A Mixed Marriage

Sep 27th, 2006, in Society, by

An example of an inter-faith marriage.

Winda Handayani is an Indonesian Muslim married to Maarten Hekman, a Dutch (nominally, it seems) Christian. They met over the internet and then in 2001 Hekman came to Indonesia to meet Winda, a Javanese.

Later they decided to get married but the problem of differing religions came up. Winda's family insisted that the marriage be done according to Islam but Hekman was unwilling to convert and Winda did not believe it right that he should convert just in order to get married. Hekman also accepted that Winda did not wish to convert to Christianity. To get around the problem they underwent a civil, state, marriage only.

A Mixed Marriage
Winda Handayani & Maarten Hekman.

Although they have not yet had children the question of what religious instruction any offspring should receive is something that they have discussed, and disagreed about. Winda wants their children taught Islam, while Hekman believes, in true Dutch secular fashion, that the children should not be raised according to any particular religion, and that later they should be free to choose for themselves.

From Radio Nederland.


52 Comments on “A Mixed Marriage”

  1. avatar Farah says:

    @ Mingo

    Should one, marry a person with whom they have a romantic attachment, Some one who is flesh and blood, some one who will love and cherish them,look after them when they are ill, Support them and laugh with them, some one with whom you can build a life, have children enjoy whatever time you have on earth…

    or not marry and continue beleiving in some idea that there is a god out there who will give one, none of the above but will demand total devotion for the rest of ones life, this god who defies you happiness because you are not of the same beleif.

    ..just exactly what i am thinking of.

    To be finally happy, should sacrifice what i belief…. hmmm…

    @ Odinius
    yes.. thats the other thought..

    I don’t know if i have guts to choose, and made the decision (shall i regret it someday, or not ?) errrrhhhhh………………………..

  2. avatar mingo says:

    My wife and I made the decision and went against all the required recognised ” NORMS” and we, after 14 years, are still together and couldnt be happier

  3. avatar Farah says:

    @ Mingo
    …hmmm… you are very lucky then.. aside of all the difference you could manage to be happy with your wife for 14 years 🙂 wish i could have the same one (or even more) some day !

  4. avatar kankou says:

    I think that marriage depends on how each partener loves other because at the end they all want happiness. So i will marry some one from whom i will follow my religion, look after our children if we have and be happy why not marry him. The main objective of this life is to be happy. What is the value of life without happiness……

  5. avatar Oigal says:

    I agree why any impose any religion at all..lump them all with the other fairy tales..Given the opportuntity to objectively assess all the little fanasties kids are pretty quick at identifying the lunacy of it all…Flying horses…uh uh…water to wine..uh..uh..no such thing as evolution..uh uh..

    In a rational world forcing mind numbing, slavish devotion onto children would be rightly called child adbuse. It alway makes me sad to see the little minature religious minimes wondering around..another life wasted before it even started.

  6. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Hi Oigsy,

    Good to hear from you again, fighting the good fight. x o : P

  7. avatar hary says:

    I met an intelligent fellow traveller on an SIA flight recently. He had a Jewish father and a Muslim mother of Arab descent. He told me that he was a practising Jew while his sister was a devout Muslim.

    Both went to learn Hebrew when 3 yrs old and threafter learnt Jawi and the Koran at 9.
    Needless to say, he reminded me that tolerance and acceptance were key issues in his family. He later married a Chinese Christian. At 16, he decided on Judaism, when he said he was ready.

    A true poster boy for the United Nations. Jokingly said his parents constantly bickered over everything except religion.

    Religion is a personal choice. By all means, equip your children and then leave them to make up their own minds when they are ready. Better an informed Christian at 21, than a life long bigoted one from birth.

    Needless to say, it was a fascinating flight to London.

  8. avatar Odinius says:

    @ Odinius
    yes.. thats the other thought..

    I don’t know if i have guts to choose, and made the decision (shall i regret it someday, or not ?) errrrhhhhh………………………..

    What I mean is that, when it comes down to it, they all have basically the same message: pray regularly, fear and love the divine, don’t kill each other (except under specific circumstances), don’t rob each other, do something consistent with your dead in order to facilitate the afterlife, go through life with specific rituals and ritual avoidance of certain small things, etc.

    The difference is in the details.

    What this means for your situation, is that “changing” is a matter of how attached you–and your partner–are to those details. If you are both very attached to your details, then you either each keep your religion, or you have to part ways. If one of you doesn’t really care that much, but the other does, then the one who doesn’t really care should gravitate towards the other’s details.

    If you are asking your partner to convert, assure him that it doesn’t mean you are asking him to change his core values, just his “affiliation” and “orientation.”

  9. avatar Odinius says:

    Sorry to add one thing, I think it’s absolutely fine for both of you to keep your own religions, except if you feel this is not something you can do in good conscience, given your own faith.

  10. avatar DumadiSatrio says:

    I knew an orthdox jew who married a palestinian muslim.

    When she first showed him to her parents she told them his name was Mario…and he was Italian. When they found out it was actually Muhammed…Oh boy…but now its several years later and they all get along alright. To each its own.

  11. avatar Odinius says:

    I knew an orthdox jew who married a palestinian muslim.

    When she first showed him to her parents she told them his name was Mario…and he was Italian. When they found out it was actually Muhammed…Oh boy…but now its several years later and they all get along alright. To each its own.

    The way I read it, that’s a nice story…young folks overcoming the bigotry of parents because they are following their hearts.

  12. avatar Oigal says:

    Oh Assmad.. you know how it is.. gotta keep stoking the fires of lunacy

  13. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Will those fires ever die out ?? 🙂 ?

  14. avatar Oigal says:

    Nagh always another windmill on the horizon

  15. avatar zekky says:

    Both went to learn Hebrew when 3 yrs old and threafter learnt Jawi and the Koran at 9.

    What’s Jawi? I think I know, but you say the guy was 1/2 Arab 1/2 Hebrew-speaking Jewish?

  16. avatar Odinius says:

    Jawi is old Malay written with Arabic script

  17. avatar zekky says:

    Thanks Odinius. I thought it was that but wasn’t sure because the guy mentioned didn’t seem Southeast Asian.

  18. avatar M.S.Shaikh says:

    Islam is a Semitic religion, which has over one billion adherents all over the world. Islam means “submission to the will of God”. Muslims accept the Qur’an, as the word of God revealed to His last and final prophet, Mohammed (peace be upon him). Islam states that Allah sent messengers and prophets throughout the ages with the message of Unity of God, and accountability in the Hereafter. Islam thus makes it an article of faith to believe in all the earlier prophets, starting with Adam, and continuing with Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, John and Jesus amongst many others (may peace be on them all).

    Da`wah, i.e. conveying the message of islam to all around us, is a duty enjoined on every Muslim by Allah (swt).

    Islam does not allow any muslimah to marry a non muslim guy unless he accept islam

  19. avatar Lenglui says:

    It is known that for every muslim who wants to be married.. he/she must find a partner who is a muslim too..
    But I just don’t understand why someone’s chance of happiness need to be sacrificed because of the religion requirement.
    Is it better for someone to be remained as single (keep on living by practicing adultery) or married with a muslim and suffer for the whole life (to be a muslim doesn’t mean the person will be a good soul) due to religion’s regulation?

  20. avatar nyasha says:

    the children should be tought islam:)

  21. avatar Oigal says:

    Nyasha…Why?

  22. avatar wendy solomon says:

    i read this subject with interest…i found the love of my love in internet and i guess i am ready to give up everything except my faith being a Muslim. And I do not want to enforce my soulmate to give up his christianity by force of circumstances. i am from singapore and he is from indoneisa.i understand that there is no inter religion marriage in indonesia. and the law in singapore requires him to be a resident, which is difficult at this point of time.

    can somebody offer me a practical and sound advice without being judgemental. thank you

Comment on “A Mixed Marriage”.

RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-18
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact