Since I am at the moment living in a country well known for their deep rooted tradition of arranged marriage I have come a cross a number of discussions about this constantly present topic in the Indian society.
It is well known that the so-called "Love marriages" are getting more and more common in the Indian society parrallell to the obvious statistics that tells us that divorces are getting more common around the country. It's a sad thing to hear of course. According to Ira Trivedi's own research regarding divorce rates 70% of them was initiated with a love marriage. So yea, I believe we can't ignore the fact that is clearly given. And yea, blame it on the westernalization. Just as Indians do with other changes that are taking place in India..
I was recently in a discussion with a friend regarding the topic, and he was convinced that he wanted to be a part of an arranged marriage. He want to marry an Indian girl, (since he know that his parents wouldn't agree if he married a non-indian girl) and live with his parents. And nothing is wrong with that as long as that's what he wants. I fully respect a persons decisions and dreams as long as they are happy about it!
The problem, where I see it, is when you face situations where you are directly, or indirectly, forced to follow the will of your family; when you feel that you have to yeild over your own will; when tradition becomes inevitable.
What also happens in Indian families, what I've come to know, is the parents way of spoiling their kids. They pay for their education, wherever in the world their kids may study, or whatever the study fee will be; they pay for a car/bike, travel expenses, clothes etc with not so much of giving it a thought. Or maybe they Do give it a thought.
I believe Indian parents are smarter than that though. I can't tell the number of times I've heard young people telling me that "yea, my parents are paying, so I kind of owe it to them", or "my parents have done so much for me so I want to give something back to them".
Or this one,..I overheard a phoneconversation once between the girl and her dad where she was asking if she could change her course which would result in a much, much higher course fee, and the girl was screaming "I'll marry who every you want me to marry after graduation dad, just let me change the course"....:)
Umm,..I have a feeling that she's not the only one who have pulled that sting to their parents..:P
I went through some statistics online to check the divorce rates over the world, and found that India has one of the worlds lowest divorce rate compared to Sweden that has one of the worlds hights... Nothing to be proud of dear country men & women... But on the other hand, divorce doesn't have to be a bad thing, even though a lot of negativity is put into it. From a Indian perspective it is seen as the end of the world if a couple would agree to go through such thing, because there is so much negativity over it. In Sweden a divorce could also be seen a divorce as a possibility to start over; to start a new life! People tend to break up from their old life to find themself striving towards new realizations and new things they want out of life and so on...
Another thing I've come to know is that there is no hindi-word for "divorce", and the Indian society makes it quite impossible to not go through a divorce even if you wanted to so, maybe another reason for the low divorce rate...
I wanted to share a young Indian womans thoughts regarding arranged marriages, which kind of made me respect the Indian society the way it's shaped a little bit more. Every society is different right.
Arranged marriage sounds as crazy to western people as love marriage sounds to Indian people.
So, just deal with it western folks.
I also came across another interesting tedX clip about a woman who wants to Cancel Marriage. She talks about the very reason how marriage started hundreds of years ago, and are questioning why we still need it in todays society since so much have changed since then.
She also kills the beautiful Cinderella story by questioning her choice of marrying the prince...:/
But yea, her thoughts are well worth taking into consideration for an open discussion regarding the matter:)