Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Child's Play: Child Marriages


Kings, Queens, Poets, Muses and Commons. They all were married as a child. 

"The Boy on the horse is a Bridegroom off for his wedding to a girl nine years old.
He looked scared to death as we passed."
Photograph: 'Random Ramblings in India' (1928) by William H. Danforth.

Kashmiri Pandit Child marriage
(probably) 1920s
Photograph: 'Fifty years against the stream: The story of a school in Kashmir, 1880-1930' by E.D. Tyndale-Biscoe

"The young Kashmir girl in her best clothes, standing besides her grandfather, was being prepared for her betrothal. They wait in one of Srinagar's narrow alleys"
Photograph: 'Of Sea and Land' (1945) by Tom Lakeman

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My grandmother was well on way to becoming an exception. Kashmir was changing. She was studying in fifth standard. Her father was a teacher. But she too was married at the age of around fourteen to a man recently out of his teens. The tribal attack of 1947 made people anxious and girls were married off in a hurry. Her education was complete.

She taught me how to spell 'धन्यवाद'.

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