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Regional customs and habits

Customs of Mexico

Marriage and Family

Marriage customs follow Roman Catholic traditions. Common-law marriage is also practiced and recognized by the state. Except in urban areas, where the trend is to have fewer children, Mexican families are generally quite large. Many families have more than three children. The divorce rate is low, partly because the Roman Catholic Church does not allow or recognize divorce. The father is considered the head of the family, but the mother runs the household. A household, especially in rural areas, may include members of the extended family.

Customs of Moldova

Marriage and Family

Couples marry at a Wedding Palace, the Soviet-era office where the only legal weddings could be held. Today, an increasing number get married in a church first and then go to the Wedding Palace for the official ceremony. Wedding traditions vary by region. Autumn is considered the most popular season for a wedding because it is the season of new wine. After the ceremony, the bride takes off her veil and puts on a scarf to indicate she is now a wife and a mature woman. The veil is given to the maid of honor, who is expected to marry next. Wedding guests usually stay until the next morning and sometimes for an entire weekend. Divorce is common, but second marriages are not.

Customs of Morocco

Marriage and Family

Many marriages are still arranged by the parents of the bride and groom. When a couple is to be married, the man pays the woman’s father or eldest brother a sum of money to meet her expenses in the wedding. The bride’s family provides her with a dowry of household furnishings. Divorce, although frowned upon, is not uncommon.

Customs of Mongolia

Marriage and Family

Traditionally, marriages were arranged between two families, but now individuals make their own decisions. Marriage usually takes place when people are between the ages of 18 and 25. In cities, marriage ceremonies usually take place in “wedding palaces.” Afterward, many young couples go to a Buddhist monk to have their future predicted. A large feast is then held for as many relatives and friends as the new couple’s families can afford to feed. In rural areas, the couple then moves into a home provided by the husband’s family. In urban areas, new couples often have trouble finding an apartment. When a wedding takes place, Mongolian families traditionally exchange gifts; the groom’s family usually gives livestock while the bride’s family offers jewelry and clothing.

Customs of Nepal

Marriage and Family

Marriage customs vary among the different castes. Traditional marriages are arranged by parents, although sometimes with the consent of the marriage partners. Marriage is sacred, divine, and considered to endure beyond death. For the Nepalese, chastity (sat, or satitwa in urban areas) is the most important virtue a woman can bring to a marriage. Sherpas might live together before getting married. Weddings are times of great celebration and feasting. They are elaborate and may last up to three days. In the southern region, called the Tarāi, a dowry is common.