The Indian subcontinent has historically been home to a wide variety of wedding systems. Some were unique to the region, such as Swayamvara . In a swayamvara, the girl 's parents broadcast the intent of the girl to marry and invited all interested men to be present in a wedding hall on a specific date and time. The girl, who was also often given some prior knowledge about the men or was aware of their general reputation, would circulate the hall and indicate her choice by garlanding the man she wanted to marry. Sometimes the father of the bride would arrange for a competition among the suitors, such as a feat of strength, to help in the selection process. Another variant was the Gandharva marriage, which involved simple mutual consent between a man and a woman based on mutual attraction and no rituals or witnesses. The marriage of Dushyanta and Shakuntala was an example of this marriage.
As the Vedic religion evolved into classical orthodox Hinduism, the social ideas advanced by Manu gained...
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...ows. In urban areas, the future spouses are often expected to go out on dates and develop a romantic relationship in the period between their engagement and their wedding. In more conservative rural areas, a period of greater freedom in interaction, or even romantic courtship, between the man and woman follows. Though dating may not be socially permissible, nonetheless the couple may talk over the phone.
Low incidence of divorce in India
In India, marriage is thought to be for life, and the divorce rate is extremely low. Only 1.1% of marriages in India result in a divorce compared with over 45.8% in the United States, though the Indian figure appears to be rising. Opinion is mixed on the implications of this change: "for traditionalists the rising numbers portend the breakdown of society while, for some modernists, they speak of a healthy new empowerment for women."
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