he had made the customary overtures a bridegroom makes towards the bride’s blood brother

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ida2

Senior Member
Persian - Iran
Hello,

In the context below, could you please explain the bold part?

An intimation of his imminent death that day made Duniya’s father speak his last feverish words. He decided to offer her daughter to his friend and peer Zubair.

Family friends and relations tried to convince Duniya not to grant her father’s dying wishes. Then Duniya’s half-brother Shiriye, a lieutenant in the army, arrived unannounced. When told what was afoot, he vowed to put a stop to this nonsense, arguing that Duniya’s mother was virtually deaf. But by late evening Shiriye had changed his mind. And Zubair would not confirm or deny the rumour that he had made the customary overtures a bridegroom makes towards the bride’s blood brother. And Shiriye left in haste the following morning.


Source: Gifts, written by Nuruddin Farah
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    He said to her brother something people customarily say to the brothers of women they want to marry.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Your description (a condensed version of what’s in the book) is misleading. You mean “his” daughter – in other words, Duniya herself.

    Zubair would not confirm or deny the rumour that …
    he had made the customary overtures a bridegroom makes towards the bride’s blood brother.
    = he had formally asked Duniya’s half-brother for permission to marry her
     
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