Indian Weddings

Hindu joint family, Arranged marriage in India, and Women in India.
A bride during a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in Punjab.
Family plays a significant role in the Indian culture. For generations, India has had a prevailing tradition of the joint family system. It is a system under which extended members of a family – parents, children, the children’s spouses and their offspring, etc. – live together. Usually, the eldest male member is the head in the joint Indian family system. He makes all important decisions and rules, and other family members abide by them. However, in recent times, many families especially in urban areas, in have stopped abiding by the extended family system and have started living as a nuclear family.
For centuries, arranged marriages have been the tradition in Indian society. Even today, the vast majority of Indians have their marriages planned by their parents and other respected family-members, with the consent of the bride and groom. They also demand dowry, which has been outlawed by the Indian government, but Indian society and culture still promotes and maintains it. They get around the prohibition by not letting the authorities know the arrangements of money. Arranged matches are made after taking into account factors such as age, height, personal values and tastes, the backgrounds of their families (wealth, social standing), their castes and the astrological compatibility of the couples' horoscopes.

In India, the marriage is thought to be for lif
e, and the divorce rate is extremely low — 1.1% compared with about 50% in the United States. The arranged marriages generally have a much lower divorce rate, although divorce rates have risen significantly in recent years:
"Opinion is divided over what the phenomenon means: for traditionalists the rising numbers portend the breakdown of society while, for some modernists, they speak of a healthy new empowerment for women."

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