Q: Why do Bengali men go back to Bangladesh to marry?
The short answer: Because they can. And because they don't get here what they can get there.
The long answer:
Before I go on, there are people who know me personally who read this blog. I don't want you to read this post and come to the conclusion that I am running off to Bangladesh to hunt for a bride, else I will personally come and break your leg. Or get my 'behna' from the previous post to do it for me. I was quite flabbergasted when on Eid a visiting friend asked me, "so when did you get engaged to this British girl?" I was like WTH yet somehow this rumor got started by one over-zealous blog reader.
(also, BTW, if you are going to start a rumor about me, can you consult me first? There are so many things I want people that talk about me to talk about ...)
Back to guys going back to Bangladesh.
It's only guys who have the option of going back to marry. For girls, this is not a serious option. Think about it.
We (the guys) go back, find an educated girl, marry her and come back. She joins us 3-4 months later after the paperwork is processed. Now she is here, but her educational degrees are not recognized, so she cannot work immediately. No problem, in our culture it's the man who earns. So while we go to work, she can study and get her credentials recognized, and then she can join the workforce. It's compatible with her upbringing.
Now imagine you, the girl, bringing your husband over. He was probably working in some good job in Bangladesh. Upon coming here, he has to retake university courses which could take as long as two years. Not only does he have to pay tuition, he has to depend on you for the family income while he studies. Bangladeshi men come from a very male-dominated society and it causes a lot of friction (mainly due to their oversized ego) when it's the wife who is the big earner in the family. On the top of that, his wife is not as submissive as the women he is used to - hence most of the marriages I see where the girl went back and 'imported' a husband has sadly ended in divorce.
The guys these girls married are decent guys to start with, but long hours at odd jobs, language problems, cultural differences, living with in-laws and lack of a proper job causes a lot of marital problems.
Thus it is to the girls' advantage to marry someone already here.
Now for the reasons why guys here go back. There is a saying: "Perception is truth". Things I say here may not be true per se, but the perception of them being true certainly is.
Number one, age.
Take the case of a Canadian desi girl. She has finished university. Age - 22. Now when her parents tell her to marry she will delay it. "I want to live and enjoy my independence first." Two years later - age 24. Then she will reluctantly agree to marriage. Parents start looking. It takes a while. Age - 25.
Guys - same thing. So both sets are looking at age 25. You think a 25-year-old guy wants to marry a 25-year-old girl? Very rarely. Parents have a big say in arranged marriages and most parents of sons want a daughter-in-law at least 2-4 years younger (and truth be told, the guys would like that too). In Bangladesh, most girls I know are ready to get married by 21. If you are the guy, who would you choose?
This is why many girls I know, who started to look for a husband at age 21 or so, met a person they liked, not one they had to settle for.
Number two, attitude.
Call it dhong, nokhra, playing "hard-to-get", whatever. It's cute at first. Then it just gets irritating.
Number three, demands. And being extremely materialistic.
Especially from mothers of girls. Groom must be a doctor. Groom must earn six figure salary. Groom must look like Abhishek Bachchan (even when daughter looks like Aishwarya's mom). And so on. Yes, guys also have demands. But you know what, when guys go back to Bangladesh, they will flash their Canadian citizenship, their condo, their brand new car and they will get a wife who will meet their demands. Unfair? May be. Read this.
Number four, respect.
Respect for the husband. Respect for his parents.
It's sad but in my opinion women here don't respect their husbands as much as women from back home. Statements like "well my husband is just another man who has to EARN my respect" just proves this point. There is a reason why God tells all kids to listen to their mom, and tells the mom to listen to her husband, and tells the husband to obey God to be fair and loving. Man is the head of the household. There is nothing to stop the women from being the neck that turns the head, but the head demands respect.
I have observed how my educated, rich, 'modern' (i.e. not illiterate buffoons from the village but NSU/Dhaka Univ) sister-in-laws from Bangladesh behave with their husbands. And I have seen how wives here treat their husbands. There is a difference. Doesn't stop my complaint that Bengali men are the most hen-pecked of the desi lot, though.
Respect for parents. I just came to know of a girl who wanted nothing to do with her boyfriend's parents. Boyfriend then told her he wanted nothing to do with her.
Despite all of this, personally I would probably marry a girl from here. Even though girls from back home are maybe more Bollywoodishly beautiful, charming, will make tea for me (my only demand), and so on, my reasons for marrying a Canadian Bengali woman would be as follows:
- All the above promote an idea that "Bengali woman from the motherland are beautiful, subservient, Islamic, obedient". This may be nothing more than an idealized version of how things were, not how they are now.
- If I marry someone from here I can be sure she is marrying me for me, not for my passport, not for my property and definitely not for my bank balance.
- I am not prepared to live six months away from her after marriage. Imagine "you may now kiss the bride, ..., and repeat after six months". The immigration hassle is a bother.
- She is used to the lifestyle here. Girls from Bangladesh (middle class and up) are brought up in a household where there are servants (almost always called Lalmoti or Rohim) who will make their tea, sweep their floors and wash their clothes. Here, we do our own chores. Moreover, a Canadian girl knows of the struggle for life here, and will not be harboring some false hope of the Canadian dream of two cars in the garage and two moose in the pot.
- From what I have seen, Canadian girls actually are smarter than their Bangladeshi counterparts in many ways.
- What they lack in respect to their husbands, Canadian desi women make it in love. They genuinely love their husbands (or so I like to believe). I don't have too much experience here (obviously) so I will leave this point here.
Brown Men by Chimichanga.
On Love and Window Shopping by Liya.
PhDs are sexy by Ararat
Superficial Hotties by Haleem.