Written by Ditte Giese, published online on Politiken April 7, 2011.
Politiken just asked me to removed the translation due to copyrights. I'll ask if they will allow me to put it back up with proper acknowledgments.
Yeah! They allowed me to post it - for a fee of 750 Danish kroner (~$150). I think they should be paying me.
So, instead here's a great quote from this excellent article. You can read the rest here in Danish, or run the whole thing through Google Translate here.
Already when she was 15 years the young men began to propose. Flirting is totally banned in that environment, so we meet each other at weddings and engagement parties.Pretty grim outlook for girls raised in such families, I think. Congratz to Simona for breaking free of such narrow-mindedness.
We do not talk at all, but maybe steal a few looks at each other. Or a man could have seen her standing on the balcony and then decided to propose. Simona Abdallah is trying to explain the peculiar process, while laughing at it:
"First our mothers call each other. Then his mother comes for coffee and ask for my hand on her son's behalf. Then the bridegroom and his family comes for coffee, and I would then run around looking good with red cheeks while serving them, and maybe even look him in the eyes to see if there is a... connection, right? And I have to constantly clean and show that my mother has raised me well. "
"You usually have two weeks to think about it. One must NEVER say yes immediately, but should play hard to get. Finally my father asks if I want him. And then I try to assess from what others have said about him and that one time we saw each other. If I accept the negotiations begin'.