Love Marriage

V Ganeshananthan

Reverse a family tree and branches of blood are whittled down to one person – in this case, the young female narrator, Yalini – composed of all the women and men who came before her; the result of many marriages.

Parents want nothing more than to prevent their children from colliding with inevitability: that in a different world, there is a different kind of marriage. Yet Tamil and Sinhalese parents – particularly after the great ethnic violence in Sri Lanka in 1983 – watch helplessly as their children cut themselves free of the need to please their ancestors. They walked out of the country to give their children opportunity, but this was not the opportunity they intended them to take: Western marriage. For Yalini and her generation, they are the children of their parents, but have entered other countries in which the rules of marriage – Love Marriage, Arranged Marriage, and all that lies in between – dramatically do not apply.

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