‘My mother and I also are hitched to your exact same man’: matrilineal marriage in Bangladesh

All within the household: Orola Dalbot (far right), and her three young ones with Noten (centre). Orola’s mother, Mittamoni (left) also has a son (standing behind her) and child with Noten. Photograph: Eric Rechsteiner when it comes to Observer

All within the grouped family: Orola Dalbot (far right), along with her three young ones with Noten (centre). Orola’s mom, Mittamoni (left) also offers a son (standing behind her) and child with Noten. Photograph: Eric Rechsteiner when it comes to Observer

Last modified on Thu 30 May 2013 14.39 BST

A s a young child in rural Bangladesh, Orola Dalbot, 30, enjoyed growing up around her stepfather, Noten. Her dad died whenever she had been small, and her mom remarried immediately after. Noten was handsome and energetic, with curly dark locks and a broad laugh. “I thought my mother had been lucky,” Orola claims whenever we meet within the dusty, sun-baked courtyard of her house into the central forest area of Modhupur. “we hoped we’d find a husband like him 1 day.” She least expected: she was already Noten’s wife when she reached puberty, however, Orola learned the truth.

Her wedding had happened whenever she ended up being 3 years old in a ceremony that is joint her mother. After tradition in the matrilineal Mandi tribe, an ethnic number of about two million individuals spread across hill areas of Bangladesh and Asia, mother and child had hitched the exact same guy. “we wished to escape when I found out,” says Orola. “I was shaking with disbelief.”

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