Wedding Bliss

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  • 2WHEN youre getting married, its easy to get so caught up in arranging the details of the wedding that you forget what a wedding is supposed to be about. But a marriage lasts more than a day. In fact, its meant to last a lifetime. So whats the secret of a successful lifelong union?

    Daw Khin Mar Cho a veritable expert, after 40 years of happy marriage has the answer down to a science. She says its seven parts love, three parts understanding.

    Sometimes we misunderstand each other. But then he will coax me [and put me] first so I will be

    satisfied, she said, laughing.Sometimes we used to

    quarrel because of some misunderstandings between us, said U Than Tun, looking at his wifes face with a smile, but as I really love my wife, I always give in.

    For the times love and understanding alone dont cut it, it seems a healthy dose of humour comes in handy.

    They were married in their early 20s. Now in their 60s, the

    couple moved from Ayeyarwady Regions Bogale township in 2008 to Bayintnaung junction in Yangon. But thats not the only transition theyve had to deal with in their decades of wedded life. Before they were married, Daw

    Khin Mar Cho said, she loved U Than Tun deeply. But so did his mother, which made things difficult for the brand-new bride.

    My husband is the youngest of his siblings, with four elder sisters, she said. He is the most-loved of all the siblings in his family. So my mother-in-law did not agree with me. That is why I was faced with many difficulties at the beginning of my married life.

    True love, however, always allowed them to face up to any

    challenge.Whatever kinds of difficulties

    weve been faced with as a married couple, we still love each other. So when we clash between us its just for a while. Whatever we are discussing, thats how we can live

    with peace and happiness, Daw Khin Mar Cho said.

    She added, however, that she worries about young couples today and the portrayals of marriage theyre exposed to in the media. She said the influence of Korean TV dramas, which often show separated spouses, and the

    changing attitudes in the country generally are leading young people to be less serious about the values of married life.

    Monogamy is crucial in life so as not to break up a married couple. If they arent interested in one another they will face problems in the future, Daw Khin Mar Cho said.

    I think today young people dont think about married life deeply so they are not stable in their married lives.

    She added that stability for a married couple requires both husband and wife to take responsibility. If they support each other considerately, she said, there is no reason they should split up.

    U Than Tun agreed, saying the importance of understanding and support in a marriage means that marrying for love leads to better, more prosperous matches than arranged marriages.

    And what about children?After the couple got married

    and had children, they said, they struggled and worked hard together to achieve the same status as others. They said they raised their children to be well educated and have high standards, and added, with satisfied and delighted faces, that their children had turned out just as theyd hoped.

    We have only one son and one daughter so we want them to pass through their lives smoothly. We dont expect anything in return from them. But if we are lucky, we can benefit from them, said U Than Tun.

    He added that, although everyone has to struggle in life, he felt it was because of his family that he could overcome sins and build up a peaceful and delightful life.

    I can live well like I do now because we live together, with all family members together sharing happiness, health and wealth.

    The values that lead to a good marriage, it seems, arent all that different from those that lead to a good life.

    Whatever kinds of difficulties weve been faced with we still love each other. Daw Khin Mar Cho

    New love sets the heart fluttering, weddings feel like a fairytale, honeymoons are a worry-free holiday. But what happens next?

    What makes a good marriage?

    Ei Ei Thu

    91.eieithu@gmail.com

    A young woman tries a new wedding dress designed by 7 Picture Wedding Fashion in Yangon. Photo: Kaung Htet

  • 3

    Phyo WaiKyaW

    pwkyaw@gmail.com

    Film actor Htun Ko Ko and model Khin Wint Wah pose for a picture in Myanmar traditional wedding dress in Yangon last week. Photo: Ko Taik

  • 4U Myint Ko Ko Aung33 years oldEngineer, Singapore

    We became lovers with the help of Google Talk. Originally my sister and my now-wife Yu Lay were neighbours. When I came back from Singapore in 2007, I met Yu Lay. I earnestly

    requested that Yu Lay should get Gtalk and soon we became friends online. Then I told her online that I loved her. She returned the feelings on her birthday. I gave her a necklace with a locket in the shape of a heart.

    As I had been working in Singapore and she was staying in Yangon, we didnt have a chance to meet in person like other lovers do. But when I pursued Yu Lays love, I wanted her to know I intended to marry her and live with her for life. I wrote letters to her in a diary, and in 2009, after giving her a note from that diary and a ring, I proposed.

    She told me later she made up her mind as soon as she saw the notes Id written in the diary. We got married in 2010 and are a happy family.

    U Ye Naing32 years oldCar dealer, Yangon

    We met at the training courses we attended after our matriculation examination. We were just friends, but at that time there were many boys who liked her, so I was

    worried and couldnt leave her alone. I wasnt content just to have her as a girlfriend. One day, she was going to Super One shopping centre and she asked me if I wanted a postcard from her. I said,I dont want a postcard. I told her I wanted to marry her.

    She was surprised. It was unexpected. At that time, rings were not very popular among our circle, but I had still jumped over some usual steps. She didnt give me any reply, but she kept her eye on me for about two years. Then, in 2003, she was hospitalised at Sanpya Hospital. I gave her two postcards and tried once more to win her love. This time she accepted. It was very memorable to have my proposal of marriage accepted at a hospital.

    U Saw Nyein Latt37 years oldEngineer, Singapore

    We met one another while attending a diploma course on economics which lasted two years. We became lovers after one year of doing the course together. When I got a job in Singapore in 2008, I was worried about leaving her alone

    here in Yangon, because she was much younger than me. I wanted to get married before I went so that she could come along with me. On the day I knew for certain I would be going to Singapore I gave her a wedding ring and proposed marriage. She told me to wait one year, which I did. It required a lot of patience, but the next year, in 2009, we agreed and got married.

    While brides-to-be tend to take the lead in navigating wedding chaos, the nerve-wracking initial proposal traditionally falls to the prospective groom. Last week, when The Myanmar Times reporter Su Phyo Win asked men in Yangon and in Singapore to share how they proposed, the stories ranged from girl-next-door romances to long-distance loves, from traditional courtships to decidedly more modern methods of wooing

    How I popped the question

  • 5U Kyaw Nyunt63 years oldRetired civil engineer, Yangon

    We were from the same town. My parents and her parents knew each other and we visited each others houses quite often. Id liked her ever since we were very young, but we never went through a period of being lovers. I just asked her

    directly if I could marry her. Before proposing I brought back some orchid seeds

    from Rakhine State. I planted the seeds, intending to give her the flowers when the buds came out. When she came to Yangon, I gave her an orchid and a love letter. The flowers were meant to relay the message that was difficult for me to say verbally. At that time I was over 30, and was nervous about proposing out loud. But we understood each other as we had known each other for so long. She accepted and we got married three months later.

    U Than Shwe61years oldProof editor at The Peoples Age journal, Yangon

    She is the eldest daughter in her family and she is very particular. I really love the kind of mind she has. We first met when I worked as an assistant at my teachers tuition class near her house. After our relationship had gone

    on for one year her family learned about it. She was a first-year university student at that time, and her family told her to cut off our relationship or they would have her kicked out of school.

    I asked her what she wanted to be. She said her only wish was to get married to the one she had chosenas her boyfriend. We couldnt part from one another, so we had only one thing to do: to get married. We couldnt tell our parents openly so we got married secretly. As we understand each other from head to toe and had fallen very deeply in love, we didnt need any ring or some special words to propose.

    Ko Myo Mg Mg Kyaw35 years oldManager of Zayyar Tagon Company, Yangon

    Weve known each other since our matriculation standard. At that time we were just friends. In 2001 we started our relationship. It lasted more than three years

    without a wedding. We had talked about getting married, and even when and how, but in real life it didnt come out as we planned because of pressure from relatives on both sides.

    One day, without taking things too seriously, we were on a date around town and we got to the Yangon railway station. The ticket office was announcing two tickets left to Mandalay. I asked my wif