in other parts of the world, the tradition is taken far more seriously, with far more deadly consequences for disobeying parental wishes.
Nusrat Mochi, a 25 year-old Pakistani domestic worker left for work one day, and never returned home; her reason... she wanted to marry a man not approved of by her family. In the four years since she and her husband Abbas Bhatti have married, they have been forced to move twice to escape threats against their lives.
Nusrat, since birth, had been promised to her father's brother (15 years her senior)... and when Abbas proposed, her father refused to release her from the obligation. Nusrat is now seen as an embarrassment to the family and worse she is viewed as having dishonored the family.
Technically, Nusrat is within her rights to marry anyone she wishes... Pakistan passed a law in 2003 which allows "free-will" marriages. However the reality is that each year hundreds of women are killed for attempting to exercise this right; often by members of their own family at the request of the woman's father. These "honor killings" called karo-kari often go unpunished because the family has the right under the law to officially pardon a perpetrator.
Nusrat's family has stated that if Nusrat and her husband provide payment for the dishonor, the feud will end... the demanded price is 200,000 rupees... Nusrat and her husband make 200 rupees a day. In case you're wondering, 200,000 rupees is approximately $2000.