Indians In America – A Unique Marriage Culture

indian marriage culture

Indian Marriage Culture is more than just the ceremony itself. The tradition that goes along with marriages in India is rich and varied. This is one of the main reasons that have made Indians marry abroad. There are various elements that form an important part of the Indian marriage culture.

Dahi Handi

A view of a street

In an Indian marriage, the bride and the groom take place in a temple or a hall and perform various rituals. The most popular of these rituals is ‘Dahi Handi’ which involves burning hymns and the exchange of garlands. Along with this, there are various other rituals such as the exchange of gifts, ‘Mansa Yatra’ where the bride travels with her husband to his home town, ‘Nishchitar’ which is the process of building a miniature of the home of the groom and ‘Nishchitar’ which are in the process of decorating the newly wedded bride’s house with flowers, fruits and ornaments. The couple then goes for ‘Dahi Handi’ once again.

Another important part of the Indian culture is an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the family members of both the bride and the groom decide beforehand about all the parameters of the marriage. This includes the place and time of the marriage, the age of the bride and the groom, the dowry amount, what kind of gifts should be given to the bride, etc. The family decides about all of these parameters according to their beliefs and the values they adhere to.

Tremendous Change

A vase of flowers on a table

The Indian marriage culture has undergone a tremendous change over the past two decades. There was a time when people only got married after studying the norms and the traditions of their parents and community. This meant that the people were not really ready for love marriages. But now this is not the case. In fact, many of these marriages are actually arranged by the parents of the bride and the groom.

The main reason why the Indian culture has embraced arranged marriages is the social value attached to mend. If you get married without a mehndi and the groom doesn’t come with the bride, it is seen as a sign of insincerity on the part of both the parties. Since mehndi is a significant part of the wedding ceremony, a lot of importance is given to it by the Indian elders.

Variety Of Rituals

The modern day Indian wedding is marked by a variety of rituals. It all depends on how the marriage is arranged and if the families want it to be a typical ritual or a modern day fusion of different traditions. But whatever be the type of ritual, it usually takes place in a garden or a private place like a guest house. There is no central hall where all the rituals take place and it can vary from one community to another.

There are several stories that explain how the tradition of marrying two individuals and taking them as your life partner started in India. However, it is almost as if every community in India has its own version of history and if you study one community deeply enough, you will find out that its own customs and rituals are unique and not found anywhere else in the world. The story of the match between a wandering holy man and a lady who was looking for a penance to win her hand in marriage is just one of the innumerable examples of how this tradition came into being. These days, most marriages are arranged but a few select people in India still prefer to tie the knot themselves.

Final Words

There are many examples of arranged marriages that you might have watched on television over the years. The Indian culture has greatly evolved and even today, when a person gets married, he or she is expected to take a mehendi before the other party and this marks the start of a new relationship that is to blossom for the two individuals. However, in some communities, mehendi is taken as a ritual that symbolizes the start of new relations and sometimes even means that the two individuals are about to get married to begin a new chapter of their lives.

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