Marriage, American style. Брак, американский стиль. Что такое брак? Брак- это социальный союз или юридический договор между людьми, который создают родство. Это институт, в котором межличностные отношения являются признанными различными способами, зависящие от культуры или субкультуры. Такой союз, обычно формализующийся через свадебную церемонию, также может быть назван супружеством. Народная мудрость Общеизвестная мудрость говорит нам что женитьба «разделяет наше горе, удваивает наше счастье и увеличивает наши затраты в четыре раза.» Сегодня американцы кажутся готовыми стойко переносить превратности судьбы, потому что образование браков продолжает широко распространяться в США. The theme of my work and its actuality The theme of my research work is customs and traditions in the sphere of marriage in modern American society. I have chosen exactly this theme, because it is interesting for me, how people get married in the society which is called a “melting pot”. That is a complex of many cultures and languages, and therefore it can’t help being reflected in American marriage which has a number of national features. And in my work I tried to tell about them in details. The goal The goal of my research work: to show attitude to marriage in modern American society and to compare American and Russian styles of marriage. The tasks According to the goal I have set a few tasks: 1. Firstly, to research customs and traditions in the sphere of marriage in a “melting pot” 2. Secondly, to reveal the features of American marriage 3. And finally, to draw the conclusions concerning the attitude of Americans to marriage and show similarities between Russian and American styles of marriage. Features I opened most especially American features which can hardly be found anywhere else: 1. Most states require medical examinations and certificates before issuing a marriage license and refuse licenses to people with certain physical or mental illnesses. Features 2. When a couple gets divorced, the court may require the man to pay his former wife a monthly sum of money called alimony. If the woman has totally supported her husband during the marriage, the court may decide that she must continue to support him after the divorce. Features 3. Often, after a church wedding, guests throw rice, rose petals, or confetti at the newlyweds as they leave the church. Sometimes, the couple's car is decorated with tin cans, paper streamers, or old shoes, along with a "Just Married" sign. The tin cans and shoes will scare away evil spirits and bring the couple good luck by theirs noise. Rice is supposed to help the couple become parents. Features 4. After the ceremony, there is a party at which guests enjoy dinner and dancing. After the meal, the bride and groom cut the cake, and it is served to the guests. Some single women take a slice of cake home with them. If a single woman sleeps with a slice of the wedding cake under her pillow, she is supposed to dream of the man she will marry. Similarities To my mind, there is much in common in American and Russian styles of marriage: 1. The decision of choosing a spouse is usually based upon feelings of love rather than practical consideration. 2. In the United States as well as in Russia in most cases parents don't arrange marriages for their children. Similarities 3. Today Americans and Russians marry an older age than did young adults of the 1960s and 1970s. 4. American and Russians get married to people with different backgrounds more and more often. Similarities 5. Couples celebrate a silver (25th) or a golden (50th) wedding anniversaries. However the world doesn't change, family has always been very important for most people and will always be.