While browsing through the wordpress opening page I stumbled upon this page by Embodypolitics. According to this Pew survey, about 40% of American believe that marriage is heading for the dustbin. What I found surprising is the result of a world survey done in 2006-2008, which asked the Question ” Is marriage is an outdated institution?” As you can see Indonesia (about 5%) had the honour of most people not agreeing to it, while almost 40% of people interviewd in Andorra agreed.
While Malaysia is still below the world average at about 15% but it is three rungs higher than USA, one place above Korea, nine places above Taiwan, and many places above Japan. Meaning, if we can believe this statistics, less people in Japan, Korea, and USA believe in marriage is an outdated institutions than Malaysians. Meaning, about 15% of Malaysians think that marriage is ketinggalan zaman! That is about 4m of our citizens think that marriage is outdated. Well, bereft of the nature of the survey and its background we have to take the results with a huge dose of salt. Of course the reality is people are getting married later and later, we had more divorces, we had people who are quick to get married and equally quick to get divorces, but does that really means marriage needs a revamp? What revamp? Of course the rituals have evolved over the years. I still remember when my sister got married, the whole kampung came a week before the actual event. We had to build bangsal for the guests, bangsal for the cooking, bangsal for the washing of dishes, bangsal for the feast, bangsal for the utensils and all sorts of bangsal. Some with roofs and some without. All were built using natural resources such batang pinang (betel nut tree) for the poles, rumbia for the roofs, bamboo for the platforms and roof trusses, river stones for the tungku and seats were made of either split bamboo or batang pinang or recycled wooden planks. All these were paart of the merriment and wedding celebrations. The planning of the wedding was normally done by a committee comprising practically all the atok, pak ngah, pak tua, opah, mak cik, mak tua, chor, chik, etc. But these days, the wedding planner do all the planning and orchestration. We came for the wedding on the day itself, just to queue up at the buffet tables, or for the upmarket ones we wait at the tables in hotels or community halls to be served by waiters and waitresses. We say hello and congratulations to the brides’ or grooms’ families and we take our leave. But the marriage itself is still intact. I for one still do not believe it is outdated. In Islam, male and female have to get married to cohabit and procreate. It is a highly recommended act.
The trouble with statistics, on the hand of the unscrupulous people, it can really twisted the truth. That really reminds me of my good friend who said, ”they are lies, lies and statistics”.