India: Arranged Marriages

Information about India: Arranged Marriages

Published on July 19, 2014

Author: bryagpotter



PowerPoint Presentation: Professor: Dr. Coe Course: ANT 102 Date: July 19th, 2014 By: Brya Potter Arranged Marriages (Katha Wedding Photography, n.d.) PowerPoint Presentation: Indian Culture Location: India is located in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan The total area of India is 3,287,263 sq. km The climate in India goes from tropical monsoons in the south to temperate in north The capital is New Delhi The population is 1,220,800,359 There are various ethnic groups in India: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% There are many different languages in India: Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9% Religions practiced in India are: Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% Government type: Federal republic (Central Intelligence Agency, n.d.) (Indian Map, n.d.) (India Wiki, n.d.) PowerPoint Presentation: India: Marriages Hindus believe that marriage is a sacramental union. Specifically in the Shastric Hindu law, “…marriage has been regarded as one of the essential sanakaras (sacrament for every Hindu). Every Hindu must marry. To be mothers were woman created and to be fathers men. The veda ordains that Dharma must be practiced by man together with his wife and offspring” (p. 243). Marriage in India is truly important and a man is believed to be nothing without his wife and future offspring (p. 243). A Hindu marriage is important for a son to get rid of his debt to past ancestors but also to perform various religious and spiritual duties (p. 243). Hindu marriage is stated to be a civil contract (p. 243). The wife is described as ardhangini (half of man), “The wife is verily the half of the husband. Man is only half, not complete until he marries…mutual fidelity between husband and wife is the highest dharma” (p. 243). The husband is described as the bharthi and because he is in charge of supporting his wife he also is known as a pati (p. 243). (I. Sharma, Pandit , Pahtak , and R. Sharma,2013, p. 243) (Tuscan wedding photography n.d .) India: Marriage: India: Marriage Under the Hindu Law, the sacramental aspects of marriage have three characteristics: “That it is a sacrament union, which means that marriage is not to gratify one’s physical needs; but is primarily meant for the performance of religious and spiritual duties ” “A sacramental union implies that a marriage once entered cannot be dissolved on any ground whatsoever ” “A sacramental union also means that it is a union of soul, body and mind. It is a union not only for this life, but for all lives to come. The union is not only for this world but also for other worlds” (I. Sharma, Pandit , Pahtak , and R. Sharma,2013, p. 244) (Fertility Treatments 2013) PowerPoint Presentation: The article “Love, Arranged Marriage, and the Indian Social Structure” by Giri Raj Gupta, explains how for those in the Western culture, the idea of not being able to have the freedom to choose their spouse in marriage is ludicrous which is an example of ethnocentrism . Ethnocentrism as explained by Dettwyler as one being focused mainly on their own ethnic group/culture and believes that it is the only and best way for one to live (Dettwyler, 2011, p. 26). But yet, in India Gupta reveals that arranged marriages is a tradition that has had little if not any change. Giri Raj Gupta, who could be described as a cultural anthropologist who study living people (Dettwyler, 2011, p. 3),focuses on Hindu and Muslim societies. Arranged marriages in these societies are common and result in long lasting and satisfying bonds between the wife and husband. Marital success is truly based on the social support for those in partnership and family. Specifically for India’s Hindu and Muslim societies; and the family plays a significant role in arranging a marriage and making it a success. The researcher Giri Raj Gupta gives a clear explanation to why arranged marriages within the Indian tradition are important and remain to be followed. (Massey 2011) (Kerala Wedding Photography, n.d.) India:Arranged Marriages PowerPoint Presentation: Key Sociological Concepts Norms : Most in Hindu and Muslim societies believe that their life mate is predestined, their fate is preordained, and that are "right for each other" when chosen by their family. They see it fit that their parents and family choose their spouse because they would know what is best for them and select a suitable partner so that the family ideals, companionship, and co-parenthood can grow, leading to love . The idea of love is considered to be a weak basis for marriage because it may overshadow suitable qualities in spouses. Values: These children are brought up to value their elders wisdom and knowledge and agree that they themselves wouldn’t know what is best for them when concerning marriage. The idea of love is considered to be a weak basis for marriage because it may overshadow suitable qualities in spouses. Deviance: Even though most people within the Indian culture believe that the best way to have a successful marriage is for it to be arranged by their parents and family, there are still cases in which falling in love with someone other than what the family has arranged or has chosen does occur. A young boy had fallen in love with a girl in a lower caste system and disappoints his family because he now has ruined their reputation and tradition. He states: “My love affair has caused me great trouble…my parents don’t like our engagement, and I cannot displease them, but on the other hand I cannot give up y girl who has done so much for me…” (Massey 2011) (Katha Wedding Photography, n.d.) PowerPoint Presentation: Arranged marriages are highly believed in for many reasons (Why they do what they do): A.) The demographic situation in India is a main reason why early arranged marriages were conducted. In 1947 life expectancy was 29 years, and from the research conducted by Giri in the 1960-70s, the life expectancy rate increased to 54 years. B.) In India it is believed that to ensure the society from extinction and for the rates in which they succeed to grow, early arranged marriages are created to continue a vicious cycle of early pregnancies that keep high mortality rates. C.) Early marriages also end economic burdens for families who space out weddings. The family protects itself from deterring in any aspects by arranging marriages as early as possible so that the resources for status aggrandizement are found. So for economic and health reasons arranged marriages are essential for India to thrive. (Massey 2011) Theories (Katha Wedding Photography, n.d.) PowerPoint Presentation: The article explains that the tradition of arranged marriages has barley changed… *5.8 % of parents want to arrange their son/daughters marriage without their consent . *75.6 % of parents want to arrange their son/ daughters marriage with their consent. *17.3 % of parents will allow their son/daughters free choice about who they marry, but the marriage must be approved by the parents . *1.3 % of parents give their son/daughters free choice about who they marry, without their consent. (Massey 2011) India: Long lasting Traditions (Katha Wedding Photography, n.d.) PowerPoint Presentation: India: Long lasting Tradition If arranged marriages haven’t changed why haven’t they? In the article it explains that the tradition has not changed because: Older people in India believe that young people don’t know what love is. They don’t know or consider what good marital life is. Arranged marriages help with the status of the family . Ones loyalty to his/her family is cherished the most in Indian families. They believe in order to keep ones family loyalty the family must pick who they will spend the rest of their life with. Someone who not only cares about their spouse, but also their spouse’s family. Because young people are afraid of being rejected from the Indian culture and losing their identity they don’t fight against arranged marriages. And because nothing is being done to end arranged marriages things will never change. “Love marriages” occur in less than 1% of the Indian population. Romantic love as the basis of marriage is still today not deeply or widely spread in Indian family values. (Massey 2011) (Katha Wedding Photography, n.d.) PowerPoint Presentation: Page 414 states that recent research shows little change in the joint family system in India; relevancy of this should be questioned though, because the most recent research collected was from 1974. With the most "recent" research being almost 40 years ago, we should reinvestigate the sociological research findings to match those of 2013. For example, research states that "love marriages" occur in less than 1% of the population. Without recent research we cannot accurately conjure up proper laws because society is fluid and ever hanging. What was true 40 years ago may or may not be valid today and that must be taken into account. The Untied states for example, conjures up new laws and creates laws to replace older existing laws from decades ago . Today, the children in the Hindu and Muslim traditions are known to now let the children have a voice in their pairing for marriage. Policy/Law wise, there needs to be a change in the ways in which the children rely heavily on their family, especially in terms of marriage. There should be more responsibility given to the child because a majority of people within India still find it important for arranged marriages to happen and take complete control over the situation whether or not the child is in agreement. There have been circumstances when the husband and his family mistreat the wife and beat her, and because the woman's family does not want to go against tradition or be any different than the norm, they turn their cheek. If there were more strict rules that would allow the wife to get out of the relationship or have the family/husband be punished, these situations could be prevented. (Massey 2011) New Research & Policies & Laws (Katha Wedding Photography, n.d.) PowerPoint Presentation: “Take- Aways ” In India’s Hindu and Muslim societies the importance of family is significant to their culture. The majority of children are raised to believe in the idea of not marrying in love and that to do so would only overshadow the suitable qualities for a spouse. Children in most households in India do not have the freedom to choose who they marry, it is predestined. They are brought up to believe that their parents are meant to choose for them and that it is their fate to meet their spouse this way and then love will follow . In these societies marriage has a main purpose that is for the family whether it be for status or best fit for taking care of the family. Economic and health reasons were stressed within the article and the idea of keeping mortality rates high. The statistics given within the article most likely have changed and the relevancy of the statistics may not be there, more recent research needs to be conducted in order to do so. My beliefs on arranged marriages were once baffling mainly because I have grown up in a society where one is able to choose who they love and marry. Although through cultural relativism - which is one is able to accept and understand different ways of life, I am able to understand the significance of this tradition in India (Dettwyler, 2011, p. 27). (Indian Marriage, n.d.) References: References Tuscon Wedding Photography. Retrieved from / Katha Wedding Photography. Retrieved from / Fertility Rituals. (October 13, 2013). Retrieved from http:// India Map. Retrieved from http:// India Wiki. Retrieved from http:// Kerala Wedding Photographer. Retrieved from / Indian Marriage. Retrieved from Massey , Garth.(October 1, 2011). Readings for Sociology, 7 th Edition . New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company . Harma , I., Pandit , B., Pathak, A., & Sharma, R. (2013). Hinduism, marriage and mental illness.  Indian Journal Of Psychiatry , S243-S249. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.105544 Central Intelligence Agency. (n.d.). India. Retrieved from PowerPoint Presentation: The end (Katha Wedding Photography, n.d.)

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