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Where potential spouses for sons and daughters were once identified through family and social relationships, they are increasingly being solicited through advertising because many urban parents no longer have the social reach that was a given before the rise of nuclear families in India.With the advent of the internet, this has led to the rise of matchmaking websites such as (shaadi is the Hindustani word for wedding), which claims to be the largest matrimonial service in the world.500 BCE period), substantially displacing other alternatives that were once more prominent.In the urban culture of modern India, the differentiation between arranged and love marriages is increasingly seen as a "false dichotomy" with the emergence of phenomena such as "self-arranged marriages" and free-choice on the part of the prospective spouses.Where specific alliances were socially preferred, often an informal right of first refusal was presumed to exist.For instance, marriages between cousins is permissible in Islam (though not in most Hindu communities), and the girl's mother's sister (or khala) was considered to have the first right (pehla haq) to "claim" the girl as for her son (the khalazad bhai).Sometimes the father of the bride would arrange for a competition among the suitors, such as a feat of strength, to help in the selection process.
With the expanding social reform and female emancipation that accompanied economic and literacy growth after independence, many commentators predicted the gradual demise of arranged marriages in India, and the inexorable rise of so-called "love marriages" (i.e.
In a swayamvara, the girl's parents broadcast the intent of the girl to marry and invited all interested men to be present in a wedding hall on a specific date and time.
The girl, who was also often given some prior knowledge about the men or was aware of their general reputation, would circulate the hall and indicate her choice by garlanding the man she wanted to marry.
The marriage process usually begin with a realization in the family that a child is old enough to marry.
For a girl, it is during her graduation or early twenties; for a boy, it is after he is 'settled', with a decent job and consistent earnings.
Despite the fact that romantic love is "wholly celebrated" in both Indian mass media (such as Bollywood) and folklore, and the arranged marriage tradition lacks any official legal recognition or support, the institution has proved to be "surprisingly robust" in adapting to changed social circumstances and has defied predictions of decline as India modernized.