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Best Marriage Articles
Matrimony
In most Indian subcultures, the society expects man and woman to marry when reach the legal age. Marriage means formal union of a man and a woman typically recognised by law by which they become husband and wife. Marriage is also called an institution where intimate and sexual relationship is acknowledged in variety of ways. Different culture and subcultures and religion acknowledge marriage in different ways. Matrimony means -a state or ceremony of being married.
Types of Marriage:
Commonest form of marriage is the matrimony between a man and a woman (monogamy). Marriage of a man or woman to more than two partners is called polygamy. If a man marries more than one woman it is called polygyny; if a woman marries more than one man it is called polyandry. Even though these are offence in India, it is an accepted practice in certain culture. In some cultures even group marriage where two men marrying two women is allowed. Even though this marriage involves two men and two women the accepted sexual practice is heterosexual.
History of marriage:
Institution of marriage predates the history. But each and every culture may have a legend about the origin of the marriage. Arranged marriage was the norm in olden days in India. Even though the grip is weakening slowly, arranged marriage is still common in modern, industrialised India. The history of arranged marriage dates back to 4th century. For long time, in Indian societies, marriage occurred between two preadolescent children, done by the parents. It was not common in ancient India, but became prevalent in medieval time. Even though its not common, still there are some cultures carrying on with this practice. Similar to the current day system, in olden days, there was an intermediary person who helps the parents of the bride and bridegroom to get the right match. He checked the birth charts of the bride and bridegroom to see whether they match and also help in negotiation of the place of marriage etc.
The Caste System in India has a long history. This has born out of the social necessity. Different workers with different unique skill needed to do particular job for the society to function and run smoothly. Over the time this work division led to the birth of the caste system. This also led to the practice of marriage between bride and groom from the same caste. This might be because the family wanted the children to procreate and maintain the caste in the social order. The marriage was only allowed with in a caste and the inter caste marriage was forbidden, definitely between upper and lower caste. Unfortunately it is the same even now across India. We still hear about unrest and trouble in various parts of India because of the -intercaste marriage-. Bollywood and Kollywood had churned out scores of movies with this-intercaste-marriage theme.
Even though polygamy and polyandry are criminal offences now, in olden days it happened for political reasons. Kings marry more than one woman for political advantages.
As arrange marriage was the norm, falling in love was considered as sin or a kind of insanity in olden days. But Kings did conduct a ceremony called Swayamvara for their daughter when they choose their future husbands. The Prince who comes for such a ceremony has to impress the princess with their skills and exotic presents.
The dowry:
The dowry is the money, estate or goods the bride brings to the grooms family. It is also known as trousseau, tocher or dos. The idea of dowry is that it helps the bridegroom to set up and feed and give financial protection to the new family in case of loss of the head of the family , husband, the breadwinner. Dowry is different from the dower and the bride price. The bride price is the amount paid by the groom to the brides parents. Dower on the other hand is the property settled by the groom at the time of marriage on the bride herself. All these practices may coexist in the same culture. The practice of dowry predates the records. The Code of Hammurabi describes about the practice of dowry.
Dowry had been practiced widely in Asia and Europe widely. There are ample evidences of this practice in Europe. Ancient Greek and Romans practiced dowry as suggested by Tacitus. William Shakespeare mentioned about the dowry in King Lear, when one of the wooers of Cordelia came to know that the King would give no dowry, he ceased to woo her.
Helping poor bride with dowry was considered as one of the noble act in ancient Europe. Apparently St. Nicholas supposedly helped three poor sisters by providing their dowry in their Christmas stockings. In France the Monarchy helped the poor brides with dowry money to get married.
In Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan practice dowry even now. In India the practice of dowry is prohibited by The 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act in Indian Civil law and later by Indian Penal Code sections 304B and 498a.
Wedding Rituals - facts:
In Indian Hindu Wedding, rice is thrown on the newly married couple; in Czech peas are thrown
Queen Victoria started the practice of bride wearing white dress in 1840. But in Japan it had been the practice. For longtime.
Ancient Greeks and Romans, to protect her from evil spirits started the habit of bride wearing veil.
Indian Hindus have certain auspicious days and months for marriage. English considers Wednesdays are the best day and Saturdays are the worst day to marry.
Egyptian woman pinch the bride for best of luck and the bride family cooks food for a week after the marriage so that married couple can relax.
It is believed that the wedding cake cutting tradition comes from ancient Roman tradition of breaking a loaf of bread over brides head for fertility sake.
It is not only in Hindu tradition, but also in many traditions around the world including Egyptian and Celtic, the hands of bride and groom are literally tied together. This is to symbolise the commitment to each other. Since the term, tying the knot