Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Arranging a Marriage is More Complicated that You Might Think

Now, most of us in relationships with Indian men already know about arranged marriages. We don't seem to think about them very deeply though. At least I didn't until recently when the family asked if I would help look for my BIL a wife. They hadn't been successful and only found money grubbing psycho girls and needless to say BIL had gotten very pissed off.

A little background, they started off telling him his whole life he could find the wife of his choosing. Now BIL is 30 and hasn't even had a serious girlfriend. He's been too busy making a life and a future for himself so he can come home and live better when the time is right. He's done quite well for himself and has turned into a quite different than the norm Indian man. He cooks, he cleans, he fully takes care of himself as if he doesn't need anyone.

Of course, he does realize he needs to get married. So I guess last year he agreed or asked his parents to help him find a good wife. Maybe the pickings in Australia aren't so good, I don't know. (I looked online and from what I saw...they weren't lol.) They looked around and found several girls. One had the audacity to request, before the engagement had even been set, for him to pay all her costs for school and she had just started! Of course he said hell no and that ended her chances. Another's parents said she was done with school but when BIL talked to her she was still in school and expected that her husband would continue paying her college dues once married. The third, still in school, agreed her parents would pay because they wouldn't be married before she was done anyway. Then she turned out to be uber crazy.

She would talk to BIL, who is sometimes a little too honest, then call her parents and make up lies about him. They would call his parents and start trash. The engagement had already been sealed with money and sweets. Well guess what. BIL's parents sent the money and sweets back and told this girl get lost. BIL let her have it too. She deserved it. I mean seriously, she was making up some crazy lies and then we later found out she had a boyfriend she was with while agreeing to this marriage. What a skank.

So that is how it went before they asked for my help. I do have connections in many countries but this is turning out to be more than I know what to do with lol. I've been checking out some dating sites to get ideas. Then I see all this stuff about Manglik/non-manglik, caste, and all the crap these Indian matrimony sites ask for and I realize just how clueless I am. Hubby didn't seem to know how to explain manglik any better than some ppl born during a certain time are considered manglik and I haven't felt like googling. Caste I get but it seriously has no bearing in this family. Hubby didn't even know for sure what his caste was because as he puts it "we are an educated family" and he's right. Smart ppl don't subscribe to that archaic crap. It's not even relevant to life much anymore except for in a few circumstances or if a woman is looking to marry up (higher than her caste) in which caste we are right back where we started - caste is irrelevant.

So I'm looking. I won't be deterred lol. This is just difficult. I have some high expectations and standards that this girl is gonna have to pass. No smoking, no drinking (not that anyone would know anyway), non-psycho, done with school, and the list goes on. I got fortunate enough to marry into a wonderful family and it wouldn't be right to bring in some skank who would muck that up. Which means I've complicated this just like any other Indian family would do. This arranged marriage business is really complicated! Lol....


  1. To be fair, the pickings in Australia will not be good because Indian migration is recent here & good families will not send their daughter's off to a foreign land, unless of course they are dirt poor villagers that need their daughter to work and send money home, or because of some other family conflict.

    I would steer clear of girls settled in western countries, because in effect they will be white washed & the whole arranged marriage thing is probably something they are no particularly down with.

    Be very wary of people that are too keen, lots of people are eager to get to Aaustralia in the easiest way possible!!
    I have also heard that Indian people will soon face some exclusions of spousal visa (ie bringing a spouse from India) because of the high incidence of fraud & contract marriage. So be in the know about who can and cannot migrate to be with BIL.

    Most families - to my knowledge do not really care about this manglik thing.
    As far as I know it relates to when they were born, but dictates their personality/temper.

    I think you will find that caste does matter, not because it really has a huge influence on families now, but marrying off a son is done in such a way as to find a princess for him & eternally have bragging rights about how well you did. Also for the new rich & middle class of Punjab, caste is less relevant, however old money in Punjab will be in the hands of Khatris and Brahmins and people always like to keep it there.
    Do remember that each Indian surname is actually a caste name... I used to think it was crazy to make separations based on caste, but I am seeing more and more relevance and more of a theme in behaviours from those we are interacting with that do happen to be of a lower caste.

    I would look in metros like Delhi etc for girls that are 25+, I mean if the girls are still in school they must be less than 22 and a big age gap won't help either party in this situation...
    I know how you must be feeling, because I went through the same darned thing with my SIL... Thankfully we were patient, and didn't say yes to anyone until all of the requirements were fulfilled...

    I think it will be much easier for you if you talk with BIL and find out what you should be looking for. Does he want a working wife, does he want a simple, homely girl... Does he want someone with equal quals etc etc!

    Many a night was spent on when I was in India, as well as weekends browsing the papers.
    At the end of the day the guy we are going ahead with is someone introduced through business contacts & we are very happy!!

    Good luck with the searching and please find below two posts I wrote on arranged marriage!


  2. Thanks! That is helpful. This family is upper middle class with ties to higher classes. That's why caste doesn't matter as much to us. I don't think the last name of this family reflects caste well because they used to be much lower until hubbys gpa invented some equipment and got some massive government contract. He then insisted all his kids be well educated and then they started banking and became respectable. They in turn insisted the same and better for their kids and that is paying off. I'm going to take your advice and start rechecking shaadi today and I'm sticking to my guns on all these requirements we have set.

  3. The thing I mean is that my husband's surname and your husband's surname are actually the names of subcastes.
    Ie my hubby's surname Walia/Ahluwalia is a subcaste of the Khatri caste.
    Sharma & Kumar are subcastes of the Brahmin caste and so on and so forth.
    I think you will find regardless of money that families try to stick Brahmin to Brahmin, Khatri to khatri, Jatt to Jatt etc.
    That doesn't mean you can't find a super loaded family from a low caste, or a super poor one from a higher caste - it is just one of those Indian things that is 'just like that' lol.

  4. Well you already have my opinion on your search but I just couldn't believe the comments from Bad Bhabi; "I would steer clear of girls settled in western countries, because in effect they will be white washed"


    Why would a white washed Indian girl or even, heaven forbid, another white lady not be good enough for him or the family?

    This entire 'search' is just ridiculous - let the man find his own wife...that is what you should be lobbying for with the family.

  5. Nicole, I am not an Indian woman that has left India and lived in a western environment and I did not have an ARRANGED MARRIAGE.

    I had a love marriage where suitability and the usual trippings of marriage in India were not a factor.

    We are not talking about a love marriage where he intends to find someone of his choosing.
    They are looking for a girl to have an arranged marriage with their son.

    I would never be a suitable candidate for arranged marriage, be it with an Indian or Western man.
    I do not adhere to the ideas of how women should traditionally behave, I am my husband's complete equal and I do chores when I see fit.

    I am merely making suggestions based on my experience with Indian women settled abroad.
    Do I mean they would not be suitable wives, no - but I do mean that the idea of an arranged marriage and the restrictions that often come with it would be less in line with their lifestyle than a girl still living at home in India.

    White Bhabi cannot change the fact that her BIL is of marrying age and that her in laws would like her assistance.

    I do not encourage arranged marriage, however I believe so long as parties have complete choice in the matter, then it is completely acceptable.

    Not everyone having an arranged marriage does so because they are forced to, some people choose that path.

  6. Okay, so earlier I typed this nice response and Blogger went down...guess I should have read up on their maintenance schedule. But it went something like this.

    Nicole, I get your drift and I understand your concerns. However this is not the typical arranged marriage situation. He has primary control we are just narrowing the pool so to speak. He has already broken one in-progress arrangement and the family supported him 100% citing that it was his decision. All I'm really doing is weeding out the pyscho's and sending them his way. It's more like a match making with the formalities of marriage to follow if he approves. Much like or hope to do, but with an Indian flare.

    I'm not limiting the pool of women to just Indian women. There are others of many races that speak Punjabi. Even from those, I'm kicking out the losers. I know from experience, decent women exist in every race that can meet his needs and make a good match for him. His parents just don't have the resources to look. :D