A few early mornings ago in Battambang, my sleep suddenly broken by a blasting traditional from the house two doors down. The celebration at the neighbors went on till late the previous night relatives and the entire neighborhood gathered to celebrate the engagement ceremony of their youngest daughter.
How young? barely 18 years-old.
What is the price? a few thousands of dollars was negotiated between the two families.
This tradition of putting a price to marriage has recently become even more of a business transaction with the increased value given to our materialistic life style. The price goes up also because wedding ceremonies are now orchestrated by the wedding planner who works out all the details including the hair style, the flower arrangements, and even how the bride and groom should hold their hands for the picture perfect effect.
< div>Once the magic of the wedding wears off, I often wonder about the child-bride who has just be “bought” for a few thousands dollars. Not long after she is “blessed” with the first child and not longer after “blessed” with the 2nd and the 3rd. School and the prospect of employment or seeing the world is over.