The concept of courtship has been around since the beginning of time. It is built into our genetic make-up, from peacocks strutting about the lawns and parading their plumage, to knights serenading damsels with songs and poetry. Today, courtship manifests itself in the dating world. Going on dates is now an enormous part of the average singleton’s social calendar. There are so many avenues for meeting potential partners, from speed dating to online dating sites, and it’s no wonder that some people have at least a date a week.
But how does this differ to dating in the rest of the world? Does every culture have the same dating etiquette? Here are a few countries where dating has a very different meaning:
Interaction between girls and boys is rare in Afghanistan before marriage. They go to separate schools, and both have strict curfews – 7pm for girls and 11pm for boys. Most marriages are arranged, and often the first time the bride sees the groom will be at the wedding ceremony itself.
Unlike in Europe, where group dates are relatively common, they are unheard of in Brazil. Here, people have very long courtship periods, and dating can go on for years before the two marry or take the relationship further.
Central and South America
For those in Latin America, dating is forbidden before the age of 15. From then on, dating usually takes place in large groups.
The Chinese don’t begin dating until they are in their twenties. Also, people here have far fewer dating partners; it is usual to only have one or two before getting married. Arranged marriages are also very common.
In Iran, dating is actually illegal. Girls and boys are kept apart until they reach marrying age. Then parents set up introductions between them before they marry.
Japan and Korea
In Japan and Korea, most high-school students don’t date or go to parties, but spend their time studying instead. Dating begins in college, when only boys do the asking and pay for the dates.
In Kiev, it is considered unfeminine for women to shake hands or hold hands. While dating, women will hold their suitor’s arm instead.
Even though the etiquette may be different, whether you’re white or black dating in Russia or Australia, the ultimate aim is still the same – courtship, love and potentially marriage.