Ancient dating practices

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The social position of the family of the prospective bride (chalu) is carefully scrutinized before the bridegroom's family makes a final selection.

Until a few years ago, divorce was considered a disgrace, and its occurrence was rare.

Assyrian rituals have also been influenced by the Moslem cultures they have had to live with, whether Arab, Persian, Turkish or Kurdish.

Assyrians have acquired some of the customs of these cultures; at the same time, Moslem governments have sometimes restricted Assyrian practices.

It is even more essential to pick the intended mate from the same sect of the family's religion.

However, according to the rules of the so called Nestorian Church governing marriages, union within closely related lineages (first and second cousins) is not permissible, and this restriction is rigorously enforced. Less than a generation ago, it was not uncommon for a sufficiently grown-up boy (seventeen to twenty, or older), to marry a rather young girl (twelve to fifteen, though often older).

Modern times have also substantially altered tradition among both rural and urban Assyrians.

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