Every culture has their own set of rituals and beliefs. That is why each region has different wedding traditions.
Some marry for love; some are arranged by parents or the elders in the family. But there have been many practices which we have left behind for good.
Some of these practices had its roots in the male dominant societies and can be only described as downright cruel and absurd.
In many cultures, bride kidnapping was practiced without any problem. A man would simply abduct the woman he wishes to marry and no one would even question his actions.
This practice had been prevalent in many parts of the world, mostly in patriarchal societies, for centuries. It has also been even mentioned in many religious texts. Mostly these kidnappings would be followed by rape. It is done to make sure that the abducted woman is impregnated before her family finds her, as no family would accept a pregnant woman.
Though many countries have abolished this practice by law, there are certain communities in countries like Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Kenya which practices this barbaric tradition even now. The practice also exists in many parts of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Another heinous wedding tradition was the auction of prospective brides. In ancient Mesopotamia young girls of marriageable age were auctioned at a bridal market. The most beautiful girls will get the highest price.
Rich men would compete with each other to get the most beautiful girls. While those girls who lack in the looks are given away to the men who doesn't have money to bid for a wife. The auctioneer would make the 'ugly' girls stand at the podium and would ask the crowd whether anyone of them is interested in accepting the 'ugliest' girl and the one who accepts her will also be paid a small amount as compensation.
This like the bride kidnapping is a heinous crime against women. Here she is just considered as a commodity other than a human being.
Luckily these bride markets don’t exist anymore. But another kind of bridal market is still prevalent in our society. Instead of the beauty here, the girls are ranked on the basis of the amount of dowry they bring along.
Well, our world has never been a safe place for women. What a pity.