BBC World Service: The Documentary

Thursday, May 24 at 2:00 pm

The World’s Marriage Story

As Britain hosts the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markel, we ask why so many people across the world continue to get married.

While rates are falling across Europe, in south Asia and China, marriage is near-universal. Are today’s weddings a one-to-one expression of romantic love? An explicit message to offspring already born? A sign that cultural and religious orthodoxy is being adopted by today’s young? Or are marriages a desire to please parents and wider family?

Presenter Mary-Ann Ochota tries to answer such questions in Sweden where she talks to hetero and homosexual couples about why they decided to tie the knot and to 'sambos' - couples who decided they do not want to marry - about their choice.

And we’ll hear from China, where the One Child Policy has led to brides choosing to marry more affluent, educated men, leaving less well-off men single. We will also speak to an interracial couple in South Africa, where relationships between mixed-race couples were once banned.

To listen to the audio of “The World’s Marriage Story” on BBC Documentary online, please click HERE.