When Brothers Share A Wife Essay

When Brothers Share A Wife Essay

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“When Brothers Share a Wife” is a writing piece by Melvyn C. Goldstein. The beginning of the article starts off with Dorje, who is traveling over a 17,000-foot mountain pass to join his two brothers, Pema and Sonam, in a joint marriage to a woman in another village. Dorje, Pema, and Sonam live in Limi which is located in the northwest corner of Nepal. After learning about who the brothers are the article says that the brothers are entering a fraternal polyandry, type of marriage. This type of marriage is “one of the rarest forms of marriage but is not common in Tibetan society, where it has been practiced from time immemorial” (“When Brother Share a Wife”). Fraternal polyandry is where more than one brothers marry a woman together then live in the husband’s home.
When a marriage like this takes place the parents usually have given their consent because females “have little or no say (“When Brothers Share a Wife”)”, but compared to the society we live in today kids sometime do marry without their parent’s say-so. The marriage ceremony varies and the eldest brother does the whole ceremony thing as the younger one just acts like the second in command. If one of the brothers has not reached mid-teen, then they do not participate in the marriage till they are of age.
Then the article briefly goes into talking about the eldest brother and the other brother’s responsibilities. This type of marriage is not seen as unusual, but having said that there is a golden rule. The wife must treat all of her husbands the same along with the children being treated the same their mom and all her husbands. With everyone being treated equally, it is interesting to see how the children refer to men in the household. Some kids say “father for the elde...


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...onflict that would arise within a monogamous marriage. In American culture fraternal marriage is not something you hear about. This kind of marriage would not survive long because first Americans can be stingy when it comes to sharing. Everything we earn is ours and no one else. Also it would make a woman seem as if she is involved because of the attention. Another thing too is the relationship between polygamous groups in the U.S and Americans are not the best. Even though it is illegal and polygamous groups have cut around the system it is still frowned upon in the United States.
Being able to read and learn about the Tibetan culture was pretty interesting. I can understand where this group is coming from with their beliefs because of the article. Even though it is accepted in the Nepal area, here is the United States it would seem very out of this world for us.

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