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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.

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As with other cultures, levirate marriages (where the brother of a deceased man is obligated to marry his widow) also became customary in some regions for all religious groups, partially to ensure that clan alliances and clan ownership of land rights remained intact even if the husband died.

With the expanding social reform and female emancipation that accompanied economic and literacy growth after independence, many commentators predicted the gradual demise of arranged marriages in India, and the inexorable rise of so-called "love marriages" (i.e.

The initiation can occur when a parent or a relative (such as an aunt or an elder sister or sister-in-law) initiates a conversation on the topic or the son/daughter approaches the parent/relative and expresses the desire to be married.

If the son/daughter has an identified love interest, the sponsor often takes it upon themselves to try to orchestrate a match with that individual.

These marriages are often referred to as "self-arranged marriages" or "love-arranged marriages" in India.

Arranged marriages vary widely by region and community across the Indian subcontinent.

The family expresses their criteria for a good match to the matchmaker, which is usually heavily influenced by family considerations but also includes the personal preferences of the son/daughter.

These considerations vary but can include The matchmaker identifies a set of potential matches and, based on mutual agreement between families, it is customary for an exchange of photographs and some documentation of the factors being considered (for instance, astrological charts or a resume/biodata) to follow.

Where potential spouses for sons and daughters were once identified through family and social relationships, they are increasingly being solicited through advertising because many urban parents no longer have the social reach that was a given before the rise of nuclear families in India.

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