Getting Married, is it Arranged?
“My son is working with an MNC. Wheatish, smart, caring, family oriented, handsome, jovial and rational person respect all religion and traditional values. he is younger of my two sons. Our is a well settled family in Delhi, and originally we belong to Moradabad.
My Job: He is working with MNC in Gurgaon as a Technical Support Coach.
Looking for: Tall, good looking preferable working and from good family.” – reads a matrimonial ad on one of the Indian matchmaking websites. Arranged marriage is a common practice in India today, which is largely followed by several communities, be it Hindus, Muslims, Punjabis or Parsis.
On one hand, India is replicating the West, but at the same time the younger generation believe or at least are made to believe in marriage which is arranged by someone else other than the couple. That can be immediate family or nosy relatives or anyone from that particular community.
The custom is a debatable topic, so I thought that since I also come from a background where arranged marriage is quite prevalent, I would talk about how this whole arranged concept works.
Once the girl or boy cross 21 or 22 years of age, the search begins for a suitable mate by the family and relatives. But before that, both the guy and girl, need to make their ‘Biodata’ which is like your resume, except that it doesn’t really include that many details of your professional life.
If the families like the biodata and photos, then the first meeting takes place between the two families, the guy meets the girl and if both of them like each other, then they proceed with the second meeting.
Generally by the third meeting, the prospective spouses need to take a decision if they want to get married to the other person. Yes, it takes few interactions and limited time to decide if you want to spend your entire life with that person.
Those decisions are based on whether the family background is good, whether he/she is good-looking and presentable, horoscope, financial status, dietary preference, religion and so on, its never based on feelings, emotions or compatibility between the couple.
In most cases, the parents let their children take a decision, but it has to be a quick decision, because in some case the family is putting on hold other proposals the guy or girl might have received. If its a yes, then the couple get engaged pretty soon, and the period from engagement to marriage is considered to be the dating period for the couple.
In many western countries and in India as well, the concept of arranged marriage seems funny and illogical, because the person you would get married to is a total stranger, what if something has been hidden by the family which surfaces only after marriage, you don’t know if you would be compatible to the other person etc.
While some educated people too, feel that they would want to get married to the person the family selects, because in India, the perception of many communities is that the girl marries not only the guy but his family, since they stay in joint families.
I have seen certain sects in Hindus that face a social stigma if the girl is not married by a certain age, and once she has passed that age, parents think that she won’t get any nice guy. So the pressure is generally on the girl not only from the family but also from her relatives, which I find rather unfair and ridiculous because they can’t seem to digest that the girl is unmarried after a certain age. I have seen my school friend, from a Muslim family, getting married at the age of 18.
It doesn’t end there, many families like to see their child married within their own caste or community, if its intercaste then it is unaccepted in some cases. Such customs of arranging marriages have been carried from generation to generation, and its difficult to change them, just like how dowry in spite of it being prohibited still exists in modern day society.
Share and Learn: