We are all familiar with the story : boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl gets married. For the majority of the western world, this is our ideal of a great beginning to a perfect marriage. It is important to realize that while India is very modernized in some aspects (i.e.. they lead the world in student's math and science scores and produce the largest amount of engineers in the world) they still keep to the tradition of arranged marriages. Marriages formed out of love AKA "love marriages" do happen in India but it is not the norm. It is an accepted fact that a person's family will play a role in picking the marriage partner.
While to many people raised in the west, this might sound odd. It is important to remember that in Indian society an arranged marriage is seen as an act of love. Since marriage is one of the most important decisions a person will ever make and because divorce is not accepted among most Indians, it is imperative that the marriage choice is carefully thought out and planned. How can a young person make such an important decision on his/her own? Instead, the family (usually the parents) look for certain traits in a marriage partner. Some desirable traits looked for in both male and female are: matching levels of education, matching cultures, close parental cities, matching religions, and matching vegetarians/non-vegetarians just to name a few.
Potential bride-grooms come under close scrutiny for several areas of the matching process. Do they have enough means to support the bride? Do they appear to be men who will make good husbands and fathers? Often, the bride will live with her in-laws after marriage in what is called a joint family. Because of this, the groom's family is also brought under close scrutiny. Do the women of the household seem well cared for? Do they have a big enough house for another person and grandchildren? Does the family have a good reputation?
Potential brides also come under scrutiny by...
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