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Regional customs and habits

Customs of Lithuania

Marriage and Family

Lithuanians usually marry while in their 20s, but some couples wait until they have more financial security. Because of a housing shortage, most young couples live with their parents during the first years of marriage and may rely on them for financial support for some time. It is becoming more popular to live together before, or instead of, getting married. It is a legal requirement that marriages be performed at city hall, but many couples now also have a church ceremony.

Customs of Luxembourg

Marriage and Family

Couples may postpone marriage until they are financially established or have achieved educational goals. Some couples choose to live together before marriage. Only civil marriages are recognized by law. To be married in a church, a couple must present a certificate proving they have been legally married by civil authority. A reception for acquaintances and friends may follow a civil wedding, while a dinner for close friends and relatives traditionally follows a church ceremony.

Customs of Mali

Marriage and Family

Individuals usually accept the judgment of their families in the choice of a marital partner. Marriage rules are strongly influenced by Islam, but women are less dependent on their husbands than in some other Muslim countries because they can, under certain conditions, divorce their husbands and rejoin their families. Polygamy is still practiced (as allowed by Islamic law), but has become less common—partly because of the economic burden and partly because many women in urban areas no longer accept the status of second, third, or fourth wife. A Muslim man who wishes to take another wife usually seeks the approval of his first wife and then must provide for all wives (up to four) equally.

Customs of Malaysia

Marriage and Family

Some marriages are still arranged by families, and even when people are choosing marriage partners for themselves they usually do so in consultation with family members. A marriage is believed to join not only two people but also two families. Wedding customs and ceremonies vary according to religion.

Customs of Mauritius

Marriage and Family

Many Indian families arrange marriages for their children, generally with the consent of the bride and groom. Some Muslim grooms still give a dowry to the bride’s parents. A wedding is one of the biggest events for all Mauritian families, regardless of the ethnic group or religion. It tends to be an elaborate and expensive affair. Ceremonies vary according to religion. Among Hindus, for example, a bride and groom perform a ritual of walking around a fire during the Vivaha (marriage ceremony). As part of a Muslim ceremony, the bride and groom drink from a common cup to signify the beginning of their lives together. Women typically marry in their early 20s, while men marry a few years later. Divorce is relatively rare.