couple who want to marry to see the couple happy.

    Divorce / break-ups happen when one of both of the couple are no longer happy, due to lots of reasons. lack of communication because one has lose interest in the relationship, unfaithfulness, one of the couple feels there needs are not been full filled, one of them thinks they can have something better and continuous arguments, bickering and failing to agree on anything anymore, just to name a few. Divorce is a almost always a 'messy' process, with the law having to be involved in most cases to help deal with houses, house hold items and children as well as savings accounts and other things. This causes lots of resentment towards each other for the once marred couple.

    Arraigned marriages
    I have thought about this to my self before. I don't know many people who believe in arranged marriages. But it doesn't help me stop thinking this: "How often do i read about or hear about an arranged marriage breaking up, or causing unhappiness between families and the couple ?", the answer is pretty much never. They seem to work..

    How often do i see couples of a culture with arrange marriage arguing in the street ? Never
    How often do i hear about messy break ups / divorce resulting in arson or death or a partner due to jealousy / betrayal ? Never
    How often do i hear couple of a different culture with arranged marriage losing a house or savings due to divorce / break up? never
    How often do i hear of cultures with arrange marriage fighting for custody of children ? never
    how often do i hear about cultures with arrange marriage having children before marriage and been a single parent ? never
    And finally how often do i hear about family arguments, disapproval in cultures of arrange marriage ? never

    Is this because cultures with arrange marriage make things work better because they are 'told to be together'...?
    Even though i am not in this culture i feel that it is a more secure culture.

    People who do not have a religion around marriage, like me, seem to have more heart breaks, more fights and upset in life.

    Or am i missing the point..
  3. That's some really useful insight and will provide people with a good basis of what to go on for the exercise!

    But yeah, you did miss the point! The exercises here in world building are about creating you own worlds and cultures!

    So in this case, you would be explaining how love and marriage works for a tribe/clan/country/culture you have made up yourself.
  4. I'll be focusing on a single race of mine for the moment. Demons.

    Demons actually find marriage very important, believe it or not. Even the hell residing ones, even if they have more than one spouse, they still hold marriage above many other things and people who betray that bond and sleep outside of their partners are shunned most severely and have often been known to be even kicked from a community, in both hell and on earth.

    A demon marriage is a simple thing, though on occasions they can be extravagant. Most of the time however it's a simple sit down, a promise to eachother, and they get matching tattoos, magical ones, covering their right shoulders and their heart. The shoulders provide a very strong connection between the demons, or whoever the demon may choose to marry and share the markings with, it links their minds and their hearts, letting them talk back and forth in just their heads if they are within the same area, the size spanning a large city. When one of them is in great stress, fear, or pain, the other will feel it, so they may comfort and care for eachother.

    Another, less liked effect of the marking is how strong the connection is, if they are too far away from eachother to retain their mental link for too long they physically ache and it gets worse as time passes, but the moment they are close enough to reestablish the connection the pain tends to ebb away.

    Divorce for the couple is almost always a very painful procedure because of the marks however, they must be removed to break the connection and officially separate the couple. Magic, or death are the only ways to do so but the latter has a chance of killing the other side of the link as well but if they do survive the mark will fade. The magic rout though is just plain painful, as the longer the bond was there the stronger roots it has into the mind and heart, removing them can take hours upon hours of searing, screaming pain unless you find someone strong enough to remove it easily, but it's rare with the power the bonds possesses.

    On the topic of love, it's less complicated, demons love few things, fun, mischief, battle, family, and love. Demons love love, and if you find a full community of relaxed ones, which tend to be rather rare now, you'll find there are very few people there not in love. But very few do tend to be married, since it is a very serious commitment for them. Being an immortal race they're in no hurry to marry in the first place and are happy to date for years upon years, fighting, or just plain living at eachother's side.

    Demons protect those they care for with their lives, never engage a demon couple in a fight, especially not a married one, because if they marry, they are eachother's reasons for living, not to mention the breaking of bond through the death of one could kill the other, so they would not hold back.

    (got a bit carried away.)
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  5. I generally make worlds with multiple species living and interacting so I have multiple cultures together .

    I see love in my worlds like a pure feeling which is shered by both partners and don't matter if they are different species or have different cultures . Having different species means different way to feel the love and express it but in essence everyone which love will protect his or her partner even with the cost of his/her life , it will offer affection and care about the partner feelings and it will support each other in bad situations .

    On the marriage part is a bit more complicated .Generally marriage between some species isn't accepted by society for political or social reasons .Example can be war between the species or the polar opposite image of the species in the society eyes . In the cases when the marriage isn't accepted the lovers will make a symbolic ceremony and hide this from the society eyes or run in a place where they marriage can be accepted.
    The arranged marriage is commune in my worlds only in noble families and is usually made for a political or military reason .The married couple can react different , they can love each other or hate the partner but don't say something.

    Divorce appear when is a conflict between the partners but in most cases it is ending peacefully but there are some cases when things become a mess or can start a war . It depends on the species , social status and the reason for the divorce.
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  6. A traditional marriage consists of many different parts depending on the location/kingdom. For each kingdom the cleric and the deity that rule of that kingdom will come to decide how the people of that kingdom wed and marry. For example, in the fire kingdom there are rituals that interact with fire and flame. While in one kingdom, the darkness of the night signifies the bond of eternal everlasting love. Each kingdom is a different culture entirely.
    Fire Kingdom:
    Love: Short, abrupt, a long last flame, but eventually smolders out
    Affairs: Are most common here, but are not disciplined. Possibly even welcomed.

    Water Kingdom:
    Love: Flowing and smooth. Everlasting.
    Affairs: Not heard of. If happens it was due to some force of magic. or deity.

    Earth Kingdom:
    Love: Rough and tough, slightly abusive, and possesive.
    Affairs: Often, but they are a disgrace.

    Air Kingdom:
    Love: Wispy and carefree, very non posessive
    Affairs: Yes, they happen often and are okay with the culture.

    THose are of a few of the kingdoms and what they hold..
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  7. I've thought about it before, but never put too much detail in marriage and love with my created cultures. This'll be a fun exercise~

    I'll go with the Klifos, one of my favorite created species:
    • While a bit more complex than I'll describe here, the Klifos don't technically have a equivalent to marriage and the most relatable and comparable ritual they have is "Reihar Gni," a bonding and partnership that is perceived to transcend desire, emotions, and individuality.
      It is a ritual in which two people become one (not literally, of course), where the partners are to view each other with more value and love than what they value and love in themselves, even supposedly surpassing their self-preservation instinct. Betraying this bond is essentially a death wish as, if the partner doesn't outright kill the betrayer, the entire Klifos culture ostracizes and does not consider the traitors as Klifos or even civilized beings, but as savage and forsaken animals that anyone may kill without penalty. As the Klifos are a people whose culture is extremely tight-knit and values family greatly, there are many Klifos who are apprehensive about performing Reihar Gni for fear of being unable to live up to the expectations and losing their place among their people.

      Klifos that go through with Reihar Gni typically mark their body someway to match their partners. It can be a simple as getting matching tattoos and dyeing their hair to even scarring themselves to match past wounds. There are sometimes even Klifos who try to cut off their limbs to match their disfigured partner, but luckily their partner can usually persuade them otherwise.

      While the ritual itself is typically performed between two people, one person can participate in this ritual multiple times and have any number of partners. In addition, it is not strictly a bond of love or child rearing and it can be performed for people of the same sex.
    • The Klifos do not break Reihar Gni. As it is considered the fusing of identities into one person, one identity, someone wanting to disband Reihar Gni would be the same as that person wanting to cut off their fully functional and powerful legs because "they don't want them to be attached anymore."
      If two people honestly wish for their Reihar Gni to be broken, then it is perceived that it is already broken as they both equally want to separate from each other. However, they will both be marked and ostracized by the Klifos as shallow and broken beings. However, such occurrences are very few and far between.

      The Klifos themselves don't actually know what an affair is, as there are no relationships or rituals in Klifos culture that prevents the forming of relationships with others. As a mostly unisex culture where the only differences between a man and woman is their body shape and how they produce children, anyone is free to form whatever type of relationship with anyone, be it platonic or romantic or sexual. Of course, relationships that produce children are celebrated and valued over the others.
    • Love is a strange concept to the Klifos, but not because they don't have it. While love may play a part in forming relationships, there are no relationships in Klifos culture that are specifically about love. Traditionally, love is believed to be the emotion when one wishes for family ties with someone, usually in the form of children.

      The Klifos believe there is two types of "love": the first is a passionate and burning need to create offspring with their beloved, while the other form of love is a warm, platonic intimacy seen between siblings or between parents and children. In all instances, the Klifos believe love is the desire of a family.

      Interesting to note is that "love" is almost synonymous with "lust" in Klifos culture when harboring it for someone outside of immediate family. Possessive affections one feels for a pet and platonic friendship is not considered love. In addition, wanting to spend one's life with someone outside the family, yet at the same time not wanting children, is also not considered love but instead as a form of obsession.
    • There are few myths and stories about love due to its rather minor role in relationships. Love is often viewed upon lightheartedly and many stories that focus on it tend to have a simple and bright or comedic setting. A more well-known tale about love speaks of the Klifos battlemaiden Ynn and the human master swordsmen Aston who, despite their nations being at war and always fighting each other, could never bring themselves to strike the final blow against the other. It is a humorous tale of conflicting cultures and confused ideals that eventually end with Aston as the human king and Ynn as a Klifos equivalent concluding a peace to end the war between their nations... yet still engaging in duels both on the field and in bed!

      One of the very few darker tales about love tell of a woman, Ahgurnd, who fell in love with a kind if a bit weak and clumsy man named Kastil. The tale depicts Ahgurnd as her mind and body become twisted with her obsession over Kastil as she commits murders and kidnappings in the name of love, and finally ends with her as a monster devouring Kastil's corpse and escaping. Ahgurnd is a name that many mothers use to scare misbehaving children, and it has come to symbolize dangerous obsessions and blind bloodlust.
      Frightfully, this story was based on real events, obviously barring the woman turning into a monster at the end and some of the more exaggerated parts.
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  8. How does this culture view love?
    Nism view love not just as a feeling, but as a choice, a bond two share, when it comes to mates. Males and females form friendships, quite often extending way back into their childhoods. Friendships that can lead to more, when puberty strikes. Nism are not in any way shy when it comes to interpersonal interactions... honest in their likes and dislikes. The choice part? Well, males like to show off, to display their physical qualities for female inspection. If a female likes what she sees... if she knows the male (or males) in question well, then it is up to her to choose.
    What would this culture do about affairs?
    Nothing. Nism do not "do" affairs. Once bonded, they are always loyal.
    Just as non-existant as affairs. Once bonded, once offspring are produced, a mate is a mate for life.
    Are there old myths and stories related to love?
    Many, but then, Nism are a well-traveled species, and have been around a long time. So their stories can deal quite often with completely different species encounters. Heh... Nism do tend to be playful critters, more often than not.
    Define what a TRADITIONAL marriage means for your culture.
    Traditional, as mentioned above, involves a male presenting himself to a female of interest. He sits in a pose, fur and mane ruffled up, shroudruff feathers in full display... all his "assets" there for her to inspect. Without a word, she walks around him, sniffs, touches, wafts her scent over him, to test his control and determination. If he passes such an inspection, if she likes him as a friend and partner, from their past interactions, she will then speak her acceptance with words of her choosing, providing whatever commentary she wishes before doing so, to let him know her mind. Heh... then it is up to the male to accept her "I do." Or turn and run. That last... well, I don't think it's ever happened. But, like in any such situation, it is a viable option, should a male lose his nerve at the last moment.

    At this point, a male and female are considered "married". Traditionally, they leave the homeworld and go about a very long "Honeymoon" WorldWalk, where they learn to rely on each other, just the two of them, alone. Test their relationship, to see if they really want to commit and "make babies" together (females "supress" their fertility until the honymoon is over and they've returned to their homeword... tradition to conceive, gestate and give birth to a first child on their homeworld, to honor their Creators). According to record, no couple has ever failed to become Lifemates after this First WorldWalk.
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