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Shadowkat678

How do you deal with relationships and weddings?

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What it says. How do different cultures show engagement? Certain hairstyles for married couples versus unmarried? A gift that has to be made by the one proposing? Are there cultures that don't do marriage at all and just get together and leave it at that? How accepted are poly relationships?  How do they celebrate? Are there any negative cultural biases, especially ones that might cause conflicts with other surrounding cultures that don't agree with it?

As a Global Studies major, our world's cultures have a wide range of variations when it comes to customs within relationships, sometimes even multiple ones in tiny areas. I'd love to hear about the differences in yours, especially for ones that tend to deviate from the western eurocentric traditions people normally write. :)

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Well, I am Western and European, but I do think Ireland has a few things that might differ slightly from other western countries. For one thing, I am getting the impression that people in other countries might marry a bit younger. Here apparently, the average age of marriage in 2014 was apparently 33 for a woman and 35 for a man. There is a specific reason why traditionally Irish people married later than other cultures. It was due to the Famine. People decided not to marry until they were sure they could support a family for fear of another famine (unsurprisingly, 1/8th of the country starving to death in a period of about 5 years does have long term impacts.) Engagements are usually one to two years long. By law, you have to give three months notice of intent to marry. That is probably the main thing that is specific to Ireland.

Divorce was only introduced into Ireland in 1995 - well, actually later but it was 1995 when the referendum took place and it passed by the narrowest of margins, something like 50.2% to 49.8%. Rates of divorce in Ireland are still quite low. Rates range from about 8% to about 12%, depending on the area of the country. Interestingly, same sex marriage got a far higher margin in support and was much less controversial. 

Statistics about marriage in Ireland: Marriage in Ireland (All Audiences)

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Well, my original fiction characters are Irish so most of this is going to be the norm for them. I don't really write about relationships and honestly, I don't write about people in their 30s - my characters are generally teenagers or in their early twenties - but sometimes I guess it does influence things in the background. My character in a collab a friend and I wrote was born when her mother was quite young - somewhere between 20 and 22 - and while the character in question is only 14 and hasn't really considered how her mother feels about things, there are hints that it did cause some conflict in the family that she got pregnant at an age when her parents thought she should have been concentrating on her education. And there is a sense that she is overcompensating to the point of spoiling her daughter.

In fanfiction, I'm not sure. In some ways, the wizarding world does seem to have some similarities - few if any pureblood characters in the books appear to be divorced. On the other hand, young marriages do seem to be more common in that world, with Lily and James marry at 19 or 20 and most of the other characters appearing to be somewhere in their early to mid-20s when they marry and have kids. I have made George's kids significantly younger than the other next gen. kids because I cannot imagine George settling down and having kids in his early 20s.

Actually, now that I think about it (and I could be wrong about this because after all, it is difficult to compare your own culture with others, as you generally only hear about others at second hand), it seems like a lot of other countries have more of a stigma to being single than Ireland does (or maybe did). Growing up, I knew plenty of people who had never married and the explanations tended to be stuff like, "oh she was a very smart woman and wouldn't have wanted to give up her career to marry" (I am talking now about people who would have been say in their 60s when I was growing up in the '80s and '90s so the women would have been young in an era when married women were less likely to work) or "he was a very good son/she was a very good daughter, who stayed at home to look after his/her parents." And of course, being a Catholic country, we had plenty of priests and nuns.

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