Valentine’s Day seems to be big in India. At least is an opportunity for every business to advertise offers on special gifts, meals, trips, etc.
Missionary Todd Ohlmann asked our driver if he was going to get his wife flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s days. His response: “No, my marriage was arranged.” That made my day!
Arranged marriages are the norm in India. According to this site, 88.4% of marriages in India are arranged. India has only a 1.2% divorce rate (although the site isn’t clear if this number is just for arranged marriages or for all marriages).
Many of the marriages in the Old Testament were arranged as well and the New Testament does not tell us what their practice normally was.
Traditionally prospects came from one’s village or were found through one’s network of real-life contacts. Now technology has gotten involved too. I constantly see ads for _Matrimony.com, like TamilMatrimony.com, ChristianMatrimony.com, etc. These are not dating sites, but sites that help that help parents find prospects. This company has a whole range of websites targeting different languages, religions, and regions.
While arranged marriages may be foreign to westerners, it seems one advantage is not having to give in to “Hallmark holidays” and spend money on Valentine’s day.