Arranged Marriage and Indian Culture Parinaya Consultancy

Published: 05th August 2011
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We, Parinaya Consultancy operating from Kochi Kerala, has introduced a new website through which anyone having an access to internet can easily register their profile online in our matrimonial website.

Our website is designed in such a way that it is user friendly and one with some basic knowledge of computer can easily register the profile. ( Click here to register free ) .The membership plans are designed in such a way that any one can afford with the best available options.

Arranged marriages are traditional in Indian society and continue to account for an overwhelming majority of marriages in India. Arranged marriages are believed to have initially risen to prominence in the Indian subcontinent when the historical Vedic religion gradually gave way to classical Hinduism. With the expanding social reform and female emancipation that accompanied economic and literacy growth after independence, many commentators predicted the gradual demise of arranged marriages in India. These arranged marriages are effectively the result of a wide search by both the girl's family and the boy's family. Child marriages are also in steady decline and deemed unlawful in India (with legal age of marriage at 21 years for men and 18 years for women.

Another significant trend in arranged marriages is related to the loosening of traditional clan-bonds in India. Where potential spouses for sons and daughters were once identified through family and social relationships, they are increasingly being solicited through advertising because many urban parents no longer have the social reach that was a given before the rise of nuclear families in India.

The arranged marriage process

Although arranged marriages vary widely by region and community across the Indian subcontinent, they usually begin with a realization in the family that a child is old enough to marry. This can occur when a parent or an older relative (usually the mother or another trusted female relative, such as an aunt or an elder sister or sister-in-law) initiates a conversation on the topic, or the son/daughter approaches the parent/relative and expresses the desire to be married. This relative effectively acts as a sponsor, taking responsibility to get the boy/girl married to a good partner.

Finding a matchmaker

If the son/daughter has an identified love interest, the sponsor often takes it upon themselves to try and orchestrate a match with that individual. If no such person exists, the sponsor begins the process of identifying suitable candidates. This is usually done via an intermediary matchmaker who has a social reputation for maintaining discretion and brokering successful weddings. This is often an elderly socialite woman who is liked and widely connected to many families.

Match criteria

The family expresses their criteria for a good match to the matchmaker, which is usually heavily influenced by the personal preferences of the son/daughter but also includes family considerations. These considerations vary, but can include -

Values and personal expectations: should match (for instance,

will the bride seek to build a professional career and pursue

higher education)

Age: the groom is usually desired to be older but not by more

than a few years

Looks and physical attributes: should be acceptable to the

other; for brides, a lighter skin complexion is often

preferred; for grooms, height is important and should be at

least a few inches taller than the bride

Religion: should be same, and sometimes there is insistence

that the sub-denomination should be the same as well

Caste, ethnicity and native language: usually desired to be

the same or similar

Diet (veg/non-veg/alcohol/smoking): may differ only if

acceptable to the other

Education: comparable educational levels, or the boy should

be more educated than the girl

Profession: the profession should be acceptable to the other

(the lifestyle implications are often discussed within the

family, e.g. for doctors and civil servants)

Financial: The boy's current and future financial and income

situation should be acceptable to the girl.

Astrological signs/attributes: should be compatible, if the

two families believe in it; certain attributes are given

weight, for instance mangal dosh , which was believed to

cause marital discord, poor health and an early death for one

of the spouses if an incompatibility existed

Family status: The financial strength and reputation of the

family, including the professional and marital statuses of

the siblings of the prospective partner. Matrimonial websites frequently utilize some of these factors to enable prospective matches.

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