What is marriage?
A married couple often makes a public and legal vow to make their relationship last forever. But in some cultures, it’s common to have marriages that are only recognised socially, and not by law.
Usually, when two people get married they celebrate the occasion with a wedding ceremony. Wedding ceremonies are in line with religious and cultural customs and therefore vary from one region to another. In India, wedding ceremonies are often big, and celebrations last for days on end.
While some parts of the world allow gay and lesbian couples to be married, others ban homosexual marriages. Read more about laws and attitudes concerning lesbian, gays and bisexuals.
Couples around the world marry for different reasons. They might decide to say the wedding vows because they are deeply in love with each other, and they might have been in a relationship for a while – this is known in India as a ‘love marriage’.
In some cultures, like in India, it’s common for parents and/or relatives of the groom and bride to play an important role in setting up marriages. They are actively involved in choosing the bride or groom for their children. Such marriages are called ‘arranged marriages.’ The choice of spouse might be restricted on the basis of religion, language or caste.
What if you don’t want to get married but you’re facing pressure from your family and society to do exactly that? If you are being forced into a marriage, you can contact these helplines:
The Vandrevala (24x7 and across 14 states): (022) 257 06 000
Violence Against Women: http://www.vawhelp.org/
Central Social Welfare Board -Police Helpline: 1091/ 1291; (011) 23317004
Shakti Shalini: (011) 24373737