Dating and mate selection

22-Apr-2016 04:00

Marriage in India is regarded as one of the most significant life-cycle rituals and is a familial and societal expectation for Hindus.In traditional Hindu society, marriage was considered a sacrament and not a contract and therefore was expected to be for life.Instead, the basic qualities of family unity, family togetherness, family harmony, family cohesiveness, and sharing of common family goals, values, and a way of life are of significant importance, and personal considerations are secondary.That the couple is not in love with each other or that the two partners are not physically attracted to one another or the possibility that the two do not have too much in common are not considerations because love is expected to come after marriage (Medora 2002).Furthermore, marriage is regarded not only as a union of two individuals, but also as the union of two families, making them almost like blood relatives.

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It is customary for individuals to marry within their religion, caste, and subcaste.Most marriages in India are arranged to a greater or lesser extent.Even in contemporary Indian society, Hindus consider marriage as a social and cultural obligation and a contract for life.Marriage is not viewed as a means to attain personal happiness nor as a means of sharing your life with a person you love.

Even among the educated middle- and upper-class families from urban areas, marriage is as much a concern of the families as it is of the individual (Mullatti 1995; Nanda 1995).Most Indian youths do not believe that they have the experience, knowledge, or wisdom to select a prospective mate.