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20 “Must Watch” Videos in Cultural Anthropology: Marriage

Traditional wedding attire

Have you ever wanted to watch Anthropology-related videos, but doing a quick search doesn’t bring up the results you are looking for? Or maybe you don’t have the time to sort through thousands and thousands of results to find a cool documentary? Either way, my blog post series on “must watch” videos in Anthropology is made for you!

In this post, I’m sharing 20 great Cultural Anthropology videos that focus on the topic of marriage. Future blog posts will deal with other topics. 

Marriage. Man and woman in traditional clothing, holding a flower.

The first video is called, “When Cousins Marry.” In some cultures, it is common to marry your cousin, but this practice can cause serious genetic diseases. This video follows the stories of families where the mother and father are cousins. Some of their children are born with rare diseases, and some of these diseases are fatal.

Video 2 is called, “Brides For Sale—Bulgaria’s Roma Marriage Market.” Just think about going to the market—but instead of shopping for groceries, you are shopping for a spouse! That’s what happens in this video, which follows the story of a Roma girl who is preparing to attend the annual bride market. Young men and women will mingle at the market and look for a spouse.

Video 3 is called, “Brides by Force.” This video is about the marriage customs in Kyrgyzstan, where young men kidnap the woman they want as a bride. 

Video 4 is called, “The Men With Many Wives.” This video is about polygamous marriage among British Muslims and explores the daily challenges of that kind of marriage.

Video 5 is called, “Young Girls Force-Fed for Marriage in Mauritania.” Some Mauritanian communities think that the fatter girls are, the wealthier and prettier they are. So, in this video, families force feed girls a 9,000 calorie a day diet to fatten them up for marriage.

Video 6 is called, “Stolen Dreams, Broken Lives: Child Marriage in Nepal.” In some places in Nepal, children are married at young ages, and even start having children in their teens. This video shows the lives of those who have been married as children, and gave birth soon after.

Marriage. Russian man and woman at their wedding ceremony.

Video 7 is called, “Divorce, Sharia Style.” This video shows the divorce process among Muslims living in Britain. Religious decisions are made by a council who arranges compromises, counseling, and divorces.

Video 8 is called, “Bride Trade: Fighting Tanzania’s Child Bride Tradition.” This video shows the traditional practice of child marriage in Tanzania. When a girl is married off, her family no longer has to take care of her, and they will receive cows in return, which are considered very valuable. 

Video 9 is called, “Royal Wedding, Bali Style.” The video shows a royal wedding in Balinese culture, and showcases Hindu traditions as well. 

Video 10 is called, “Faces of Africa: Polygamous Love.” This video shows marriage in the Maasai culture, where having many wives and children is seen as a sign of wealth. It shows an 11 year old girl who is married to a young man as his second wife.

Video 11 is called, “Child Marriage in India: Teenage Girls Forced to Marry.” In West Bengal, India, teenage girls are afraid of being forced to marry instead of finishing their education. This video features some girls and their experiences of forced marriage.

Video 12 is called, “Divorce, Iran Style.” In Iran, men need to get a court order to get divorced. However, the court disapproves of divorce and assumes women want to stay in the marriage. This video follows the stories of 3 women in Iran, all who want to get a divorce.

African woman wearing beaded jewelry

Video 13 is called, “Africa: Will You Marry Me?” This video follows different women in Africa as they follow their dream to get a husband and have many children. This video also shows polygamy and arranged marriages.

Video 14 is called, “To Kill a Sparrow: Afghan Women Jailed for Love.” This video shows how women in Afghanistan have been jailed for running away from forced marriages, or for marrying against their fathers’ wishes.

Video 15 is called, “What Price—Bride Price?” This video shows the practice of bride price in different cultures in Uganda. This is when the husband must pay money and cows to a family for the ability to marry their daughter.

Video 16 is called, “An Arranged Marriage Ceremony with Romania’s Teen Witches.” This video shows the arranged marriage between cousins in Romania, following the witch tradition of marrying a relative.

Video 17 is called, “Algerian Wedding.” This video is about three different weddings in Algeria. The Algerian wedding process is explained, and the ceremonies are shown.

Marriage. Chinese man and woman in traditional red clothing.

Video 18 is called, “Mongolian Traditional Wedding.” This video shows the traditional wedding preparations and ceremony of people in Mongolia.

Video 19 is called, “The Controversial Rise of Polygamy in Indonesia.” This video is about polygamy in Indonesia. Most Muslims there oppose it, but the people who actually live this way think it is the ideal form of marriage.

And last, Video 20 is called, “My Big Fat Asian Wedding.” This video shows how an Asian wedding planner throws some of the biggest Asian weddings.

I hope you enjoyed this list of 20 “must watch” videos in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on the topic of marriage. If you found this post helpful, then please share it on social media! Want me to make a video on a specific topic? Just let me know in the comments below.

Also, you can view a video version of this post below. Thanks for reading!