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I went to my friend’s wedding the other day. The groom is a Christian and the bride is Jewish.

The wedding was conducted by both a Minister and a Rabbi. The Rabbi was hilarious, he was so funny; every second line was a gag and there was non-stop laughter all the way through.  He was funnier than a lot of comedians I’ve seen, but then being Jewish, there was bound to be humour.

It was the most fun and most memorable wedding I’ve been to for a very long time. The brides’ mother turned to me and said, “You have no idea how happy I am that this is actually happening”. When my friend first told me she was getting married she said, “Mum’s disappointed because he’s not Jewish but I’m 37 so the fact that I’m getting married at all overrides that disappointment”.

Indeed, the mother was the happiest of all the guests. My friend could have been marrying a one legged convict on the run, and there still would have been a sense of elation. The Rabbi announced at the beginning of the ceremony that it was an unusual wedding, because two religious leaders were present. Personally, I thought what was more unusual was the amount of laughter and fun.

I’ve been to some weddings, which could have passed for funerals. People getting married because they feel they should be, or because, “Well, he was the best I could find and time’s getting on”, “I want to have a child and he’d make a good sperm donor”, “My mum likes him”.

My friend told me, “The reason I’m getting married is because I love him. He’s a very kind person”.

The Rabbi said, “The reason one should get married, is not because you think, “This is the person I have to be with, but because you think this is the person I can’t do without”.

My friends are not exactly young, they are both successful, they know what they’re doing, and I was pleased neither of them got married out of desperation (as far as I know). What’s great is that my friends’ mother didn’t drag a man from a bus stop and force him to marry her. So, it was a very joyous wedding, she smiled and laughed all the way through and he looked relieved and ready for retirement.

What I loved most was the fact that they are both of different religions, he is a practicing Christian and she is very culturally Jewish but it was never an issue. It was almost never even discussed. They never let their personal beliefs get in the way of: we like each other, we love each other, he’s rich, let’s get married.

It’s crazy that people still go out of their way, spending their whole life looking for someone to marry who is of exactly the same religion, same class, same height, same bank balance, even from the same village. Then they’ll wake up one day and think, ‘I don’t even like the look of you never mind love you, but at least we both like The Beatles’.

But ‘Penny Lane’ is not enough to keep you together for 50 years.

But then again, we could look at our parent’s generation, some of them didn’t know each other at all, some met on their wedding day, some hated each other before they’d even met, and have still been together for 50 years. So why can’t we do the same?

Because we have choice, and freedom, and an education of life they probably never had. We don’t have the restrictions that they had, we know too much and we know better.

My friends who married, have travelled, studied at the best institutions, have great jobs, money, a wide variety of friends and have had other boyfriends/ girlfriends. Why would they want to marry someone from the same village as them? Their minds wouldn’t match; they’d get bored after a while and start having sex with the neighbors, or burying each other under the patio. Things you see in horror movies or read in trashy magazines.

I think it’s all a lot simpler than we make it.

Maybe it’s true. All you need is love.


The author is an award winning stand-up comedian and writer. She has performed all over the world. A columnist for The Guardian UK, she was named Columnist of the Year at the prestigious PPA Awards. Find out more from her website.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

Author Image

Shazia Mirza is an award winning stand-up comedian and writer. She has performed all over the world. A columnist for The Guardian UK, she was named Columnist of the Year at the prestigious PPA Awards. Find out more from her website. Follow her on Twitter @shaziamirza1.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (17) Closed

samar Dec 19, 2012 03:12pm
farhan khan Dec 19, 2012 12:35pm
Dawn only publishes comments that go in favour of the article. This is too bad. In the name of freedome you are stealing freedom.
Tawheed Dec 19, 2012 06:16am
Zabardast... :) This article will strike a chord in all those hearts who have married for love, or are going to... Like me...
observer Dec 19, 2012 05:07am
For your friends and family, I can only say ignorance is a bliss. Best wishes for you two though.
Farooq Dec 19, 2012 02:45am
Love is not enough. More than 50 percent of marriages are failing in the west. Love is a temporary phenomenon. It is just as easy to fall out of love as to fall in love.
Farooq Dec 19, 2012 02:36am
In Islam we cannot marry non Muslims. Allah says that believing men or women are better for you however much you like the others. So while this article is funny it is really not applicable for Muslims. From a practical point too, there are a lot of issues which are forgot ten in the initial passion but which inevitably arise. What will be the religion of the children. Is the Muslim spouse going to accept his daughters to live in a common law relationship when they grow up. The nonmuslim spouse will likely be okay.
Pradip Dec 19, 2012 01:59am
Ah...pretty gutsy writing ! I still believe that as far as nature is concerned, I am essentially a "sperm donor" given that my wife (and all women) did/do most of the work...right from gestation to giving birth to raising the offspring. My brother who is a doctor had invited another doctor who is of Pakistani descent, during the Thanksgiving holidays last month. He and his wife brought some beef kebab for us but they do not drink etc...anyway, they have a lovely daughter who is in the 7th grade so while they were leaving, at the end of the evening, I told them that I wish things were different in that my son who is an 8th grader, would not agree with I making a choice for him, but in another time, I would have asked his daughter's hand for my son. To end this harangue, I am originally from India (my parents are Hindu by birth) and married to a white catholic woman and religion never made any difference any which way...I went to her church and she came to Indian pujas ...granted they are not so everyday affair in the US (although now more common than before) and our children has Christmas as the main festivity having been born and grown up in EU and the US. Having said all that, I must also confess that sometimes, I do wonder what it is like to get married to someone from your community ...I do not mean religion-wise but rather culturally...someone who spoke your language and perhaps would understand the nuances, even when not everything is is great but I am not sure at this point of my life if love is the only thing...respect is much more important, at least to me and that means I do not want to try to convert anyone, just to begin with.
Agha Ata Dec 19, 2012 01:41pm
WOW. What a marriage! Thats how this world is going to be; or thats how this world should be (to start with) Dear Shazia, do keep in touch with the family; readers would like to know what religion children would belong to. :)
Ash Dec 18, 2012 09:21am
Wonderful. I am a Christian, white English and in love with a Muslim, he is originally from a Village in North West Pakistan, a Pashtun. I was born and educated in London. There are no raised eyebrows from my friends and family but a few from his side. It will work, we will make it work because we love each other dearly.
Yameena Dec 18, 2012 11:29am
Ah, wish someone would tell parents who're getting their knickers in this twist cause hey their son or daughter is marrying someone from a different sect! not religion - but different sect! or a different caste! Hearing such happy stories makes me sad, as wonderful as they might be. I don't think Pakistani parents will ever really come around to accepting their children marrying simply for love.
raika45 Dec 18, 2012 01:11pm
My only child a son a Sikh decided to marry a Chinese Buddhist girl he met in collage. There were objections from relatives on our side. You will loose your culture and family name they said. Your only child.Who will carry on your tradition ? What if your grand children take another faith? We went ahead with the wedding. Today I have a wonderful daughter in law who attends our Gurudwara and we go to the Buddhist temples.Humanity NOT religion should be your future life.Our children have the right to live their lives.
mlang Dec 18, 2012 05:56pm
well but people with different backrounds don't get bored with each other. Like , a doctor may get bored with a doctor spouse but may enjoy the company of an artist for life. So i don't agree wid the last paragraph. Also sleeping wid neighbor can not be justified under any circumstances.
Faraz Ail Dec 18, 2012 11:21am
wish you the best Ash :)
Raoul Ciao Dec 18, 2012 03:39pm
Shazia, imagine, what a shame that people still want to marry people only from their own religion ! And what a bigger shame, that those Muslims who marry out of their religion, wish their spouse to convert !! Crazy situation that !!!
zafarov Dec 18, 2012 01:35pm
Good for you Ash, and the best of British to you and your man
Zainab Dec 18, 2012 01:42pm
One should marry for one reason and one reason alone , and that is love !!
zafarov Dec 18, 2012 01:29pm
I enjoyed reading this. But you could have shared at least a couple of the Rabbi's gags with us.