|Normally, among Hindus and all the casts
(subdivisions under it) one marries another from the same community only. In my
community (Namboothiri's) the horoscope is matched first. The astrologer, if he/she
is a good one, can tell more about the past, present and future of both the persons
getting married and also about their life after marriage. Then some close relatives
or family friends used to give comments about the bride / groom and their family. If
that's fine, then the groom with one or two relatives (or, rarely, friends) go and meet
the girl. Now-a-days thay are allowed to talk (privately also) for 10 minutes or so.
Most of the cases (say 90%) the would-be groom or bride will not say
Then the relatives visit each others homes (we call it 'Illam') and either of these will be the formal engagement (we call it fixing the marriage). For this function, bride and groom will not meet nor exchange rings and all. After engagement, now-a-days, both bride and groom are allowed to write letters or make telephone calls or even go and meet each other other than that of their respective homes.
The marriage is a relationship with two familiies and their relatives - not just between two individuals. This relationship of strong family backup helps the couple at times of difficulties - emotionaly, physically or financialy. Probably that's why marriages lasts longer here and also works without much of a problem.
More details about Namboothiri marriages can be referred from the site: www.namboothiri.com
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