|Home Culture Lessons > I 1 2 3 4 5 6 II 1 2 3 4 5 6 III 1 2 3 4 5 6 IV 1 2 3 4 5 6 V 1 2 3 4 5 6 VI 1 2 3 4 5 6 Select Unit|
Wedding (கல்யாணம்) in Tamil Hindu Culture
Traditionally, Tamil marriages are arranged (arrangement, எற்பாடு) by parents for their sons and daughters. The roles of the bride/bridgegroom in selecting their marriage partners is very limited, and in some cases they have no say whatsoever. Parents make the selections for bride and groom by going over a number of criteria. The foremost is discussing with neighbors, friends and relatives to see if the boy and girl would make a match in terms of status, caste group, physical appearance, personality, etc. Then, the heads - usually the fathers - of both families discuss whether it would be agreeable to both families. Many marriages involve a dowry (வரதட்சனை) in terms of a lumpsum of money, jewelery, furniture, appliances, etc., to be offered to the family of the groom (மாப்பிள்ளை) by the family of the bride. This is discussed ahead of time, so no disputes occur at a later stage.
Finally, they check with an astrologer (ஜோதிடர்) with the horoscopes (ஜாதகம்) of both the bride and groom to see whether they match in terms of their stars (நட்சத்திரம்) and other characteristics. Only when the horoscopes match do the parents proceed to the final stage of betrothel (நிச்சயதார்த்தம்), fixing the date for marriage ceremony, etc. Before the marriage, there is a custom to let the bride and groom meet in a formal environment called 'bride seeing ceremony' (பெண் பார்த்தல்). Only in this formal ceremony do the boy and girl get to see each other. This particular ceremony usually doesn't involve them talking to each other.
Occasionally, love marriages (காதல் கல்யாணம்) also take place. In such cases, after the boy and girl meet and want to get married, they attempt to get the consent from their respective parents. Often, the parents do not agree to it, and the boy and girl may marry on their own in a registrar's office, living on their own without contact with their parents there after. In some cases, one of the family members might agree and others disagree; or both would agree to their decision and let them get married with their consent.
© South Asia Language Resource Center (SALRC)