Dating and marriage customs

Colonial society came up with a fairly ingenious solution. Which makes modern parents look pretty lame by comparison. Not necessarily while bundling, but behind the barn, in the meadow, during the corn shuck fest.If you were 17, you might suggest to your strict Christian parents that you'd like to snuggle up with sultry Goodie Sally from across the hog farm. You've probably heard of this practice, called "bundling," where unmarried couples could sleep together in the same bed, sometimes with a plank placed between them (for all the good it would do). They planned ahead for it like some parents today stock their son's skater pants with condoms. HOLD HANDS AND MAKE EMPTY PROMISES Handfasting, or spousing, was another way for a dishonorable young rogue to get lucky.In return, the woman would keep the vermin out of the gruel she whipped up and would provide an outlet for sinful Puritan urges.Urges which would, in turn, provide the young couple with more laborers, so that this circle of mosquito-infested, frost-bitten drudgery could continue until they were released to God by sweet death. HAVE YOUR DADS ARRANGE IT After things were more settled in the (not-at-all-new) "New World," the living got a little easier, and marriage became more businesslike. America had gotten crowded; there were more ways to sustain life than farming and acreage.

All Muslims belong to a community of believers called the ummah.

I remember going to a friend’s wedding a few years ago in a small village called Caltra near Ballinasloe in East Galway.

When the wedding ceremony finished in the church we all headed to the reception in our cars.

It was a wonderful little surprise to see that, as we passed in our cars, people in the area had lit bonfires of sticks in front of their houses.

They waved to us as we went by and shared in the happiness of the day.

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