Despite a “rough start” to her arranged marriage, 12-year-old Alima Sahar reported that her situation has improved dramatically, and her household duties have become much more enjoyable as she acclimates to married life.
“I wasn’t allowed to attend school, but if I did I’m sure I would not have learned any information that would actually be of use to me,” said Sahar. “But in all honesty I thought being forced into a loveless marriage in which I was subservient and beholden to my hubby at all times was going to be horrible, but it hasn’t been that bad at all. My forced, rapid maturation has even allowed me to forget all about that little 25-year age difference.”
Sahar holds no ill feelings toward her family for trading her childhood for a dowry, she said. “We weren’t the wealthiest family to begin with, and after they had my fifth younger brother they didn’t really need me as a yak herder anymore. I asked my parents if I could stay for a bit longer, but they said I wouldn’t be of use since I was too young to work in the fields,” said Sahar as she nursed her infant child.
Sahar admits it took her a while to figure out the intricacies of what was expected of her in her new role as homemaker. “The first time I made breakfast I burnt my husband’s toast. He was so mad I had to sleep on the floor for a week.”
“Now when I burn his toast, I still have to sleep on the floor, but we have a good laugh about it. And sometimes, if it is cold, he gives me our thinnest blanket,” continued Sahar. “In the beginning it would have been so out of character for my husband to be that caring.”
At press time, Sahar’s husband has sold her for a “younger and way sexier” bride down at the local market.