Well. That’s something that we don’t (usually) see here in the United States.
It’s still early January, but when the year is finished, the opening of this story from Metro.co.uk–about a woman in New Zealand–could be the most amazing sentence written in all of 2010:
“A teenage girl has been forced to marry and sleep with her boyfriend’s father after he presented her parents with a pig.”
Okay, okay, so we get that this isn’t funny. And it’s awfully tragic, in fact.
More context, this time from AFP:
The report said the girl, of Tongan descent and believed to be about 17 years old, did not want to marry the man but an agreement was reached between the two families and she was obliged to honour it.
Her family was given a dowry of a large pig and expensive mats.
On her wedding night, the girl ran away to her boyfriend, understood to be the groom’s son.
It was then that she was allegedly assaulted, abducted and taken back to the matrimonial home to perform her duties as a wife, the report said.
Yes, it’s a little obvious, but the fact that this sort of thing–arranged marriages, dowries, “duties of the wife,” pigs–happens still today, in this century, as we speak, well… it helps keep the frustrations about gift registries, DJs, wedding planners, and In-Laws in perspective.
Yes, maybe you have to lick a stack of envelopes. But you don’t have to sacrifice your bride to your father. Or buy her pigs.
More info at the original article, here.