The Art of Matchmaking Around the World

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between is a man but more often a woman because the French people believe their women are the most successful matchmakers The matchmaker first finds out what kind of n young man will be most pleasing to the girl or better still to her parents With a womans Intuition sLs knows that every girl wants a man who if not handsome is interesting looking at least He must be of good family and though he need not be rich be should have enough to give her the comforts and some few of the luxuries Then she obtains a list of the girl a friends unless she already know them by heart But before these matters can be thought of and arranged other questions tnust be settled such aa what Is the young ady going to receive as ber wedding portion Will it be 10000 or 100000 francs And does she expect to maintain a pretentious home in Tarl or Is she willing to have a modest home at one of the pretty suburbs After the match maker gat this information from the parents she calls at the homes of all her friends who have marriageable sons There she suggests to the parents and sometimes to the young man himself that she knows just the right kind of a girl for him It is high time that he thinks of settling down Cirl Worth Considering The young man and his ps rents are soon sgreed that this lovely girl Is worth while considering as a possible wife and daughterly law The matchmaker A m arranges for them to meet She invites them with the young lady and her iarents to tea at one of the fashionable restaurants or at her own home Meeting after meeting is soon arranged by the parents of the girl and the young man After they have met half a do7en times the young man has sufficient courage to approach his future father In - law with a proposal of marriage If there are no objections the affair Is soon settled and then ho goes to the girl telling ber bow much he love her a though ha bad known ber and loved her a lifetime The came kind of courtship exists In Germany and taly except that the go - between is usually a distant relative In Italy a courtship must be arranged a romantic wooing is unknown except among the rustics In no other country are girls brought up so properly as In Italy They are trained to keep their eyes on flowers and books anywhere except to fix their gaxe on young men Seeking Eligible Young Man This secluded life would Inst forever limited to a girls family and her most intimate girl friends were It not for some uncle or cousiu wbo feels that thisglrl is wasting her youth and beauty and so he la determined to help her along After talking to the girls relatives and suggesting that it is time for Margaret or Anna to have a borne and manage her own household he starts out to find soma suitable man for bis pretty cousin or niece He looks among his own circle of friends for the most eligible young man It does not take long to find several good candidates for young Italian men are romantic and are happiest when courting or fighting for their country The affair is soon settled They are to meet Anna or Margaret the following evening and they are as enthusiastic and excited a when Romeo first set eyea on bis beautiful Juliette The go - between sometimes arranges for this meeting at the borne of the girls parents but he usually wants something more picturesque and romantic lie prefers a masque ball where they will meet quite by chance and be given an opportunity to flirt and coquette with each other Three or four months elapse beforo their marriage giving them a chance to become well acquainted and though It la not always love at first sight the Italian temperament ia so romantic that they are both madly in love by the time they go to the registrars office to draw up the contract In the lower part of BVittany the village tailor is often entrusted with the important task of arranging marriages Tailor the Matchmaker If the village is only large enough to support one first class tailor the business of matchmaker Is usually a livily and profitable One lie is recognised as the confidant the alder and abettor of the would - be bridegroom and he approaches the prospective bride and ber parents in a tactful and usually successful manner He tells them that Eduard and Henri have bees coming to hla shop for the last twenty years aver since they began wear ing long trousers ne knows they ara honest men and lieKile having many sterling qualities tlicj ore excellent bmineNs men Uliouifh tliey both began an sons of poor fishermen they worked hard and now own a number of fishing vessels Ihey can make a good living for themselves and for thrifty and honest wives The matchmaker knows one girl wbo Is just suited for either one but he wishes be could find another just like her for the other young man Than a lively and Interesting conversation ensues as to which is the better match It is chiefly a dialogue carried on by tha matchmaker and the girls mother All tha young girl haa to do Is to listen attentively and to know at tha end of th - conversation if she la to be chosen for Eduard or Uenrl In less than an hour the matchmaker goes away radiantly happy satisfied tnat he has driven such an excellent bargain for he is to be well rewarded by the young loer aa vt ell as by his future mother in law When the father comes home that evening he is welcomed with the bit of news Of course if he objects the courtship can not go any further but as a general thing if his wife approves he acquiesces If the parents agree to the match a day Is appointed on which the youth may formally visit the girl and commence his ardent courtship Make Betrothal Acquaintance On this important event he ia usually accompanied by hla friend the tailor who Instructs his candidate to begli the courtship by appearing In a new suit which the tailor lins made for the occasion lie has In - strutted the girls mother to get her daughter a pretty new frock the dress to be made by tho tailors wife If he has one or by some other dressmaker who often happens to be the sister or some near relative of the matchmaker It the tailor wishes to make this Important event known In the town he appears carrying a long white wand wound with flowers and tasseled by two heart of crimson felt and wears a crimson stocking on his right leg and a purple one on his left It is his business to Introduce the young swain in sa romantic and lovely a way as possible After a few minutes of parley together the youth leads his sweetheart into another room There they talk alone making a betrothal acquaintance as they say In Brittany No matter bow - long tbey linger over this pleasant tSte - a - tfte nobody can interrupt them not even the matchmaker Toward aunset the young people come out and join their elders They do not blush or act flustered for they are sure nobody will ask them what tbey hate been saving or doing The white bread is broken by the father blessed by the mother and a toast is drunk to them by the matchmaker It Is his business to see that the lovers cat from one plate drink from ono cup and even use one knife and fork This means that their union will be consummated happily Hardly a day passes but they stop at the tailors door to tell him their courtship is going on famously and that he Is a wise man to match people wbo are so well suited to each other Occasionally he Is invltw to tho girls house to take tea with the family He play his next Important role when the ante - nuptial contract la made He Is present to cee that no errors are made in the contract If everything goes off smoothly he Is often given a second gift by the happy couple Hon Cupid Works in Ireland Even th happy - go - lucky Irish leave all the preliminaries to professional matchmakers who are well versed in affairs of the heart These successful matchmakers are called cosherers and In short they are nothing more nor less than successful vagabonds Tbey spend their time wandering from door to door and from village to village finding out who are the most eligible young men and girls and studying how tbey can mate them moajt advantageously The matchmaker who la usually a woman Is alwaja hospitably treated by the women with marriageable daughters so she Deed sever worry about finding board and lodging wherever sba goes When she is not busy arranging matches she spends her time knitting sewing reading and gossiping about the courtships she has refused to bring to a happy ending because they would not pay her her price Occasionally a man takes up this calling but men arc usually less sucrcsuful in match making than are women Turkish women are of the opinion that girli hate not fulfilled their natural destiny until they are married Ihey would rather we a daughter dead than to have her remain a spinster all her days They consider court ship culminating in marriage the most Im portant event In a woman s 1 fe They have almost as little use for lrncbi ors and if a man reaches a marriageable age and is slow about finding a suitable wife his mother hastens matters along by helping him find one She does not undertake this task alone but calls to ber assistance a professional matchmaker There are many women In Turkey who make good livings by devoting all their time to helping mothers find suitable sons - ln law and daughters - ln law They are so Industrious and enterprising that after they have looked through the harems without finding the right girl they go to th schools where the prettiest girl from the best families are found The Turkish mother Is so persistent that she will keep this search up for days until she finds the girl she want for ber son Turkish Mother Persistent The bridegroom then looks her over for the first time and If be is pleased be profusely thanks his mother and the matchmaker fjr their excellent taste and judgment Then h sends ber accompanied by the matchmaker back to the womena apartment where the women are busy inspecting her trousseau The matchmaker is a ty Important person at this moment for it Is ber business to innings on the guests the cost of all the articles found in the trousseau Then the bridegroom comes in and the matchmaker lifts the fiancees ril She spreads it on the Moor for the liusbaud to kntel on while he offers up a prater The iride mennuhilo stands on the dgn of the tell behind th bridegroom Then the matchmaker shows them a mirror while she knocks their beads together so that thdr images may appear united At last she has done her dutj ans played her part Then she retires after inak ing sure of her psj ami aa much food and sweets as sie nn possibly eat W hi n sh docs not receive what she considers a just compensation she gets even by carrying off enough food and sweets to last for a week In modern Fgvpt a young man bss little chance to see a girl ann to court her Therefore if he wsnts to marry there is only ouo thing for him to do and that is to employ a professional matchmaker He sends for on and gives her full instructions as to th kind of girl be a ants for his wife H goes over the matter carefully taking account of slie weight color of the hair and eyes and 1 very particular about th disposition

Clipped from
  1. San Francisco Chronicle,
  2. 24 Mar 1912, Sun,
  3. Page [Blank]

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  • The Art of Matchmaking Around the World

    tarayagal – 04 Dec 2013

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