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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Looking for a spouse??

Last week, I happened upon the six pages of the Hindustan Times Matrimonial section. It took me about 20 minutes of perusing to take them all in. Very interesting reading, I must say. The section is usually four pages of "Grooms Wanted" and two of "Brides Wanted." They are full of ads for wedding planners, matchmaking services, and astrological planners. The matrimonial are also divided into Punjabi, Sikh, Jain, Manglik, and such. From the ads the prospective bride or groom will learn about the potential mates religion, height, birth date (the correct astrological match up between bride and groom is extremely important in India), occupation, parents' occupation, and educational background. Also whether a vegetarian or non-vegetarian is expected.
Some examples from today's paper:
"Groom Wanted"
"South Delhi reputed Punjabi Arora family
settled in export business,
seeks alliance for their only daughter, educated from Canada and UK.
Working as Scientific Business Analyst.
Fair, slim, 165 cm, born in Delhi at 20:05 hrs, 17-01-86.
The boy should be professionally qualified from reputed and cultured Punjabi family,
born after 1982-83. Horoscope matching desired."
and then from the opposing camp.....
"Bride Wanted"
"Renowned Punjabi, High Status Business Family invites alliance
for their only son, 5'10", MBA, 21-12-1983, 11:35 am.
Seeks tall, beautiful, homely, well educated girl from high status business family."

This is what has to say about ....
"Indian arranged marriages
The following factors are generally considered in Indian marriages to search for compatibility:
Values and personal expectations: should match
Age and height: girl should generally be younger and shorter
Looks: should be acceptable to the other, although it is preferred that the women have "a fair skin", as it can be noted in the matrimonial advertisements.
Religion: should be same, preferably same sect
Mother tongue, caste: should be preferably same
Diet (veg/non-veg/alcohol/smoking): may differ only if acceptable to the other
Education: comparable educational levels or the boy should be more educated than the girl
Profession: the profession should be acceptable to the other
Financial: The boy's current and future financial situation should be acceptable to the girl.
Astrological signs/attributes: should be compatible, if the two families believe in it.
The parents may discuss the expectations with their son/daughter before starting to look for a match. The expectations are shared with relatives and family friends who can often bring suggestions. The Indian matrimonial sites attempt to provide databases that can be queried to find matches using similar attributes[8][9].
Hindu Dharma accords paramount importance to marriage between two people found compatible, and on an auspicious day, chosen to be compatible with the bride and the groom, with the approval of the elders and, according to Hindu religion "in the presence of the gods, so that the couple will flourish and walk in dharma, and any progeny conceived after such elaborate rituals would be a blessed soul and good human being."
Once the parents of both bride and groom agree with each in which all the relatives and known circle are called from both sides as a witness and to "give their blessing", then in that engagement function itself a date is fixed for marriage as per bride and grooms horoscope and astrologically auspicious day, the priest will announce to all that both the family are agreed to the acceptance of marriage of their son/daughter on the particular date. Then "in the name of god both the families exchange fruits and clothing" as a symbol of acceptance.
An "auspicious day" is chosen in accordance with the religious almanac and the bride and the groom's horoscopes, also if it is moon's phase (ascending is preferred by some) apart from any other logistical consideration.
The wedding is conducted in accordance with religious rites [10] and rituals[11] with the invited guests considered to be the 'society' in whose presence the girl is given away in matrimony to the boy."

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