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Arranged Marriage? Or Love-match? Insights, Prospects For The Future


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
An un-named Singh who ventured to North America in the l9th Century to make his future in the lumber industry wrote home to his friends. He remarked, One thing is better here than in India. In America they marry for love.

But not everyone agrees that a love-marriage is better.

Today Sikhs who have immigrated to North America (and elsewhere) are members of a growing diaspora for whom mingling of cultures has posed many problems. Like the Sikh mentioned above, they or their children may find the idea of a love marriage intriguing. Proximity to people of other cultures makes the possibility of love-marriage more likely. However, the difficulties raised by what are termed "love marriages" are immense. More than one honor killing triggered by a marriage between a Sikh and a non Sikh has been reported in the news each year, occurring both in Canada and in the United States.

In an ideal world, religious differences should not be barriers to personal happiness, and certainly they should not lead to homicide. In reality it can and does happen. In reality, personal happiness and marriage choices based on love are frustrated for many a couple. Why? Is this frustration always a bad thing?

Do problems come about because culture is stronger than any religious message we receive from our scriptures? Does culture dig deep within our collective conscious? Is there cultural knowledge that non-Sikhs need when a Sikh and a non-Sikh fall in love?

  1. What are the advantages of arranged marriage?
  2. Why do families cling to the practice of arranged marriage for their children?
  3. Why do even the marriageable young often expect their parents to arrange a marriage for them?
  4. Why are some of the younger generation reluctant to defy their families when an arranged marriage is proposed?
  5. What different forms do arrange marriages take?
  6. Does arranged marriage help to preserve Sikh identity? And is the identity a religious identity only, or is cultural identity also at stake?
  7. Can love-marriages work in a culture of arranged marriage? What will help them succeed?
  8. Is personal happiness possible within an arranged marriage?
  9. Is the personal choice of a mate based on love more important than family and culture?

These are some questions to ponder.

SPN has some great threads already posted on this topic. Here are two of them



Aug 17, 2010
World citizen!

Because Mom Said So: Are Arranged Marriages the Next Big Trend?

Friday, June 29, 2007

By Hollie McKay

Still looking for "the one"? Ask your mama.
The best way to find your partner for life could very well be the oldest: the arranged marriage, according to one trend expert. “Today is the era of the arranged couple who fall into love around the birth of the first child," said Marian Salzman, co-author of "Next Now: Trends for the Future."
"It sounds traditional, but in some ways so much of the future is back to the past, turbo-charged,” she said. Arranged marriages have been part of many cultures for thousands of years, primarily born out of the desire and/or need for a financial, political or property-based partnership. As America expanded multi-culturally, this custom filtered through as certain ethnic groups sought to preserve cultural and class traditions. But, contrary to the "old" arranged marriage, in which children are forbidden from choosing their own partners, the modern arranged marriage is not about being forced into federation. It’s about relying on the matchmaking mastery of Mom and Dad.

"This is about picking a marriage partner — not about falling into bed for a world-class romance," said Salzman, whose trend forecasts are based on pattern recognition and what stylemakers are talking about. “There is a newfound interest in letting someone else solve the love dilemma,” she explained. “We’re on option overload, and we’re maxed out in terms of time, and we’d all love a partner. So it makes sense to enlist those who know us best to forge a proper and satisfying match.”

But are parents really the best people to hook up their children? They can be, says Sloane Veshinski, a Hollywood-based marriage and family therapist. “Your parents usually know you best of all and are aware of an adult child’s likes and dislikes, habits, peculiarities, turn-ons and turn-offs and other factors that would determine a suitable and acceptable mate,” she said. According to Salzman, the first stage in the modern-day arranged marriage involves meeting the partner put forward by the family for a limited time in a controlled environment. If these initial meetings go well, the next meetings are designed to elevate interest. “In the best case there is a seamless and joyful transformation of two extended families as the romance and energy of planning a wedding heats up,” said Salzman. “The bonds between son and parents and daughter and parents are often very much strengthened through this type of involved courtship.”

One such woman who has been happily hitched for 14 years — thanks to her folks’ marriage pick — is 38-year-old Tomoko Chibana. “I always knew my parents would find me a lovely gentleman, so I was able to concentrate very hard on my professional studies while at university,” said Chibana, who was born in Japan and now lives in New York City with her husband and their three children. “I never had to waste time looking for love. After graduation I started working, got married and had a family.”

Chibana believes that one of the primary misconceptions of arranged marriage is that just because it is a traditional concept, it must mean traditional male/female duties. “I am more than just a housewife,” she declared. “I am a career woman who has traveled the world and built my own fortune independent from my husband as well.”

But despite Chibana’s happy ending, arranged marriage is not for everyone, Veshinski warns. “For those individuals who are independent-minded, lack a truly close relationship with their parents or who believe that it is their job to pick a future life partner, this is not for them,” she said. “There should never be a pressure to be a part of an assisted marriage situation if you trust no one's judgment but your own.”

Carlo Machado, a 42-year-old businessman who was born and raised in California by Venezuelan parents, has no regrets about backing out of an arranged marriage, even though he's been divorced twice since then. “Thirteen years ago I was engaged to a lovely young girl my mother and father had chosen on my behalf,” said Machado. “But she was just 18 and getting ready to come all the way to America. The few times we had met she just cried about leaving her family, we had no common interests and it was clear we were worlds apart.”

Despite Salzman's prediction, most experts believe arranged marriages will never be commonplace in America. “We're too individualistic, too much into personal freedom," said Dr. Robert Epstein, a visiting psychology scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and host of the satellite radio program "Psyched!"

"On the other hand, I think the way we seek love will change, in part because of what we can learn from arranged marriages in other cultures. We leave love entirely to chance, but in many arranged marriages, people deliberately learn to love over time."

So is it really possible that just by giving it a go, a solid relationship can grow out of an arrangement? “There have been many arranged marriages that started out as being for the family, power, property and procreation, and love grew out of that bond,” Veshinski said. “It is believed that assisted marriage is about having others help to go through the stack of potential spouses to find those that meet the criteria for top-10 status, so that the potential bride or groom can have a smaller but more appropriate pool to choose from.”

Salzman said arranged marriage makes sense in a world in which the search for "the one" has disappointed so many people. “I think of so many of my friends who married for lust or ‘true love,’ and most are now divorced, cheating or lost in therapy,” said Salzman. “Who knows what true love is? Thus we seek true partnership — and we rely upon others to help us pick suitable partners.”
Jan 1, 2010
Education and media has played a vital role in changing the perception of Indian mind. Now the Love marriages are being performed in large scale due to the freedom and more independence as compared to arranged marriages.

Though India has long tradition of arranged marriages. Why this tradition is getting changed with a galloping speed. Whether the young generation don't rely on their parents, matchmakers or relatives.

Why the changes are in the thinking of the young generations, Is it due to the decline of Joint family system. Why the young generation is not so keen to get knowledge about the family rituals and traditions.

The caste system has been detriorated with Love marriage traditions. Which is the ideal marriage. The members should throw light on the subject. Considering the factor of happiness and stability of relation. Which is the better option. Love marriage or Arranged marriage.
Rajneesh Madhok


Oct 28, 2010
Didn't read all of it, will just say

Forced marriages = wrong in all cases

Arranged marriages can work, but they're very different these days. Back in the day there was a huge pressure to make it work, it was accepted that you are now married to this person forever.

Now you have the option of divorce and people are more likely to use it. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, as people should be happy with who they are married with, and rightfully have the option to leave as things/people can change overtime (become abusive etc).

"Love marriages" logically make the most sense, BUT to tell the truth most "arranged marriages" these days are actually love marriages, as you tend to get an introduction, and then both parties find out more about each other (equivalent of dating/courting whatever) and then make their decision. Very few involve an introduction, immediate yes from both sides followed by a wedding. Depends on the individuals, I don't doubt that the ppl who do the latter can grow accustomed to each other and make it work, but it makes much more sense to find out as much as you can about your partner.



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