Indian dating

India is home to one of the earliest sites of human civilization – the Indus Valley civilization which is believed to date back to 3000 BC. Over several successive millennia, this land underwent a series of cultural, historical, political and intellectual changes until in 1947 India emerged as a newly independent, unified political entity. Political independence ushered in a wave of state-led reform which tried to reach out to every aspect - legal, social, economic and political - of its populace.

Arranged marriages have been common in traditional cultures in many parts of the world. In some countries like India the system of arranged marriages has not only survived into the present day but evolved in many ways to emerge stronger and more relevant to modern times. However certain offshoots of the system like forced marriages and violence to couples who choose their own life partners have become a source of worry in India. One such relatively recent trend is the insistence of same-gotra marriages especially in context of the terror of khap panchayats.

Speed dating is a relatively new phenomenon in India. In a land where arranged marriages are still the norm in a majority of families and matrimonial decisions are rarely taken without the involvement of family elders, not surprisingly speed dating is restricted to urban centers and the upwardly mobile classes. Mumbai and Delhi are the cities where most of India’s speed dating events have taken place till now.

The Indian community in South Africa is today one of the most successful ethnic groups in the country. People of Indian origin have not only made their mark in South African business but are also well represented in the government, academia and sports. What has contributed to this success is a unique balancing act between economic opportunities in a new land and preservation of long-held cultural traditions. And one of the ways in which this delicate negotiation finds expression is in the dating and matchmaking practices of the community.

Canada’s open policy of multiculturalism as opposed to assimilation attracts communities from around the world. Here groups of other ethnic origins are able to follow their own culture even as they contribute to the host country’s economy. Among the people who have gained because of this policy are the Punjabis from India and their success in balancing the two worlds is reflected in the community’s dating practices in Canada.

The Sikhs were among the earliest South Asian communities to migrate to the USA, having landed on the shores of the New World as far back as the late 1800s. The Sikhs trace their origin to the state of Punjab in the Indian subcontinent whose violent Partition in the aftermath of political independence from British colonialism has been instrumental in shaping the political and cultural identity of modern day Sikhs.

The Sindhi Diaspora in US as elsewhere in the world comprises of people who trace back their ancestry to the south-eastern Pakistani province of Sindh – the site of the Indus Valley civilization (3300-1300 BC) which was one of the earliest human civilizations in the world. The Sindhis take pride in their unique religious and cultural practices which are strongly marked by an inclusive and mystic Sufi influence.

Famous for its silk textiles, temples, Sangam Literature and the classical dance Bharatnatyam, Tamil Nadu in the south of India is a land of rich cultural treasures. One of the ways in which this heritage finds expression is through its marriage practices which despite religious and regional variations continue to be influenced by long-held customs and holy rituals.

India and United Kingdom share a long eventful history arising from the British colonization of the subcontinent. Today, 250 years after the British-owned East India Trading Company won it first major gain in Bengal, people of Indian origin are making their mark in almost every aspect of UK’s economy, politics, media and culture. At the same time, British Indians are negotiating their own cultural and ethnic identities in several ways and one of these is reflected in the community’s dating and matrimonial practices.

In recent years, Australia has emerged as one of the most popular destinations for Indian immigrants. The educational and economic opportunities that the country affords have encouraged large number of Indians to migrate to the continent Down Under. This change in turn has led to realignments in the community’s cultural practices as is evident in dating and matchmaking within the Indian community in Australia.


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