Note: This Article is written from a very limited perspection. The above mentioned concept is only one way how marriages and the arrangements can work in India. Of course there are plenty of other cases, such like Love marriages, unhappy marriages, divorced marriages….all depending on the cast, the class, the region, education, family back ground and so on.
When I tell in Germany, that marriages are “arranged” in India, people oftern misunderstand ” forced marriage”.
But the term “forced marriage” is wrong. Of course, it happens every now and then, that the bride or groom are not so happy about the arrangement.
As a rule, however, the families only make a proposal and the newlyweds have a say, meet and can refuse.
The family members (especially aunts are very active) really make the greatest effort to find the best partner. Surveys are started in the circle of friends, one meets in the village to consult and sharpens the ears for those who are able to marry !
Even the horoscope is used and the caste, wealth and education also play a role.
If the family has made a suitable choice, the couple concerned meets. They exchange numbers, take friends with them along as a consultant, and then make a decision: Yes or No. (Sometimes also more than only one meeting happens)
Of course, they don’t get very close and love doesn’t (yet) matter. But at least they can make an overall impression.
My friend Pinku, who married last year, chose between two or three young women and even got quite confused in the meantime.
Now he is happily married, whenever he is not with his wife, the two talk long on phone and something like love seems to be on the way.
But even if no love grows, Indian marriages work. Hardly any marriage is divorced and the Indians are proud of that.
The reason is that Indian marriages are an arrangement. A contract was concluded and you knew beforehand what you were getting into: the woman moves to the husbands family and will regulate the household during which the man raises the money. It is necessary to take care of children, from time to time you visit the families and go to events together, maybe a holiday from time to time. Both parties know their role and still don’t have big expectations from their partner. It doesn’t hurt, if the husband comes home later and if they don’tt spend much free time together. They are happy with, but also without, each other.
Of course, the idea, that many Indians will never be with their great love makes me sad, and the idea of an arranged marriage is probably not for me. But in the relationships themselves, the Indians seem really happy and let’s be honest, what is the great love anyway? How many relationships do not last in our Western world, how many marriages are divorced?
In India it happens the other way around: first the wedding, then the love.
I find the arranged marriage particularly interesting from one point of view: you never have to worry about being unmarried in India, you don’t have to find a partner and stand alone without a future family. Because even if you have reached the critical age of mid-thirties and still haven’t found anyone, the family helps tp finf someone suitable!