Arranged marriage

Arranged marriage

Overview
An arranged marriage is a practice in which someone other than the couple getting married
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 makes the selection of the persons to be wed, meanwhile curtailing or avoiding the process of courtship
Courtship
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement...

. Such marriages had deep roots in royal and aristocratic families around the world. Today, arranged marriage is largely practiced in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 (India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

), Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 and East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 to some extent. Other groups that practice this custom include the Unification Church
Unification Church
The Unification Church is a new religious movement founded by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon. In 1954, the Unification Church was formally and legally established in Seoul, South Korea, as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity . In 1994, Moon gave the church...

 and Hasidic Jewry
Hasidim
Hasidim/Chasidim is the plural of Hasid , meaning "pious". The honorific "Hasid" was frequently used as a term of exceptional respect in the Talmudic and early medieval periods. In classic Rabbinic literature it differs from "Tzadik"-"righteous", by instead denoting one who goes beyond the legal...

.
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Encyclopedia
An arranged marriage is a practice in which someone other than the couple getting married
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 makes the selection of the persons to be wed, meanwhile curtailing or avoiding the process of courtship
Courtship
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement...

. Such marriages had deep roots in royal and aristocratic families around the world. Today, arranged marriage is largely practiced in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 (India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

), Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 and East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 to some extent. Other groups that practice this custom include the Unification Church
Unification Church
The Unification Church is a new religious movement founded by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon. In 1954, the Unification Church was formally and legally established in Seoul, South Korea, as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity . In 1994, Moon gave the church...

 and Hasidic Jewry
Hasidim
Hasidim/Chasidim is the plural of Hasid , meaning "pious". The honorific "Hasid" was frequently used as a term of exceptional respect in the Talmudic and early medieval periods. In classic Rabbinic literature it differs from "Tzadik"-"righteous", by instead denoting one who goes beyond the legal...

. It should not be confused with the practice of forced marriage
Forced marriage
Forced marriage is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will...

, in which one person forces another to marry him or her. Arranged marriages are usually seen in Indian, traditional European and African cultures, especially among royalty, and are usually decided by the parents or an older family member. The match could be selected by parents, a matchmaking
Matchmaking
Matchmaking is any process of matching two people for the purpose of marriage or a sporting contest.-Practice:In some cultures, the role of the matchmaker was and is quite professionalized...

 agent, matrimonial site
Marriage websites
Marriage websites, or online matrimonial sites, are a variation of the standard dating websites, with a focus on those wanting marriage rather than simply dating.Matrimonial sites are specially popular in India and among Indians settled overseas...

, or a trusted third party. In many communities, priests or religious leaders as well as relatives or family friends play a major role in matchmaking.

Variations


Arranged marriages vary in both nature and duration of time from meeting to engagement
Engagement
An engagement or betrothal is a promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged...

. In an "introduction only" arranged marriage, the parents may only introduce their son or daughter to a potential spouse. From that point on, it is up to the children to manage the relationship and make a choice. There is no set time period. This is common in the rural parts of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and especially in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The same also appears in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. This type of arranged marriage is very common in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 under the name of khastegary. This open-ended process takes considerably more courage on the part of the parents, as well as the prospective spouses, in comparison to a fixed time-limit arranged marriage. Men and women fear the stigma and emotional trauma of going through a courtship and then being rejected.

In some cases, a prospective partner may be selected by the son or daughter instead of by the parents or by a matchmaker. In such cases, the parents will either disapprove of the match and forbid the marriage or approve the match and agree to proceed with the marriage. Such cases are distinct from a love marriage because courtship is curtailed or absent and the parents retain the prerogative to forbid the match.

A culture of arranged marriage


In cultures where dating is not prevalent, arranged marriages perform a similar function—bringing together people who might otherwise not have met. In such cultures, arranged marriage is viewed as the norm and accepted by young adults
Young adult (psychology)
A young adult, according to Erik Erikson's stages of human development, is generally a person between the age of 20 - 40, whereas an adolescent is a person between the age of 13 - 19, although definitions and opinions vary. The young adult stage in human development precedes middle adulthood. A...

.In several cultures, the last duty of a parent to his or her son or daughter is to see that he or she passes through the marital rites.

In some cultures, arranged marriage is a tradition handed down through many generations. Parents who take their son or daughter's marriage into their own hands have themselves been married by the same process. Many parents, and children likewise, feel pressure from the community to conform, and in certain cultures a love marriage
Love marriage
A love marriage is a union of two individuals based upon mutual love, affection, commitment and attraction. While the term has little discrete meaning in the Western world, where most marriages are considered to be 'based in love,' the term has meaning elsewhere to indicate a concept of marriage...

 or even courtship
Courtship
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement...

 is considered a failure on the part of the parents to maintain control over their child.

Proponents of arranged marriage often feel that people can quite easily be influenced by emotional infatuation to make an illogical choice. In these societies, the intragenerational relationship of the family is much more valued than the marital relationship. The whole purpose of the marriage is to have a family. Even if the couple does not love each other at first, a greater understanding between the two would develop, aided by their often similar socioeconomic
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

, religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, and cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 backgrounds. Proponents may also feel that marriages simply based on romance are doomed to failure due to the partners having unreasonable expectations of each other and with the relationship having little room for improvement.

Furthermore, supporters of arranged marriages believe that parents can be trusted to make a match that is in the best interests of their children. They hold that parents have much practical experience to draw from and not be misguided by emotions and hormones. Opponents will note that there are times when the choosers select a match that serves their interests or the family's interests and not necessarily to the couple’s pleasure and find this naturally unacceptable. However, the community and even the children may see this as an acceptable risk with potential benefits.

In these societies, the intragenerational relationship of the family is much more valued than the marital relationship. The whole purpose of the marriage is to have a family. The stability and endurance of the family in the long run are more important than the sexual pleasures involved in marital relationships.

Factors considered in matchmaking


In Indian, some of the factors to be considered in some order of priority may be taken into account for the purpose of matchmaking:
  • Religion
    Religion
    Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

    : The religious and spiritual beliefs can play a large role in finding a suitable spouse
  • Caste
    Caste
    Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

     and culture
    Culture
    Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

    : Usually, first preference is given to the same caste. The ancestry of the individual and the family's culture and traditions also play an important part. Usually, prospective spouses are looked for from families belonging to the same region
    Region
    Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

     and having the same language
    Language
    Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

     and food habits.
  • Reputation
    Reputation
    Reputation of a social entity is an opinion about that entity, typically a result of social evaluation on a set of criteria...

     of the family and friends with power over that child
  • Wealth
    Wealth
    Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...

    : Families holding substantial assets may prefer to marry to another wealthy family. Dowry is extremely important in Indian marriages although it has been banned officially.
  • Vocation
    Vocation
    A vocation , is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.-Senses:...

    : For a groom, the profession of doctor, accountant, lawyer or engineer are traditionally valued as excellent spouse material. More recently, any profession commanding relatively high income is also given preference. Vocation is less important for a bride but it is not uncommon for two people of the same vocation to be matched. Some preferred vocations for a bride include the profession of teacher, doctor, or lawyer.
  • Physical fitness
    Physical fitness
    Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: general fitness , and specific fitness...

     of the individual is taken into account in some cases.
  • Horoscope
    Horoscope
    In astrology, a horoscope is a chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, the astrological aspects, and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person's birth. The word horoscope is derived from Greek words meaning "a look at the hours" In...

    : Numerology and the positions of stars at birth is often used in Indian culture
    Culture of India
    India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food and customs differ from place to place within the country, but nevertheless possess a commonality....

     to predict the success of a particular match. This is sometimes expressed as a percentage, for example, a 70% match. Horoscope becomes a determining factor if one of the partners is Mângalik (lit., negatively influenced by Mars
    Mars
    Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

    ).

Clan links


Among most Indian and Nepalese Hindus, the hereditary system of caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 (Hindi: jâti) is an extremely important factor in arranged marriage. Arranged marriages, and parents, almost always require that the married persons should be of the same caste. Sometimes inter-caste marriage is one of the principal reasons of familial rejection or anger with the marriage. The proof can be seen by the numerous Indian marriage websites on the internet, most of which are by caste. Even within the caste, there is obligation, followed strictly by many communities, to marry (their son/daughter) outside the gotra
Gotra
In the Hindu society, the term Gotra broadly refers to people who are descendants in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor. Panini defines gotra for grammatical purposes as apatyam pautraprabhrti gotram , which means "the word gotra denotes the progeny beginning with the son's son"...

 (sub-caste or clan). It must however be noted that modern India, being a democracy, does not prohibit inter-caste or intra-gotra marriage (by the Hindu Marriage Act). Arranged marriages are less common in the Hindu diaspora outside South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, although they have undergone a revival in the United Kingdom among Indian immigrants.

Many Indian families who consider the caste system an artificial excuse for social inequity have the opposite preference. They prefer to marry persons of differing caste and tend to avoid matches within the same caste. It is believed that intercaste marriages weaken the caste system and thus reduce social inequality caused by the caste stratification. Such families are also often open to marriages across national borders.

Similar clan-based arranged marriages have been reported in Mexican communities and Amerindians, particularly among the Triqui, including immigrants in the United States. Likewise, Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint (FLDS) groups, not to be confused with the LDS Church (Mormons), in the United States also practice arranged marriages by FLDS religious affiliation

Arranged marriages are fairly common in the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

, particularly Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 (the second most populous Muslim country), where rituals like Pait Likkhi involve marriage based on clan affiliations.

For


There are several arguments in favour of arranged marriage. Some of the most popular are:
  • Modern arranged marriages, in contrast to classical ones, are not based on proscriptions but on pragmatic considerations. Often, parents can contribute to the offspring's life by utilizing the benefits of experience to choose the right mate for him/her. The common misconception is that the concept of arranged marriages imply traditional male-female duties.
  • Statistics place the divorce rate for arranged marriages much lower than

those in the United States
Divorce demography
The current marriage to current divorce ratio measures the divorce rate by comparing the number of marriages to the number of divorces in a given year. For example, if there are 500 divorces and 1,000 marriages in a given year in a given area, the ratio would be one divorce for every two...

, where marriages of personal choice are the norm.
  • Allow individuals that may have hard time finding a mate such as socially inept, disabled and etc. to find a mate and get married.
  • In the urban culture of modern India, the differentiation between arranged and love marriage
    Love marriage
    A love marriage is a union of two individuals based upon mutual love, affection, commitment and attraction. While the term has little discrete meaning in the Western world, where most marriages are considered to be 'based in love,' the term has meaning elsewhere to indicate a concept of marriage...

    s is increasingly seen as a "false dichotomy
    False dilemma
    A false dilemma is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options...

    " with the emergence of phenomena such as "self-arranged marriages" and free-choice on the part of the prospective spouses.

Against


Amongst the arguments against arranged marriage, the most prominent are:
  • Arranged marriage is as good or as bad as the people arranging it. A forced mismatch, based on the values important to the arranger may not be as important to the parties involved.
  • A person is limited to marry only one of the matches the parents or elders selected. Because the matches are made according to culture, background, profession, etc. it is almost impossible to marry intercultural, or from lower social background to higher and vice a versa.
  • A further condemnation of the practice of arranging marriage for economic reasons comes from Edlund and Lagerlöf (2004) who argued that a love marriage is more effective for the promotion of accumulation of wealth and societal growth.


See also

  • Marriage
    Marriage
    Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

  • Dynastic marriage
    Dynastic marriage
    A dynastic marriage is a type of marriage between members of two distinct ruling houses or dynasties. Intended as a means of strengthening the bonds between royal families, clans or states rather than the bridegroom, the dynastic marriages were known at least since the times of Ancient Egypt....

  • Arranged marriages in India
    Arranged marriages in India
    Arranged marriages are traditional in South Asian society and continue to account for an overwhelming majority of marriages in the Indian subcontinent...

  • Bride kidnapping
    Bride kidnapping
    Bride kidnapping, also known as marriage by abduction or marriage by capture, is a practice throughout history and around the world in which a man abducts the woman he wishes to marry...

  • Child marriage
    Child marriage
    Child marriage and child betrothal customs occur in various times and places, whereby children are given in matrimony - before marriageable age as defined by the commentator and often before puberty. Today such customs are fairly widespread in parts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America: in...

  • Mail-order bride
    Mail-order bride
    Mail-order bride is a label applied to a woman who publishes her intent to marry someone from another country. This term is considered offensive by some people. The mail-order bride industry is the economic trade of contracted domestic partnerships, often between citizens of different countries or...

  • Marriage of convenience
    Marriage of convenience
    A marriage of convenience is a marriage contracted for reasons other than the reasons of relationship, family, or love. Instead, such a marriage is orchestrated for personal gain or some other sort of strategic purpose, such as political marriage. The phrase is a calque of - a marriage of...

  • Marriage in Pakistan
  • Marriage in South Korea
    Marriage in South Korea
    Marriage in South Korea is similar to that in the West, but has unique features of its own, especially due to the influence of Korean Confucianism.-Eligibility:Marriage in South Korea is a union between a man and a woman...

  • Marriageable age
    Marriageable age
    Marriageable age is the age at which a person is allowed to marry, either as of right or subject to parental or other forms of consent. The age and other requirements vary between countries, but generally it is set at 18, although most jurisdictions allow marriage at slightly younger ages with...

  • Matchmaking
    Matchmaking
    Matchmaking is any process of matching two people for the purpose of marriage or a sporting contest.-Practice:In some cultures, the role of the matchmaker was and is quite professionalized...

  • Matrimonials Sites
  • Arranged marriages in Japan
    Omiai
    or is a Japanese traditional custom in which unattached individuals are introduced to each other to consider the possibility of marriage. Since this "Miai" or "Omiai" was sometimes translated as "arranged marriage" in English and other foreign languages, which is a total misnomer, some foreigners...

  • Shidduch
    Shidduch
    The Shidduch is a system of matchmaking in which Jewish singles are introduced to one another in Orthodox Jewish communities for the purpose of marriage....

  • Shim-pua marriage
    Shim-pua marriage
    Tongyangxi , also known as Shim-pua marriage in Taiwanese , was a tradition of arranged marriage dating back to pre-modern China, in which a poor family would sell a child, a pre-adolescent daughter to a richer family as a servant or a caretaker. In exchange, the girl would be married into the...

  • Wedding celebrations in the Radom region
    Wedding celebrations in the Radom region
    Wedding celebrations in the region surrounding Radom, a city in central Poland, were quite unusual for Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, in that arranged marriage was practiced.-Wedding:...

  • Shotgun wedding
  • Hey

External links