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Serena Nanda and Arranged Marriages

            Serena Nanda, a prominent anthropologist, composed an essay about how the Indian culture arranges marriages. In this essay titled "Arranging a Marriage in India," she talks about her interviews with many young adults and her friend, taking place in India. An individual she interviewed by the name of Sita, explains a very insightful reasoning behind this idea of arranged marriages. A friend of Ms. Nanda explains how family reputation comes into play and how marriage has a big role in it. This friend also goes on to show superficially how looks also play a part. Ms. Nanda ends the essay talking about the evils of dowry. .
             Serena Nanda's interviewee shows profound reasoning for arranged marriages. "Don't you care who you marry?"" Serena Nanda asked her young informant named Sita, to which she replied "my marriage is too important to be arranged by such an inexperienced person as myself."" Although in my culture, that of Pakistan, arranged marriages are common, I had never thought to see it from this point. I, as well as most in the western world, always thought of arranged marriages as a bad thing. Inexperience is surely a compelling enough argument for why many of the marriages in the United States and other pop culture countries end in a divorce. .
             Family reputation is of utmost importance in the Indian culture. This reputation rests in the hands of marriage, a bonding of two families; if a law abiding family with a good name marries another family with a good stature, the reputation of both families is preserved, maybe even increased; on the other hand if a prestigious family marries into a house full of criminals, surely their good name is tarnished. A friend of Serena Nanda sheds some light on the subject saying, "If [during marriage] a mistake is made we have not only ruined the life of our son or daughter, but we have spoiled the reputation of our family as well." " I understand now that in a cast system such as India, family name bears a lot of weight so the union of two families through marriage is a much more serious process than it is in the western world.

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