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indian marriage2

From the 1953 formation of Andra Pradesh the borders of Indian states were shaped by language: the Sanskrit based, or Indo-European language are found more to the north and the Dravidian to the south.

Now some Indians object to the Aryan invasion theory. Were Aryans a separate race or a groups of distinct nomads?  Europeans appeared to use the theory to justify their racial butressed with natural selection to justify their supposed superiority. Britain Perhaps southern peoples object to it because it seemed to vindicate upper caste – Aryan – Brahmins. Where in Europe Aryan became a dirty word, the Swastika  (not Hitler’s reversed form) is auspicious, and the word Arya means ‘Noble’.

It seems though northerners, or the Aryans, expelled the Dravidians from the Indus valley arrival of Aryan language. The division usually given is the Vindhya mountains rarely passed by the northerners. The exceptions were the 3rc century Maurya’s and Buddhism,  the Gupta’s of the 4-6th century CE and the 7th century Mughal’s.

For some reason violence is more a potent theme in the values and society of north central India. For example, researchers Dutt, Noble and Singh  point out that murder, homicide, dacoit, burglary, kidnapping and robbery, larger scale dacoity (gang robbery) and thugs (highway and river transport robberies) are more common in the north.

The North’s multiple invasions and the arrival of Islam are blamed for separating caste ridden rural masses and urban elites who took on Mughal court structure  an resistance wiped out so that mass support maybe more for a sage or rural pundit.

In the South there is greater harmony fewer invasions uninterrupted rule of Hindu kingdoms until 1646. Even the Deccan sultans of Bijapur and Golconda used Hindus on all levels.

Add to this the British imposed education system, favouring the Brahmin elite to help run the Empire. Empowering Brahmins further  polarised people.

indian marriage

It is no surprise, then, to discover that marriage in north and south is also very different

The north follows a patrilineal family descent. Gotra or biradari rules, that do not permit marriage of a common ancestry are followed especially in the rural.

The rules extend a geographic distance, by preferring a partner from  a distant village.

Commonly, northern marriages  include a

  • Network of social interactions
  • Girl returns home for birth of first, 2nd maybe 3rd child or occasional visit but these become less frequent
  • Marrying strangers is preferred.  However there is more family tension and aggression and more authoritarian family


The South has a less  rigid, and patrilineal family. However, in Kerala matrilineal close marriages preferred in south For example, with an uncle,  niece, and cross cousin.

If possible, marriage is arranged within the close family and  a geographically close  spouse is preferred so that the bride is not dislodged from her close family connections.

Also, in both north and south India, Muslims prefer  close marriages .

vive le difference!