Rominche - Marriage and Family

Average age at marriage is 16-17 for women, 18-19 for men. Elopements are common. The permanent, monogamous union is the ideal, but separation and remarriage are easily achieved and do not involve legal action. In such cases, the children usually stay in the care of the mother. There are prohibitions against marriage to a Gorgio, to a first or second cousin, and to a much older or much younger mate. Violations of these prohibitions do occur, however. In the case of marriage to a Gorgio, the status of the "outsider" spouse will always be ambiguous—acceptance is never complete. Weddings are celebrated with a party to which the close cognates of the bride and groom, plus additional kin and affines, are invited. Many fights occur during weddings. Upon marriage, the new couple sets up a separate trailer unit from that of their parents, but they may choose to live near either set of inlaws. A good wife is expected to be submissive and helpful and to follow her husband. Children are highly prized, but they are not romanticized. At a very early age they are presumed to be capable of helping out, particularly by caring for their younger siblings and by accompanying their mother when she goes "calling." Rominche rarely willingly send their children for formal schooling, which has frequently caused conflicts between the Rominche way of life and the expectations of the state. Children are fully involved in adult society, except with regards to sex—there is a strong cultural denial of children's sexuality.

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