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So-called love marriages are deemed a slightly scandalous alternative to properly arranged marriages. Nayar, Encyclopedia of Sexuality, \*/] Indians are very practical about marriage and the union of bride and groom is often seen as a merger of business and family.
Some young people convince their parents to "arrange" their marriages to people with whom they have fallen in love. Nayar wrote in the Encyclopedia of Sexuality: “Although the tradition of arranged marriages has a practical value in preserving family traditions and values, it encounters some opposition as young Indian men and women learn of the Western tradition of romance and love. Most Indian men and women attending college outside India are careful not to compromise their prospects back home by letting their family or parents know they have dated a foreigner. Caste, income levels, education and astrology are all taken into consideration. Indians believe mismatched stars can cause a lifetime of trouble.
So with nothing better to do and an uncomfortable seat on a long overnight flight, I tuned in.
But after ten minutes I thought, surely, in a film starring Colin Firth and Uma Thurman and set in WASP middle class New York, I’ll be waiting in vain for a Bollywood-style wedding…
There are fewer divorces with arranged marriages than with love marriages based on the fact there are relatively low divorce rates in countries with arranged marriages and high divorce rates in countries with love marriages.
Marriages have traditionally been arranged by parents of the same caste in different villages between young people who have never met.
To Western audiences, wedding films speak to an ‘anthropological desire for knowledge of and intimacy with the other’ (Desai 2004), while making the other seem more familiar through the universal narrative of heterosexual couple formation.
It is estimated that 80 percent of all marriages in South Asia are arranged by the bride and groom's parents.
The most dramatic aspect of this asymmetrical relationship is the giving of dowry.Even when the Uma Thurman character Emma Lloyd aka Dr Love, who counsels couples on the radio about their failing relationships, realizes that her fiancé is not Mr.Right and she falls in love with the firefighter Patrick Sullivan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), it turns out he’s not of Indian descent, more likely Irish, as his name suggests…But as it so happens, his apartment is above an Indian restaurant, and the Indian owners are his surrogate family, as it were, and their daughter, as it so happens, is getting married – Bollywood style!Even today romance plays little part in selecting a mate, many young people say they are opposed to courtship and they trust their parent’s judgment rather than their own when it comes to selecting a mate.[Source: Molly Moore, Washington Post] Almost all Indian children are raised with the expectation that their parents will arrange their marriages, but an increasing number of young people, especially among the college-educated, are finding their own spouses.
Not Liz’s own but that of an Indian woman whom she meets in Gita’s ashram and who dreads the prospect of the arranged marriage.