Many Indian immigrants who come to America for higher wages resist the American dating custom and allow their parents to find a suitable mate for them. To evaluate a prospective match, parents may have to consider astrology, religious creed, economics and social caste. Given the complexity of getting married, some singles are happy to let their parents choose their mates for them. The rationale behind this match making process maybe due to the believe that their parents know them better than themselves and know how to make a better choice, rather than getting themselves confused by the complexity of the matrimonial process.
Not all traditions affecting Indian marriage are holding fast. The caste system, where the lower classes historically have been assigned a restricted place in society, is on the decline as financial status takes its place. But thanks to the recent economic development in India, wealth has enabled some family to transcend caste barriers and lifted them to a higher social standing. This transformation from poor to rich is slowly making the caste system a thing of the past.
For Indian immigrants, achieving social mobility in America has rendered the caste system nearly obsolete, but making a family is still largely based on parental oversight and religious faith. The importance of astrology for marriage remains strong. If one family insists, it is the only way to win their approval.
Some devout followers of the Hindu faith may be more insistent about consulting astrology before agreeing to the matchup. This entails looking at the stars for when the potential Indian bride and groom were born and then they look at the potential mate for compatibility. And if you and your mate grew up in different communities of India; the matchup may have to meet two sets of religious requirements that were interpreted by two priests. Some people believe in love, others in a spiritual faith. Either way, it's all belief.
As some Americans use psychological profiles to rate marital compatibility, Hindu astrology uses a point system. The points are added or subtracted based on the alignment of stars and planets when you and your future spouse were born. In some instances being born under a negative astrological condition can diminish the number of compatible mates.
The Indian actress and 1994 Miss World, Aishwarya Rai, was born under the negative condition of manglik. Her horoscope is interrupted to mean her husband will die within one year of marriage, but if two people born in manglik were to marry, the two negatives would cancel each other and create a positive match.
To meet the matchmaking challenge, many Indian singles use Internet-based matrimonial services such as shaadi.com. This and other Indian matrimonial service website can search for a potential spouse from 27 communities, including various religious affiliations. The site's astrological services use more than 40 criteria to determine a compatible match. And each personal profile has an optional checkbox to indicate the condition of manglik.
Some personal ads on shaadi.com are posted by the eligible single while others are listed by family members. One entry for a 25-year-old radiology resident reads, "Our daughter is beautiful, polite, independent, well read, smart, but down to earth, and very personable."
The tradition of arranged marriages is so essential to Indian society that it continues to be practiced in the United States by children of Indian immigrants, but with a new twist. If you peruse through any of the major India matrimonial services on the web, you'll notice that many of the singles are typical American youths, but with a deep sense of respect for their culture and their family.
In India everyone is brought up with the mentality of respect. That respect begins with parents. In matters of matrimony, most Indian singles trusts their parents' approval because whatever they are doing is in the child's best interest.
But for most Americans, it's hard to fathom how a lifelong relationship such as matrimony could be entrusted to parents. Isn't it essential to fall in love before making the commitment? Considering the divorce rate in America, choosing a mate based solely on love is only working for us about 50 percent of the time. Because divorce is often an acceptable alternative to an unhappy marriage it takes the place of working to resolve problems.
But in Indian culture, divorce is generally not an option. That's why most singles from India approach matrimony as an unconditional commitment to family unity and a stable community which requires one's dedication and the conviction to make the marriage work no matter what. The driving factors are to know enough about and to appreciate the future spouse, but more importantly to accept him or her as the spouse their parents have approved of.