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Parents are often regarded as better judges of character, common interests and comparability than the prospective partners themselves.

To some extent pre-marital sex is tolerated among boys but is not allowed from girls. (Gotra is the name of the ancestral head or father of the family.) A decision to marry is usually marked by an “engagement” where the elders of both the parties announce their intention to conduct the marriage to their family and friends. \*/ [Source: Sailesh Muki, Quora.com, April 18 2013 \*/] After Hindu children reach puberty, the sexes are separated so there is little interaction between teenage girls and boys.Prospective mates generally have the power to accept or reject the choices made for them. Within this relationship, bride-givers are considered inferior to bride-takers and are forever expected to give gifts to the bride-takers.The one-way flow of gifts begins at engagement and continues for a generation or two.[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.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.I didn't think I would necessarily go through with it.

But my reservations got pushed to the side when I met her. Fitting in to a family with ties that are several time zones away could be to much to ask." One young Indian-American man told Newsday, "My parents are the two people in the world who know me best, both my strengths and weaknesses.

Once a couple decided that they wanted to get married they were not allowed to date or meet each other between the engagement and the wedding day.

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.

I had an incredible feeling that this was the right thing to do." Explaining why she would entered an arranged marriage Indian-born, American-educated Shalmali Pal wrote in Newsweek, "In the end I'm just lazy. Why wouldn't I want their input in the most important decision in my life." One woman told The Times, “Marriage is a lottery, whether it is a love marriage or arranged.

All you can do is get a ‘sense’ of what the person is like and a gut feeling for whether you want to give it a try or not.

At the same time although love marriages are more common that they once were, young couples make sure their unions fall within the bounds of caste and religious propriety. " Same people see a good-looking but dark guy: "We don't want a black son in law".