Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Would you like me to arrange your marriage?

Today I received a wedding  invitation. It said...

We cordially solicit the honor of thy noble presence
Love it!

So this got me thinking again about arranged marriage. Before coming to India and really taking the time to understand it, I thought arranged marriage was outdated and ridiculous. But now having spoken to a few people who have had arranged marriages I know think the idea has some merit and here is why.

Arranged marriages do not let feelings get in the way of making the life altering decision of who to marry. When arranged thoughtfully marriage usually takes place between the children of two families that know each other or through a person who knows the two people involved, recognises the compatibility and makes the suggestion. It seems that these marriages work and work well. The couple sets out with the same family and religious values then develop a deep respect and then ultimately love for each other.
Of the few couples I have met the prospective bride and groom have had the opportunity to meet for coffee or the like so they have a little understanding of the other person and then get to say yes or no based on that meeting.
At one of the weddings I went to I was told that the groom had asked his father to find him a wife and had left it entirely up to him. When questioned on this he simply said 'I trust my father'
Not all weddings here are arranged. I have been to two weddings that were 'love matches' whispered behind the hand. I don't know why this is so whispered about… everyone at the wedding knows what's going on.

Don't get me wrong not all arranged marriages end in happily ever after. At my previous apartment our downstairs neighbors were an older couple and their son and his wife of less than a year. I met the young wife a couple of times. She seemed nice and I got the impression she may have been a little opinionated and headstrong… though I could be wrong. So one day our front door was open, as was theirs, and we heard an enormous row. They knew we would have heard it…awkward. If only I understood Hindi. Anyway, after that day we never saw the new bride again and there was a big dirty rectangular mark on the wall where their wedding photo used to hang.

Interestingly the divorce rate in India is very low. Only 1.1% I wonder if this is due to arranged marriages based on similar values or because marriage is in fact a commitment for life.

I am not to sure about the arranged marriages that are organised via matrimonial adds in newspapers and the like. They do seem to place importance on matching class and religion but I don't think you can really have as much insight into whether a good match can be made without a matchmaker who knows both the parties involved. I must admit I do quite enjoy reading the matrimonial section of the paper. Such an eyeopener. Here is a selection from different periods over the past hundred years… how values have changed-

1930's- Seeking handsome, healthy, virgin girl.Western fashioned, highly educated need not approach.

1960's- Seeking family with connections and a  groom in government service.

1980's- Seeking fair, tall, homely, and convent educated girl (speaks english)

Today- Delhi based reputed Gupta Medico family seeks alliance for their beautiful, fair, smart, slim daughter 23/5’5 MBA (U.S.), pursuing CPA from US, and working in respected bank in US. Looking for tall, handsome, below 28, well placed professional. Preferably qualified Medico. Match from Status family only“.

Of course there are the ones that are downright hilarious as well… sorry I mean no disrespect but I have to share…

hello.... My name Arthi..... I am a good characterized woman. I want to run my life happily. I expect the good minded and clean habits boy to marry me soon.... who may be in the same caste . If anyone want to Marie to me u can visit to my home

Hello, To Viewers My Name is Shekhar , I am single i don't have female, I am not a good education but i working all field in Bangalore.. if u like me u welcome to my heart...when ever u want to meet pls visit my resident or send u letter.. Thanks yours Regards Shekhar

I want very simple girl. from Brahmin educated family from orissa state she is also know about RAMAYAN, GEETA BHAGABATA, and other homework (Homework?)

Wants a woman who knows me better and can adjust with me forever. she may never create any difficulties in my life or her life by which the entire life can run smoothly. thank you

She should be good looking and should have a service. she Should have one brother and one sister. she should be educated.

I am a happy-go-lucky kind of person. Enjoys every moments of life. I love to make friendship. Because friendship is a first step of love. I am looking for my dream girl who will love me more than i. Because i love myself a lot. If u think that is u then why to late come on ........hold my hand forever !!!

I am simple boy. I have lot of problem in my life because of my luck now i am looking one gal she care me and love me lot lot

I want a girl with no drinks if she wants she can wear jeans in house but while stepping out of house she should give respect to our cast


Whatever she may be but she should feel that she is going to be someone bride and she must think of the future life if she is too like this she would be called the woman of the lamp. (What the?)

My name is muhamad and i am unmarried. please you marriage me please please please please please please please

I want one girl who love me or my mother. she love me heartily or she have frank she's skin color 'normal' not a black or not a whitey. I Think the main think is heart if your heart is beautiful then you are beautiful. but iam not a handsome guy or not a good looking. but my Mom say that Iam a good guy. My father already expired . THE CHOICE IS YOUR. bye bye.

My color is black, but my heart is white. I like social service

I'm looking out for who lives in Bombay, girl simple who trust me lot should be roman catholic, LOVE ME ONLY.


deviousdiv said...

OMG This totally cracked me up- thanks for putting the humor back into the situation.

But here's the thing-- as someone who's going through the process I can tell you that there's nothing remotely entertaining about being a participant.

Trust me- I've ranted about it here (http://realmofdiv.blogspot.com/2011/10/imprisonment-that-could-have-been.html) and several more times in my blog.

The process can be extremely humiliating for the girl- its just a hope that you'll find someone good in the lot that keeps you going I suppose. :/



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