The concept of Indian wedding has seen drastic changes, over the last few years. In the present time, the occasion (wedding) is generally celebrated in an elaborated way, with number of rituals that are conducted before, during and after it. A long guest list, colorful and extravagant venue, lavish feast and a series of rituals are the key ingredients of the ‘big fat Indian wedding’ that we see today. In the modern era the social institution of marriage has observed many changed trends and the ones who are responsible to bring about those changes are the young individuals for whom the meaning, significance and purposes of marriage have entirely transformed. Although we cannot completely state that marriage has lost its emphasis for the youth, but certainly it has undergone some radical changes. Following are the recent changes in the trends of Indian Marriages.
- Change in the Field of Selection: traditionally marriages were pursued within the framework of the caste or ethnicity but in the modern era the youth rejects the rigid structure of the caste system, ethnicity or racism. Their selection has become enough wide to include the inter-sub castes or inter-caste marriages. They look for a good person rather than sticking to the caste or an ethnic identity.
- Sharing Finances: Talking about the enormous wedding expenditure that a bride’s family bear all by themselves, the trend is changing here as well. There are instances of the groom’s family sharing the expenses and both the families planning the wedding together. This is a welcome and much-needed change.
- Change in the Age of Marriage: The youth of today focus more upon personal and professional growth they believe that one should concentrate on acquiring higher education and good job at first and then should get settled in the bond of marriage. They believe to make themselves economically and mentally strong before they step into the phase of marriage and that is why most of the young individual now get married at an older age. Where earlier girls preferred to get married at the age of 18-22years and boys 23-25years now in the modern times it has changed to 24-26years for girls and 25-30years for men respectively.
- Change in the Process of Mate Selection: The youth no more believes in the old patterns of finding a mate for marriage rather they believe in seeking the mate on their own terms and choices.
- Dowry:Dowry has been a tradition in our country since time immemorial. Taking or giving dowry is illegal yet, unfortunately, India reported the highest number of dowry deaths in 2010. But there is a welcome change in the society and families have fearlessly started saying no to dowry demands. The changing trends have marked the starting of an era where a girl’s education is the prime importance and people have started understanding that giving dowry won’t secure her future.
- Looking for a partner online: Searching for a prospective life partner is not limited to traditional methods like matrimonial advertisements in newspaper or relatives bringing ‘rishta’ from some known family. Thanks to technology, matrimonial sites, apps and even dating apps have become popular ways to find a soulmate.
- Change in the Criteria of Selection: In the modern times the young individuals give much importance to their personal interests, preferences and considerations rather than to family considerations. Earlier, family used to look for very basic criteria for selecting a girl or a boy for marriage, but today the young generation look for many other criteria other than basic ones such as; employment, housing, working status, prestige, goodwill, friend’s circle, compromising attitude and etc.
- Increase in Divorces and Desertion: Most of the youth of today follow the individualistic values that make them focused on personal selves, they first look at their own growth and wishes than of others and such attitudes sometimes result in arguments, disagreement and disputes with their spouses and that is also why in the modern times the instances of divorce and desertion are on the increase.