CURATED BY KRISTIN KOWNACKY
In Bangladesh, the Mandi tribe’s matrilineal traditions allow women to pick their husbands, run their households and inherit land. Yet an older tradition, most assumed had died out, allows mother and daughter to marry the same man. Orola Dalbot recounts the day she found out she would not be finding a husband of her own, she was already married to her mother’s.
FROM MARIE CLAIRE
As a child in rural Bangladesh, Orola Dalbot, 30, liked growing up around her mother’s second husband, Noten. Her father had died when she was small, and her mother had remarried. Noten was handsome, with a broad smile. “I thought my mother was lucky,” Orola says. “I hoped I’d find a husband like him.” When she hit puberty, however, Orola learned the truth she least expected: She was already Noten’s wife. Her wedding had occurred when she was 3 years old, in a joint ceremony with her mother. Following tradition in the matrilineal Mandi tribe, mother and daughter had married the same man.
“I wanted to run away when I found out,” says Orola, sitting in the sunbaked courtyard of her family home in north-central Bangladesh. “I was shaking with disbelief.”…Continue Reading
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Kristin Kownacky is a junior at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, where she is currently working towards a BA in journalism and international studies. It is her dream to travel the world, discovering hidden treasures and writing about each experience. Read her articles on her personal blog, Depart We Now.
Photo by nandadevieast