Engaged at 14: 'I was worried about science class. And now I'm getting married?'

Posted
July 6, 2018

From the CBC's The Doc Project, a documentary called "Engaged at 14," about arranged marriage. This link includes an interview with SALCO’s Aruna Boodram about forced marriage.

Sunday May 14, 2000 was an ordinary day like any other. My mom and I went for a walk to Erin Mills Town Centre, a local mall in Mississauga. On the way home, she asked me a question. 

"Your dad and I got a proposal from my sister. Would you agree to marrying her son?"

I was 14 years old.

I said to her, "If you think this is the right decision, then I'm okay with it too."

We arrived home to a bouquet of roses and a phone call to my aunt. My dad confirmed the arrangement. I couldn't breathe. I went to my little sister's room and stared at her bubblegum pink walls, tears flowing down my face.

I always knew that I'd be married through an arrangement. I come from a traditional Pakistani Muslim family that values respecting parents and their wishes. I was raised to believe that parents knew best when it came to decisions about marriage and family.

Read more and listen: Engaged at 14: "I was worried about science class. And now I'm getting married?”