I have read about this practice, but have never seen it caught on video. As others have pointed out, it looks like it could be a scene taken straight out of Borat. And yes, Borat is from Kazakhstan. So, it would be funny if it weren’t happening in real life and it is barbaric, as local women’s rights activists have called it.
The disturbing video, filmed on a mobile phone and titled Stealing the Bride, has captured a girl in somewhere in Kazakhstan’s central Akmola region, as she arrives in a car at the home of her future husband, Central European News reports. Screaming and crying, the unnamed girl is dragged out of the car and taken along a bridal carpet, as guests in traditional wedding dress throw confetti over her. The girl takes one last stance at the door to the home, but a crowd of men and women finally overpower her and hustle her inside.
Now, in most countries, bride kidnapping is a sex crime — plain and simple. In Kazakhstan, however, the practice is an ancient custom. Moreover, we learn, taking young women by force to the homes of the man who wants to marry them, is on the rise in that country. Here is how it works.
A man hires relatives and friends to abduct his unsuspecting chosen wife. They then deceive or force the girl into a car. The abductors could be offering to give her a lift, for example, or simply dragging her in the car and tying her up. Once inside the car, the woman is taken to the man’s house where one of his female relatives awaits her and presents the bride-to-be with a special neckerchief called an Oramal. Incredibly, the woman has to accept the Oramal and show her consent to marriage.
You will not be surprised to learn that it can take days of being locked up to “convince” the girl to accept the neckerchief and even then there are politics to be negotiated with if her family finds out where she is. Here is how this abduction looked like.
It should also be pointed out that, being an ancient custom in the region, the practice in some circumstances can be consensual. However, when it isn’t, as in this case, the perpetrators are rarely prosecuted. And this video has been seized on by the critics who want the practice to end.
1. A young woman is dragged screaming and crying to the home of her future husband.
2. The clip was filmed in Kazakhstan’s Akmola region, where such abductions are a custom.
Anfisa Zuyeva, a local women’s rights activist, said:
This is a barbaric and evil practice that forces young girls into loveless marriages with men they hardly know. Often the families of the victims agree because the groom pays them a lot of money. But it is an outdated and horrific tradition which has no place in modern Kazakhstan.
The video, which has gone viral, and the fact that more than 60 percent of adults and 74 percent of teenagers have either been kidnapped or know people who were, have prompted Kazakh MPs to call for the practice to be made illegal.
3. A relative of the groom can be seen shamelessly recording the moment for posterity.
4. The bride-to-be makes one last attempt at resistance before she is bundled through the door.
Source: New York Post.
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