A child bride

This story about a wedding between a girl in the 6th grade and a man twice her age in Bangladesh was painful to read: http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/haunting-photos-of-a-child-brides-wedding-%e2%80%94-and-why-the-world-must-act/ss-BBqxbaZ

During my first trip to India, my colleague Cathleen Cummings and I stood alongside students participating in our study away program as a parade ran through the streets of a small village in Southern India. Atop a flat-bed truck sat a young bride and her groom. While the groom was all smiles, the bride, who couldn’t have been more than 16, looked ahead glumly. Terrified, but resigned to her circumstances.

As the author of this article notes, child brides are supposed to be a thing of the past in India. But traditions die hard, and marriage between young girls and much older men is a practice woven into the fabric of small village life. In this setting, other “former” traditions are still very much alive as well, for example, theĀ status assigned to people according to their family caste.

The photo that leads off the article is telling. Just look in the eyes of the bride.

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