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I
have researched further and read on Wikipedia that bride kidnapping is also
rampant in certain parts of Africa, Central Asia, East and South Asia, and even
among the Americas and Europe. As much as I would like the practice to end, all
I can do is to wish the women who get kidnapped to be blessed with a blissful
life because they do not deserve to be stripped of their freedom, whether they
like it or not, and live in a gruesome manner.As
we discussed further, we learned that in Kyrgyzstan, culture meant everything
for its people. Culture was atop in their hierarchy of priorities; culture was
above religion and law. Bride kidnapping, also known as “ala kalchuu” which
means to take and flee, is illegal in Kyrgyzstan, but since it is part of their
culture, and culture has more importance than law, the custom is overlooked by
the government.

            Our professor stated that only
affluent men involve their selves in bride kidnapping. As I heard this, my naïveté led me to think that if love was not
present in the relationship, maybe marrying for money wouldn’t that be as bad
as it seems – you’ll be free from poverty, you can live a comfortable life,
have influence and experience other benefits that come along marrying for
money. Watching the short film further immediately reminded me of how the cruel
the world can be. It was revealed in the film that some of the women who were
kidnapped for marriage didn’t get their fairytale-like ending where they lived
happily ever after. Some of them were unhappy with their life, some were hurt, offended
and humiliated by their spouse. Life simply became too rough for them to
handle. Their situation got so bad that death was their only means of escape. After
all, loneliness is more painful than being hurt. Apparently, claiming back your
kidnapped daughter would bring shame to the family since it is the culture and
the tradition of the Kyrgyz.

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            I first heard about bride kidnapping
during one of our class. I never expected such ludicrous custom to exist in the
21st century. Each country has their own set of laws, traditions and
beliefs. Regardless of how insolent a practice is, we must learn to respect
their deeds because we are all different from one another.

Before
the semester ended, we watched a short film about a practice in Kyrgyzstan
where the man abducts the woman he wishes to marry – bride kidnapping. It is
part of their culture and it has been practiced from god knows when throughout
their history.

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