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Non-Asians get lessons on arranged marriages

world Updated: Dec 01, 2007 03:21 IST
AFP
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White Britons are getting lessons in how the principles of arranged marriage could help strengthen their increasingly complicated relationships in a new television programme.

In "Arrange Me A Marriage," presenter Aneela Rahman, a Scottish Asian whose own 15-year marriage was "kind of arranged," takes a series of unhappily single 30-somethings and gives them tips on how to find a long-term partner.

But instead of telling them to hang around pubs and nightclubs, the usual route for many young Britons, she enlists the help of their family and friends and tells them to focus on a partner's education, background and relatives.

Rahman, a bubbly, attractive 39-year-old with no previous television experience, told AFP her aim with the show was not only to help people find happiness, but also to promote cross-cultural understanding in Britain.

"It's part of life, it's part of what we grow up within the Asian culture, something that is talked about all the time," said Rahman, whose parents moved to Scotland from Pakistan.

"I'm hoping that non-Asian people can understand Asian people a little bit better as to what they're doing when it comes to trying to help make introductions for the children."

Arranged marriage is still a controversial subject here -- five years ago, cabinet minister David Blunkett whipped up a storm by suggesting that Asian families should set up arranged marriages within Britain only and not find partners overseas.

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