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Marriage is deemed essential for virtually everyone in India.For the individual, marriage is the great watershed in life, marking the transition to adulthood.Her natal family is often geographically distant, and her ties with her consanguineal kin undergo attenuation to varying degrees.

The entire emphasis is on casting the marriage net ever-wider, creating new alliances.

The residents of a single village may have in-laws in hundreds of other villages.

In rural communities, prepuberty marriage for girls traditionally was the rule.

In the late twentieth century, the age of marriage is rising in villages, almost to the levels that obtain in cities.

India Table of Contents In India there is no greater event in a family than a wedding, dramatically evoking every possible social obligation, kinship bond, traditional value, impassioned sentiment, and economic resource.

In the arranging and conducting of weddings, the complex permutations of Indian social systems best display themselves.

Arranging a marriage is a critical responsibility for parents and other relatives of both bride and groom.

Marriage alliances entail some redistribution of wealth as well as building and restructuring social realignments, and, of course, result in the biological reproduction of families.

In the south, there is no clear-cut distinction between the family of birth and the family of marriage.

Because marriage in the south commonly involves a continuing exchange of daughters among a few families, for the married couple all relatives are ultimately blood kin.

Some parents begin marriage arrangements on the birth of a child, but most wait until later.