“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
Are you ready to share your life with someone for as long as you live?
Don’t make promises you can’t keep and to ensure that these wedding vows are fulfilled the Indonesian Government has come up with a new pre-marital course for couples who wish to tie the knot.
Details About The Course
The Human Development and Cultural Affairs (PMK) Coordinating Minister Muhadjir Effendi announced the course last week. The course will come into effect by 2020.
According to Effendi, “Anyone who gets married should get some kind of ‘upgrade’ about how to be a spouse with a family. This class will ensure that all parties involved understand the required knowledge, then they will receive a certificate”.
The 3-month free course would be compulsory for all the couples who want to get married and its classes will be designed by the PMK, Ministry of Religion and Ministry of Health.
The couples who are unsuccessful in completing the course or refuse to take it will not be allowed to get married.
Why Is It Needed?
A good number of couples are unequipped to deal with certain aspects of marriage. They are ignorant about reproductive health, managing a household, how to support one’s spouse, etc.
The program aims at educating people about health, taking care of all the members of the family especially if someone is ill, household economics, reproduction, etc. The classes will focus on making couples responsible and competent parents by giving them lessons on childcare and disease prevention.
The couples would be granted a certificate only after attending the classes.
Muhadjir states, “The certificate serves as proof to make sure that the couples have sufficient knowledge about the relevant matters”
Kirana Pritasari, the Health Ministry’s director-general of public health, said that the premarital program was pertinent to make sure that both the parties were emotionally and physically prepared to handle married life and to become parents.
This course might help in testing the compatibility of the couples and if they are suitable for one another.
Should It Be Compulsory?
Parliament member Ace Hasan Syadzily who is responsible for the commission on religious and social affairs cautioned the government that the program would make marriage difficult for people and people might opt-out of it.
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the top clerical body of the country, is willing to support the policy as long as it does not become an obstacle for religion. According to them, people shouldn’t be encumbered and burdened with such policies.
MUI Secretary General Anwar Abbas said, “If people are too afraid to get married, they will instead have extramarital relations”.
Making it compulsory is somewhat drastic. Marriages and relationships are more nuanced. A three-month course can’t determine your entire future. It remains to be seen if they’ll allow couples to retake the course if they failed it the first time.
Should We Have Such Courses In India?
We don’t have Sex-Ed classes in India and I think that’s one major limitation of our education system. People have to rely on porn sites to understand sex and that’s a horrible source to gain any useful information about reproduction.
A pre-wedding course that teaches couples about the various ordeals of marriage along with sexual and reproductive health might not be a bad idea. Couples need to learn about each other’s needs and giving one’s partner some space too and this program might be helpful in that regard.
In the west, a live-in relationship is a natural step for couples. The live-in arrangement is meant for the exact purpose that the course wants to achieve. However, in India, the concept of live-in relationships is considered a taboo, since most people assume that the arrangement is based on just the sexual aspect of relationships.
India is not unfamiliar with such courses. Everyone is aware of the ‘Kama Sutra’, the ancient Hindu text. But most people just regard it as a sex manual that describes weird sex positions. The book also guides couples on how to live a happy life. It lists the duties of both wives and husbands that they must follow for fulfillment and happiness in their married life.
Although not all the things in the books are up to modern standards, the concept of maintaining one’s love and fulfilling one’s emotional needs that that book explores is well aligned with today’s needs.
A premarital might also help to prevent broken homes and children who suffer because of it. The course could help couples decide if they are ready for marriage.
A course like this might be beneficial in trudging through the various complexities and intricacies of a marriage.
Do you think a pre-wedding course for couples is a good idea?
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