How does arranging a marriage work in India?

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psyproffie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the Indian culture the practice of arranged marriage often happens for a woman when she graduates and for a man when he is old enough to have a career and is financially stable enough to support a family.  As dating is often not permitted in this culture and males and females do not interact with each other outside of family members, an older family member will often act as a sponsor and will assist with matching the two youths in what is viewed by the families as a "good match" with a marriage partner.  There are several considerations that come into play when choosing a potential marriage partner. Some of the most important criteria include profession, caste, and religion. Caste is an important concept within the Indian culture as ancestry plays a large part in the standing within society and also plays a role in the cultural values within the family.  It is preferable to marry within the individual's cast and is considered a "bad match" to marry beneath one's cast, especially for the female participating within the match.

There is also the practice of having matchmakers within this culture, those who have extensive social connections will often work to help sponsors make a match for their family members with individuals they may not already know. This is often a very lucrative business in some areas of the country.