How Popular Are Arranged Marriages?


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Endogamy, or in other words, an arranged marriage, is a way of choosing a partner in marriage for a woman or man. Usually, the parents will choose, who will marry their son or daughter. Endogamy is popular in countries of Asia and Africa, particularly in China, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.

Thousands of years ago, love marriages (marriages based on love) were common in East Indian culture. This type of marriage was called swamber and it became a problem because many people chose a partner for their appearance and/or wealth. Marriages started to fail and social leaders became concerned with swamber. Arranged marriages were introduced and they became very popular. Anthropology is probably the most important discipline when researching arranged marriages. Reason being is because anthropology is the study of the culture and customs of human beings, and arranged marriages occur because of the beliefs and customs of some cultures. Different cultures believe in different types of marriage and it is important to study a culture in order to find out why they believe in certain customs. This research report focuses on how arranged marriages take place, why they occur, and the benefits and drawbacks of the process.

There are many different ways in which an arranged marriage can take place. The most extreme form is called a forced marriage where the bride and groom have no choice but to marry each other. These marriages take place in the traditional Chinese practice and some upper Caste Hindu families. The less extreme form is where the future bride and groom have a say in the decision of their marriage. If one of them decides they do not want to go through with the arranged marriage, the marriage will not take place. In the Islamic religion, forced marriages are forbidden. Marriages must only take place with the consent of both partners, and they have a right to disagree with their parent?s choice. Every culture has a different tradition as to at what age the marriage is arranged, who arranges it, and who has to agree with it for the marriage to take place.

Sometimes there is a person who is hired and therefore responsible for finding a match for a male or female of marriageable age. This person researches the family of the person they chose for their client to marry. They look for insanity, felon and undesirable behavior. These days it has been a family friend or distant relative that approaches a family for a match. This person ensures that both families are of the same social, economic and religious status. They also make sure the families speak the same language, have the same religion, beliefs and values.

After the client?s family accepts the family in question, both families meet to discuss the marriage. They talk about their beliefs, values, issues that are important to them and expectation of each other. It is also during this time that a possible dowry is discussed. As arranged marriages have become more influenced by Western culture, sometimes couples can get engaged for six months before deciding to commit, or they may have a meal alone together.

Then both the bride and groom decide if they want to marry each other, if the answer is yes on both sides wedding plans begin.

Depending on the culture of the two families involved in the marriage, sometimes a dowry is expected. A dowry can be money, property, jewelry, cattle of anything worth money that is given to the brides or grooms family. In India and China where daughters are seen as a burden, a large dowry would be offered to attract possible grooms. In Muslim families, the Grooms family has to give a dowry to the bride to make sure she is financially independent.

Many people living in North America who are ignorant concerning arranged marriages have false conclusions on the subject. Every arranged marriage is different; for some people it is arranged when they are 3 for others it can be 23 and some people have a choice in whom they marry while others do not. The ultimate question is why would people allow their parents to decide whom they get to marry?

In Asia where most arranged marriages take place, children have more respect for their parents. A group?s marriage practices match its values and in India, arranged marriages reflect the Indian value of children accepting parental authority. To young Indians, choosing a partner is too important an issue for the to be responsible for alone. They see adults as being wise so they trust them to find a good mate for themselves. This is an observation an anthropologist would make since the customs of the culture are reflected by their values.

Many Indians believe that love is a peaceful emotion based on long-term commitment and devotion to family. They believe that love can be created between two people under the right conditions. Also because the arranged marriage tends to be a union of two families of strong moral and cultural values, it provides checks and balances against areas that may ruin it, such as infidelity.

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