Cultural Difference

This proposed study will explore the phenomenon of "arranged marriages in India" to possibly unearth the reasons why this practice has withstood the test of time and force of other cultures. This enduring practice is very common in many Asian countries but we will specifically focus on India where the system exists despite a large portion of its urban population adopting western values and lifestyle.

Cultural differences are interesting and definitely worth exploring to see how those differences emerged and how they have been withstanding the test of time. It is important to understand that over the years, a sort of cultural fusion has taken place resulting in cultural enmeshment whereby many new ideas have entered our cultures and vice versa. However there are still some differences that persist and one of them is the difference in the way marriages take place in east and west. In this paper, we shall be focusing strictly on the tradition of arrange vs. chosen marriages in India which is a country with a strong and very old cultural fabric.

In India, the practice of arranged marriages is still very much present even though over time, young people have begun to choose their own partners and such unions are called "love marriages." But arranged marriages are not only prevalent; they are also well accepted by the society. Society generally tends to prefer the practice and offers greater support to marriages that take place in this manner. "Love marriages" [Nanda, 2000] even though in vogue in urban centers are still frowned upon.

That however is not the case here in the United States where we have become accustomed to choosing our own partners. The practice of arranged marriages is long gone, if it was ever present and we would now find it rather impossible to allow our parents to choose someone for us. Even though our friends and others would often play cupid, still the whole process requires approval of the girl and the guy. Things are very different in countries like India where arranged marriage is one custom that has withstood the test of time and it is truly an enduring practice. Nanda (2000) writes:

"In India, almost all marriages are arranged. Even among the educated middle classes in modern, urban India, marriage is as much a concern of the families as it is of the individuals. So customary is the practice of arranged marriage that there is a special name for a marriage which is not arranged: It is called a "love match." (p. 196)


The method would include interviews with Indians residing in the United States including some secondary research. For this research, primary data would be far more beneficial than secondary data but we would still need the latter to connect our primary data with a psychology theory or concept.


Lack of true self-awareness is the primary reason for the youth in India still relying on their parents' choice in matters of marriage.


Self-awareness means a person knows his strengths and weaknesses and can hence make decisions for himself. Lack of this self-awareness may lead to lack of self-reliance which affects decision-making abilities.

If X is self-awareness, Y is self-reliance, Z is decision-making:

We can hypothesize that lack of X causes lack of Y which eventually leads to lack of Z.

In other words,

If X is present, then Y also comes in and this leads to great Z.


I feel it would be very enlightening to conduct a study on this cultural difference not only to further explore it but to precisely find out why it survives even in these modern times. We know that India and the entire East is rapidly transforming. They have a large population settled in the West and these countries are well familiar with the customs, traditions of the west. So to say that the custom has survived because people are oblivious to what is happening in other parts of the world would be entirely wrong. Interestingly many Indians settled abroad for years would go back to their country to find a girl, get married and bring her back with them. Parents also…