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    Last year 300 thousand young couples were married by saying the sacramental "yes" and with the wedding-rings on their fingers they listened to Mendelssohn's March.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Last year 300 thousand young couples were married by saying the sacramental "yes" and with the wedding-rings on their fingers they listened to Mendelssohn's March.

    Our population is young, the youngest in Europe and according to demographical forecasts we shall continue to be young. The average age n Poland is 27.4 years. 37% of our population are below 19 and half of as were born after the war. 24 million of Poles, so say the statisticians, have the chances to live till the year 2000.

    In so young a society it is understandable that the register's offices are pretty busy. Our demographical explosion has reached marital age - they are the young people who were born at the time when we had the highest rate in Europe.

    Nearly half of all the marriages are these when the partners are 20 - 24. Some time ago, in the majority of marriages the bridegroom was several years older than his partner. Nowadays, there is a visible lack of older male partners. At present we have 1.5 million women at the age of 20 - 24 and only a million men of 25 - 29. This does not mean that girls should be afraid of spinsterhood. Demographers think that in the nearest future we shall have a large number of young marriages with both partners of the same ago.

    In the youngest generations therein is a considerable deficit of girls. The only hope is that more girls will be born.

    In an opinion poll carried out by the sociologists from warsaw University 87% of all the answers to the question "what do you expect from your spouse?" replied - love. Then came faithfulness, friendship, sense of humour and loyalty. The material problems were at the end. Thus marriage the Polish way is a romantic one.

    We have 8.5 marriages for a thousand of population, and this is on of the highest rates in the world. Before us there are the Unit States, Japan, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

    Separ??? is the most urgent need for the young couples. Next come home furnishings, car and a child. Such is the order of dreams.

    But in life, as it very often happens, the order changes. Child comes before car and even before separate flat. In the first half of 1972 there were 302 thousand newborn babies, and it was 9.5 thousand more than at the same time in 1971.

    The recent government decisions in these matters, and especially the extension of maternity leave and the prospective housing scheme, show how great attention our state attaches to the family and population problems Marriage, which is a very private thing, has an immense importance for the future of the nation.

    there were 34 thousand divorces in 1972. Most of them / 30 thousand/took place in town and only 4 thousand in the country. Although in compa-vison with 1950 the number of divorces has increased, during the last years it is stabilized. Contrary to the popular opinion divorces are not most common among young couples. The twenty- year- old are generally rather faithful. The wish to change the partner or remain single is most common among people above thirty.

    Grand wedding ceremonies are no longer popular. Wedding parties which in the past lasted sometimes even some days have been replaced by the modest glass of wine celebrations on the elegant premises of the registrar's offices.

    So the modern wedding is solemn, modest, discreet and economical. Thus the marriage the Polish way is as romantic institution, partly traditional but first of all solid.

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