Interesting romantic practices around the world
Romance unraveling the intensely personal emotions of the heart is perhaps as old as the inception of humankind. As one of the emotions making way for courtship and sacredly meaningful bonds of matrimony; it has its own share of interesting practices; which vary intrinsically with region, place, their respective socio cultural set up and various phases of history.
Some of the curiously interesting romantic practices have their roots in the chivalrously significant Middle Ages, pastoral traditions characterizing the typical Petrarch an lover of the Renaissance and formally meaningful courtship of the Victorian Age.
The concept of courtship giving way to marriage found its origin in the Medieval Age marked by chivalry other than the cherished virtues of chastity, bravery and honor. All over Europe men courted women they were slated to marry; giving rise to the idea of arrangement in marriage.
With its insistence on the ideas of courage and chivalry, a typical knight like figure wooed the maiden he was supposed to marry with flowers and verses', upholding the knight's obliged chivalry and protection. It was believed that a pretty damsel was being rescued by a knight of honor and chivalry.
The ancient and middle ages saw the growth and development of romantic practices revolving around the idea of arranged marriages. In ancient times marriages were brutally forceful with captors forcing the captivated tribes or regions to give their womenfolk in marriage to the former. Sometimes the soldiers stole brides from amongst the tribes captured by them.
Marriages with the purpose of expanding the horizons of their kingdom were notable amongst the Oriental kings. Ironically as it may sound, romantic practice of marriage was borne out of a desire to forge commercial or political relations. Bride paying 'bride price' or dowry was one of the customary features of such unions.
In keeping with an old European custom; couples to marry were made to drink a brew by the name of methalgin; following the phases of moon. Hence the name honeymoon came into vogue. During the Renaissance; romantic practices found their footings in pastoral love. Marked by the excesses of intense love sickness; one of the pastoral traditions involved wooing the beloved by extending her a gift from the world of nature. Courtly love originating in the middle ages took on a seriously classical look during the Renaissance.
The traditionally conservative Victorian Age saw the imposition of certain rules and principles with regard to the issues of love and courtship. A man could not just make his way to a lady or vice versa. The couple had to be introduced formally. Before deciding on courtship or romance; they had to select the prospective suitors by presenting each other with cards. Following selection of both the parties, the couple could accompany one another home. So the issues of courtship giving way to the arrangement of marriage became more tradition bound during the Victorian era.
Many European and American countries during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries made elaborate arrangements for courting; with couples being given the choice to share a room filled with bed and other necessities so that the couples can choose their life partners keeping in mind the factors of compatibility. Couples courting one another to have an insight into their respective natures could only do so within the confines of their home.
An interesting practice in Norway involved the wearing of sheet by eligible maidens. In case the courting bachelor approved of the choice; he would make it known by inserting a knife into it. Similarly another important practice in vogue during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries revolved around beautifully carved love spoons of wooden make. In case, the suitor approved of the courting partner, he demonstrated his feelings by showing her those wooden spoons. Sometimes gloves in pair were sent to the concerned lady love to convey the similar emotions.
With the passage of time and gradual shift in focus on free mixing; there has been the widespread emergence of romantic practices such as dating, blind dating and group dating. Science and technology have given to it a new direction with dating and match making options being accessible online.