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Marital Differences Between India And The United States

1264 words - 5 pages

marriages that occur in India and the United States have several dramatic differences. Marriages in India are based solely on parental decisions, whereas in the United States a marriage is based on individualism. Who, why and how the spouse is chosen, is very different in both countries. Most Americans date to discover who their future spouse is going to be, and they know the person very well before marriage. In India, dating is not something that occurs. Most individuals in India do not have any interaction with the bride or groom prior to their wedding day, therefore, they do not personally know who they are marrying (Nanda 624). Though these differences exist, pros and cons reflect on each of them.
In India, most marriages are arranged by the parents of the individual and relatives. Decision-making is based on the parents’ qualifications and what they are wanting out of the future spouse for their son or daughter. Though an arranged marriage is based solely on the parents’ qualifications, it is becoming more prevalent for the son or daughter to ask their parents to look for certain qualifications that they, personally, would prefer. In some situations, the child will ask the parent if they can arrange a marriage with an individual whom they love or have fallen in love with. Most parents have no problem in involving their children in the decision-making when asked to do so. Though children are having more say-so in their arranged marriage, final decisions and most qualifications are based solely on the parents of the individual.
The search for an individual, who matches these qualifications best, can sometimes take years because parents are very decisive in choosing the right spouse. Some parents start the day their child is born. This is not a simple procedure. Parents search the family background of each individual before making any final decisions (Nanda 625). Depending on the parents, qualifications can consist of areas such as age, physical features, beliefs, occupation and much more. For example, in one situation, a sister and brother-in-law invited correspondences from North Indian professionals only and preferred that the man be an immigrant doctor who was between 26-29 years, for their relative. (Nanda 623). Sometimes the bride and groom will meet one time for a brief conversation, but in most cases the bride and groom’s first appearance of each other is at their wedding (Nanda 624). However, some parents are becoming more lenient in this area and allowing their son or daughter to meet at least one time before making any final marital arrangements to see if the two individuals are in agreement to get married to one another. This is not like a date in the United States where a couple goes out to dinner and to a movie and hangs out. This is more like a formal meeting, chaperoned by a guardian. It is sometimes classified as “having tea” together. As Americans, we probably think this is an absurd way of getting married but those in...

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