Steph's Friend

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I heard news concerning one friend I know in Medan, Indonesia. The last time I saw her was on her wedding day somewhere at the end of last year. I was initially surprised when she told me that she was younger than me. She was 19 when she got married. Surprise? Yes. If I were in her shoes, I may have kids already since I am older than her. Yet in conservative Medan, it's no surprise that girls marry young and stay at home to be a housewife.

Anyway, I heard news that she's having a hard time. She is required to mop the whole house two times a day; wait on the husband when he comes back home; not allowed to visit her mother...etc. In short, her life is tough. It seems as if her mother-in-law is giving her a hard time. I heard that wives and mother-in-laws may have a hard time getting along once the knot is tied, but this is the first time I've seen it happening. I've seen the mother-in-law and she does look kinda...scary. I can only wish the best for her future.

This made me think. My friend from there lives on with such a life, but would a modern Singaporean wife live on with such treatment? Are they different? No, both are girls and love their husband to the point of marriage. The only difference is society and their upbringing. Here in Singapore, women are encourage to think, are independent and work until late in their lives. There, girls just grow up, get married and have children. I am not trying to discriminate against girls or say anything like that, but the fact is there are societies out there with such a "hidden rule".

Anyway, I just hope that my friend will have a better life. I guess when you marry someone, you don't just marry the person but his/her family too.

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