The business of matchmaking, performed in open market matrimonial negotiations, has not just helped brides and grooms find their ‘perfect match’, ‘soulmate’, ‘right person’, ‘life partner’, ‘true happiness’, and so on, they have also helped strengthen the ‘community’ through what Dumont called ‘endo-recruiting’. The modernity of matrimonials has reinvented the traditional marriage system, combined the best of both love and arranged marriage, and provided ‘individual’ as well as ‘social’ compatibility to candidates and their families.

Brides for India’s North

An interview about cross-regional marriage migration with Ravinder Kaur.

As marriage remains a social obligation in Indian society, desperation has led to an increasing number of cross-regional and cross- cultural marriages which challenge the rigid marriage systems and the notion of caste. States like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are particularly affected by a lack of women, and in the last decades informal networks have facilitated the migration of brides from eastern and southern parts of the country to these northern states.

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