‘I want to explain arranged marriage to white people’

Source: BBC News

By Megha Mohan

When Pakistani designer Nashra Balagamwala produced a board game about arranged marriage, most news reports about her wrongly assumed she was dead against it. Actually her position is far more nuanced. And one goal is to explain to people in the UK and elsewhere how it works.

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“People in the West often confuse arranged marriages with forced marriages,” Nashra Balagamwala says, on the phone from Islamabad. “They go by a lot of what they see in the press. The acid attacks. The so-called honour killings. The complete absence of choice. My game was not meant to be part of that dialogue.”

Balagamwala’s board game, Arranged!, is far from an advert for arranged marriage. Its central character is a matchmaker “auntie” eagerly trying to chase down three girls while they attempt and outwit her and delay marriage.

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2 replies

  1. This is a great read. I totally agree that many people don’t know the distinction between arranged and forced marriages. I have had many relatives who chose an arranged marriage because they wanted help finding someone suitable. There was consent for an arrangement to be made so it wasn’t forced but many people still have narrow and negative narratives about arranged marriages.

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