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 Hasnonian Courting

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Arthur Kirkland
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Join date : 2011-12-12
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PostSubject: Hasnonian Courting   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:42 am

C O U R T S H I P

Arranged marriages are fairly uncommon in present-day Hasnonia, though they aren't rare. The fad, however, is to marry out of love, leading to suitors courting their prospective spouses. Men are the suitors, calling upon women who are usually younger than them. It's a societal taboo for a woman to be much older than the man interested in her.

Likewise, homosexuality is taboo. While it isn't illegal, it's frowned upon by many. Someone whose homosexual orientation is known will be talked about and often ostracized, unless they're of a higher class. A Royal who happens to be homosexual won't be snubbed, but rather gossiped about and will develop a less than august reputation. However, a commoner will most likely be cast out of society. It has been known, though it's happened very few times, for Kings or Lords to take "partners".

Some common forms of Courtship are poetry and small trinkets bestowed upon whomever the suitor has set sight on, dinners paid for by the suitor, and even outings which the pair uses to spend time together. Marriage is less for convenience, unless Royalty decides upon a marriage for political application, and more for the enjoyment of the parties involved. Before such courting takes place, though, the suitor speaks formally with both parents of the intended and asks for permission. To not do so is considered extremely ill-mannered and can result in the courting becoming forbidden by the family.

If the courting goes on for a decent amount of time and both families approve, as well as the suitor and his intended, marriage will result. Marriages are fairly simple ceremonies, though the Royalty are known for throwing lavish balls in celebration. However, the actual event is much smaller. The immediate family of both parties attend and very few others. Vows are exchanged and the Marriage Agreement is read aloud. Both members of the couple receive a specially crafted necklace, interwoven with a gem of choice (depending on many criteria) by an artisan in town, a formal symbol to society that they're bound together. Directly after the ceremony, which is relatively short, the newly wed couple is sent off. For those of less money, it's usually to the house of the suitor. If the newly weds can afford it, it's to a house of their own. The couple is then expected to consummate the marriage and spend the first twenty-four hours together alone.

In cases with Royalty, balls and celebrations are held in honor of the couple, the day before the wedding. Sometimes parades are even held, especially for Princes, Princesses, Kings, and Queens. The ceremony is still the small family affair and the same expectations are placed among the couple. If the residence allows it, a whole wing of a castle or manor might be set off for the couple to spend their twenty-four hours.

Chastity is highly valued among unwed men and women. Prostitutes, victims of rape, and those who have had sex before marriage are looked down upon and seen as "dirty". Part of the wedding ceremony is that the couple is binding themselves to only each other mentally and physically. The ceremony is considered void if one of the members of the couple has already had sex, as they are already "bound" physically.

Divorces are hard to come by since marriage is so focused on the "binding" of two people. It can be done, but it's an extensive process and which the couple must show that they are completely detached from each other and wish to never interact again. Divorces are much harder to get when children are involved.

The customs of courtship vary for each Kingdom, though the basics are the same. In the Northern Kingdom, it's common for unmarried women to wear empty sheaths. If a man takes interest in being a suitor, he'll slip a specially decorated knife into the sheath with his name on it and will come to call on the girl. In both the Kingdom of the Moon and the Kingdom of the Sun, a suitor will leave anonymous gifts and hints until the intended can guess correctly. The intended will then return the affection by sending a single flower back, if they're interested. In the Kingdom of the Heavens, two who wish to marry must spend a full week together alone in a marriage-like setting, to see if they are truly right for each other. Precautions are taken to make sure the couple stays "pure". In the Southern Kingdom, a young woman will carry her things in a basket woven of dry grasses. If a suitor takes interest in her, he'll snatch the basket from her. The girl must either buy it back for a price, or agree to being courted.

Of course, just because two are "bonded" through marriage doesn't mean they're happy together. Similarly, it can be difficult to prove is one is truly a virgin or not. Affairs still take place and unmarried people can still be promiscuous. Society loves to gossip about scandals involving those two topics, no matter what the class. Humans will always take interest in such "forbidden" and taboo things.
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