17/01/2021

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More Young Indonesians Skip Dating, Go Straight to Marriage

Introduced by a mutual friend, Gita Hemas Prihatna and Agus Riyanto decided to get married the second time they met. They had known each other for a few days.

Instead of going the usual route of young Indonesians—finding a suitable partner through dating—the couple chose what experts say is an increasingly popular alternative path in the country: a speedy marriage, with much of the getting-to-know-each-other process occurring after the wedding ceremony. The practice is known locally as “taaruf.”

Ms. Gita and Mr. Agus got married in November in Malang, East Java, the city where they both grew up.

Ms. Gita, a 27-year-old observant Muslim, had dated before, but was disappointed when her ex-boyfriend broke things off and moved forward with a different woman.

This time around she sought commitment up front, and got it. She and her husband, 29, who owns a furniture business, both shared a goal, Ms. Gita said, of finding a pious life partner. “I said, ‘I don’t have time to date,’” she said in recalling their initial meeting. He said he didn’t either.