Arranged Marriage Essay, Research Paper
Arranged marriage is a concept that does not take precedence in the United States, where love marriages are most popular. In this presentation we will explore the reasons for arranged marriages and look at the process that goes on. Our group will also relate this topic to such anthropological terms such as dowry and joint family system. Our goal is to help others understand that no matter how different arranged marriages may seem to Americans, they love, procreate and support each other possibly more successfully than our “love marriages.
Before delving into the intrcacies of the process of arranges marriages we will define our terms so that students will know how to relate them when they hear them in our presentation. Posters will act as our visual aid in order to explain such terms as swamber which literally means “groom seeks out his bride:. Other terms such include dowry which is the payment of the woman;s inheritance at the time of her marriage, either to her or her husband. This dowry usually helps pay for the wedding ceremony, paid mostly by her parents.
One very important part of an arranged marriage is the significance of the middle man, who is usually a middle woman. She may be a family friend or an aunt of the person to be married. This matchmaker thoroughly inspects the pasts and reputations of the prospective bride or groom to find anything that may not be approved by the family. This is usually done by word of mouth by relatives and friends who know the person.
There are three main characteristics that the mediator looks for : the girl or boy’s social status, their education level and their physical appearance. After these qualities have been approves by both families, the two may meet if they don’t already know each other. If they agree they would like to be married, the wedding may proceed as soon as two weeks later or as late as a few years.
There are five ceremonies that are a part of the wedding. The first is mungi which is the engagement. The second is the bride’s mendhi. In this ceremony the bride and her relatives paint their hands with henna paint and celebrate by dancing. The only men allowed are the groom and his procession.The third ceremony is the groom’s mendhi. It is the same as the bride’s mendhi but this time the groom’s friends and relatives are celebrating and the bride and her procession are there. Not all mendhies are separate, some are celebrated together. Nikah is the official day of the wedding. The papers are signed and everyone on the bride’s side is quite solemn. This is the first day she will be away from her family and become a member of her husbands.The last ceremony is the Valima which is the reception. This is arranged and paid for by the groom’s parents.
Arranged marriages are very different from the Western idea of marriage but it’s deeply imbedded in the culture. Girls are taught that marriage comes first and love comes after. More times than not, parents listen to the characteristics that their children would like in a mate. Children are allowed to have love marriages and they are prevalent in the metropolitan areas of India but arranges marriages still make up 95% of the marriages. Divorce is very rare in India and carry a negative social stigma with them. In modern times the Internet has also changed the traditional affects of an arranged marriage. Rather than go through a middle man, young people simply look at profiles on the net and set up meetings themselves. No matter how they meet, the idea is to bring together like minded families with the goal to perpetuate the lineage
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