Arranged Marriage in India
|Topics:||Arranged Marriage, Church, 💍 Marriage, 🥻 Tradition|
Table of Contents
From time immemorial, Indians have embraced arranged marriages. Parents or older family members search and select future husbands and wives for individuals ready for marriage. Indians do not perceive marriage as a romantic affair: they perceive it as a socioeconomic institution that requires proper planning for stability. Several modern Indians embrace arranged marriages, believing it is the main fabric of their culture. Young men and women consider their parents wise and usually want to make them happy. Therefore, they respect their parents’ selection of future spouses, encouraging organized marriages in India. Mainly, arranged marriages are prevalent in India because they are connected to its religion and culture, ensure respect and harmony within marriage, and allow parents to select a family they can control and will accept their child.
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Why Arranged Marriages Are Popular in India
Indians prefer arranged marriages because they ensure a married partner lives harmoniously with their spouse’s family. Indians treasure family values: they guide a family’s way of life and ensure harmony among family members (Bhandari, 2020). Parents prefer selecting future husbands and wives for their children to ensure they marry an individual from a family with similar values. The wife becomes a part of the husband’s family and can only live harmoniously with his family members if her family values align with theirs. Therefore, arranged marriages are common in India since they enable the selection of spouses with values that will allow them to quickly adapt to the customs and needs of their partners’ families.
Arranged marriages are prevalent in India because they give parents control over their child’s new family members. Indian parents – like most parents – want their children to experience a happy married life. They understand that the family members of their child’s spouse could interfere with their marriage by expecting their daughter or son to embrace a particular lifestyle. Indian parents know that this interference could result in an unhappy married life. Therefore, they prefer choosing marriage partners for their children to ensure that they select their child’s spouse from a family with friendly relationships with them. Indians believe entrusted parental leadership over marriage guarantees its success (Tahir, 2021). Therefore, family friendship allows Indian parents to practice leadership over their child’s marriage by controlling the other family’s decisions regarding their child’s marital association.
Indians encourage arranged marriages to ensure respect between a united husband and wife—an arranged marriage results in a relationship founded on mutual respect toward families. Indians link the married partners’ character to their families (Bhandari, 2020). A husband or wife who embraces unethical behavior damages their family’s image. Arranged marriages force married partners to embrace ethical behavior to protect their family’s image. This impact encourages couples to respect each other’s rights and assume the roles that society expects husbands or wives to perform. The respect that arises from the need to boost a family’s image results in a long-lasting marriage characterized by love, patience, harmony, and unity.
Arranged marriages ensure fast acceptance of individuals by their spouse’s family members, making them popular in India. Quick approval increases the chances of a happy married life by ensuring the couples feel a sense of belonging. Indian families arrange marriages to prevent the need for their children to struggle to gain acceptance from their spouses’ family members. They understand that the struggle for acceptance can lead to frustration and jeopardize a marriage’s stability. For this reason, they embrace arranged marriages and select spouses from friendly families that quickly accept their children. Arranged marriages also enable them to select families with non-discriminatory tendencies.
How Arranged Marriages Are Related to India’s Religion and Culture
Arranged marriage in India is connected to India’s religious beliefs regarding marriage. According to Hinduism, marriage is a friendship that requires understanding between spouses (Bhattacharyya, 2019). Arranged marriages ensure friendship between spouses because they are mainly organized between friendly families. Furthermore, arranged marriages strive to unite individuals from families with similar norms and belief systems, ensuring understanding between spouses. Hinduism discourages sexual relationships before marriage: it perceives sexual intercourse as a holy act between married couples. Arranged marriage respects this religious principle by preventing the possibility of sex before marriage, which mostly occurs when men and women select their marriage partners without parental consent.
Arranged marriage in India is connected to the nation’s culture. The practice of arranged marriage in India began when ancient Indians perceived marriages as a way of establishing social and economic alliances between families. This perception forced families from a particular social status to ensure their children get married to families with a similar socioeconomic background to strengthen their social position. According to the ancient Indian culture, this similarity led to marriage success (Narzary & Ladusingh, 2019). This practice extended into modern Indian culture to foster discipline and social harmony within marriage. Wealthy families ensure their daughters get married to other wealthy families, while lower-class families ensure their children find partners in a similar social class to achieve social harmony and mutual respect.
Arranged marriages are popular in India for four significant reasons. First, they ensure individual life harmoniously with a spouse’s family. Second, they enable parents to control the new family living with their children. Thirdly, it fosters respect between married couples, and fourthly, it ensures families quickly accept their children’s spouses. Fourth, India’s arranged marriage arises from its religious belief that marriage is a friendship characterized by individuals that understand each other. Lastly, it stems from the cultural tendency to encourage marriage among individuals within similar socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Bhandari, P. (2020). Matchmaking in Middle-Class India: Beyond Arranged and Love Marriage. Springer.
- Bhattacharyya, K. K. (2019). The sacred relationship between marriage, spirituality and healthy aging in Hinduism. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 32(2), 135–148. https://doi.org/10.1080/15528030.2019.1670771
- Narzary, P. K., & Ladusingh, L. (2019). Discovering the saga of inter-caste marriage in India. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 54(4), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021909619829896
- Tahir, N. (2021). Understanding arranged marriage: An unbiased analysis of a traditional marital institution. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 35(1), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebab005