I’m a Tamil Woman and I Had a Baby Before Marriage

Tamil-Woman-Baby-Before-Marriage-4

At 21 years of age, I became pregnant. I had not yet finished university nor did I have job or a home of my own. I wasn’t settled in any way and neither was my boyfriend. And although my boyfriend and I were engaged and committed to one another with every intention of getting married down the road, the fact still remained that we were unwed.

Since premarital sex and pregnancies before marriage are viewed as a disgrace in the Tamil community, any pregnancy that occurs before marriage is often dealt with in secret. “Dealt with” meaning pregnancies are either aborted, or the couple is forced or coerced into a rushed marriage. The baby that is born eight months after the marriage is said to have been born premature to avoid gossip and shaming from the community. Growing up in Canada where divorce, dating (even online dating), interracial marriages and second marriages are more common, I didn’t realize how much of a big deal it would to be for the Tamil community to accept pregnancies before marriage.

The reality is that premarital sex is a fairly common part of the lives of Tamil teenagers and young adults today. That is not to say that there are not any individuals born and raised here that still hold onto the value of waiting until marriage. Growing up in the westernized world, we are taught from early on through the media that sex is a normal and beautiful part of every relationship. For those of us who do engage in pre-marital sex, there are repercussions and responsibilities that come with it. You have the responsibility to protect yourself and your partner as well as deal with any pregnancies that may result due to lack of protection or failed protection.

Tamil-Woman-Baby-Before-Marriage-3

I believe that a woman has the right to choose and so I decided that an abortion was not an option for me. I had long dreamed about being a mother and viewed my baby as a blessing from God rather than a mistake. Others saw my decision as a purely selfish but I didn’t see it that way. As disappointed and embarrassed as my conservative parents were, they, along with the rest of my family stood by me and my decision when others angrily advised me to “have an abortion and move on with your life”. My parents welcomed my boyfriend into our little but close-knit family, knowing that he soon would be their son-in-law and the father of their first grandchild. I was amazed at the strength and love that my parents showed and continue to show despite “the mistake” that I had made.

Unfortunately my parents were met with criticism. Their parenting skills were attacked. They were blamed and judged for MY mistakes and MY choices even though I was an adult living my own life. I was prepared for the gossip that would ensue because I didn’t care what others had to say about me. However, I didn’t realize how much it would affect my parents who are well-known and well-respected in the community. Despite everything, they chose to worry about my happiness and provide the best care for me and my baby. I only understood sometime after how difficult of a situation it was for my parents who had been born and raised in a land far different than the one I call home.

After a lot of persuasion from my parents and then some, I reluctantly agreed to have a small wedding to satisfy my husband’s family as well as my own. I was already five months pregnant and there was a rollercoaster of emotions going on in addition to the pregnancy hormones. It was a stressful time for everyone that was involved. Nonetheless right after the wedding, I was back at university, saved money through tutoring, and my husband and I were able to get a place of our own. Although my parents without a second thought offered up their home to us, my husband and I were determined to take care of our responsibilities on our own. Slowly we are working on overcoming the challenges that come with unexpected pregnancies, marriage, and babies and working towards building the life we had once dreamed of living together.

Regardless of what others may think, I know my parents did a wonderful job raising me. They taught me to think for myself, to be bold and courageous, to be responsible for my actions, to go against the norm when need be and to fight for what I believe in. I did just that and the result was more than worth it! I have a beautiful daughter who has changed my life and the lives of everyone that has been lucky enough to be a part of her life.

Tamil-Woman-Baby-Before-Marriage-2

Every time I look into my daughter’s eyes that mirror my own, I cannot imagine my life without her. I now know a love and happiness like none I have known before and I strive to be the best person I can be for the sake of the little perfect being that I proudly call my daughter. I left the comfort, security, and love of my parents’ home not knowing how to cook or how to really take care of myself let alone a husband and baby. It was difficult and stressful as my new marriage was put to the test many times over. However with a little bit of love, a lot of patience, and faith anything is truly possible. One day I hope to share my story with my daughter because after all, my story is the beginning of her story.

As Tamil people, we are raised to act and behave in a certain way partially for our own safety and partially so that we are accepted and approved of within our society. These expectations might have been reasonable and realistic in Sri Lanka, however in the western world it is hard to maintain such expectations. The Tamil culture and traditions, as hard as our parents and even we try to preserve it, will sometimes blend and sometimes clash with the views of the western culture that we live, learn, and grow in. My experience has taught me a great deal of things that I would have not otherwise had the opportunity to learn. One thing I learned is that although it is nice to have a good reputation, it is more important to do the right the thing and follow your heart regardless of the judgement or criticism you may face. This refers to all aspects of life. But in relation to my story, I know too many young people even those that are against abortion due to religious or personal beliefs, who have had abortions because they felt they had no other choice only to later regret it. A lifetime is a really long time to live with regrets.

* This article was not written to encourage premarital sex and teenagers having babies. Any backlash I may receive for having written this is unimportant to me. The purpose of this article is about taking responsibility for your actions and having the courage to do so, especially when it involves another life. On that note, if a baby isn’t in your plans and you are sexually active, please utilize the necessary precautionary methods. Abortion should not be used as a means of birth control and repeated abortions can cause injury and scar tissue that may prevent you from getting pregnant when you are ready to start a family of your own. *

Related Articles:

“Sorry Tamil Parents, Your Kids Are Not Waiting Until Marriage To Have Sex”
Is Sex Initially Awkward for People Who Have Arranged Marriages?

Editor's Note


Thank's so much for being a TC Reader! To continue bringing you more of the stories you love for free, our team needs your help. Will you make a small contribution? Every bit helps!

Give $15 Give Another Amount

Author

38 thoughts on “I’m a Tamil Woman and I Had a Baby Before Marriage

  1. This is a well written article! Thank you for sharing your story; there are many women out there, who are going through the same thing you went through.

  2. They will be just fine. My boy had his first kid when he was 17 and his gf was 15. Now they are married and have 4 kids. Both went to school and have their life together. All this happened, because they had great support from their family and friends. Family didn’t judge them, instead they helped them.

  3. “To be approved and accepted in our society”
    Only exists for those who haven’t realized what life is about.
    If people or your own inner voice talk loudly, it is an indication that you are victim to outer circumstances and need to balance your inner well being.
    At the end remember it is only your own integrity and life that matters. No one else’s opinion U0001f604
    Even opinions change from time to time.
    Good read showing it really doesn’t matter what’s happening in the next house!

  4. live and let live…who says job marriage kids in that order is what works. maybe the way u did it is best….good luck to u and your lovely family

  5. Tamil culture needs a lot of improvements especially when you live in another country.

  6. Each and Every culture has its own problems it’s does not make them better then tamilz !

  7. Excellent article. Like your views on abortion and kudos to you for keeping the baby. 🙂

  8. When it’s coming to ur kids that time nobody can accept this, that’s a reality culture is different than when you are 15 to 23 you not thinking about the future if you’re family have financial support for everything nobody worried about anything when you are coming to 25 that you realize what you done In past . You will say “I don’t let my kids doing this ” that’s the reality. Ask Your parents they did same thing on that age. Don’t mixed culture on this . All the culture have same issue. try to teach your child what you learn your life and let them learn them from your past .in Canada if you have baby on 15 the government will support. you in Srilanka who gonna help you you do this without your family and society.Help the kids to learn the right thing automatically they will learn the culture ……

  9. After reading this I have a lot of admiration for the Muslims who live in the West. Although they too are bombarded with Western culture and in some ways are shaped by them, they never abandon their religion or culture. And are brave enough to stand up for it by wearing the Hijab.

  10. Banu you can tell your mum who the baby daddy is now, it’s not uncommon U0001f60a

  11. SOME STUPIDS ARE CREATING NEW norm FOR OUR CULTURE. “YOU HAVE TO CHANGE BECAUSE YOU ARE IN DIFFERENT COUNTRY”…..WTF..GET A BETTER EDUCATION AND GET MARRIED BEFORE ANYTHING…DONT COPY THE NONSENSE FROM OTHER CULTURES.

  12. if you cant standup for good values in your culture, then you better not represent or call yourself as representing Tamil Culture. i am not talking about any specific incidents, i have great respect for the woman in the story but TC better look for a day job instead of trying misrepresent Tamil culture.

  13. In every culture, there are two sections. first section is the CORE (Stays in the middle)that holds on to the cultural values regardless of any changes while accepting and adopting good values from other cultures or may be changing current customs. second section is very dynamic portion that stays surrounding the CORE. The dynamic portion is very small but gets more exposure. it mixes with all cultures in every ways, it accepts all untested VALUES from other cultures and even creates their own culture.
    since DYNAMIC section stays out and exposed a lot, others judges that specific cultures based on the activities of the dynamic section.
    these jobless DYNAMICS will never represent anything…they are just spoilers………just spoilers who are still looking for a day job……….who let the dog out……….

  14. Sorry, but even the hijab wearing muslim girls have premarriage sex. Im working for a plastic surgeon, and there are a lot of hijab wearing muslim girls, who come before their marriage and let reconstruct their hymen to act like they are still virgin, I don’t think that’s they way it work!

  15. Lol that was pure jokes to think all Muslim women abide by their culture in the west. especially in this day and age. I really hope you’re not serious because that’s just pure ignorance.

  16. இந்திய வீட்டுதிட்டத்தில் வாரிகுட்டி கிராம மக்களை உள்ளடக்கக் கோரி ஆர்ப்பாட்டம்

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More In Life