Indian marriages are quite fascinating. Especially the Hindus’ rituals and way everything is done is quite interesting. Colorful stages, the larger than life colored sets and the whole grandeur. Many people from abroad are seen marrying in Indian style and it is gladdening to see that.
However, despite the way everything is celebrated, there are certain things which often leaves people in surprise. The idea of dowry, the arranged marriages and the norm that the bride must always be younger to the bridegroom. While dowry and arranged marriages are now getting out of hands, which seems to be a good change. This norm of the age-gap is strictly followed in India.
Many of us are completely unaware of the reasons behind this ritual. However, when interpreted in the science and psychology point of view, certain things are revealed regarding this and it appears that they are quite apt.
This is one of the major reason behind choosing the bride who is way too younger to the bridegroom. As per the common science, a younger bride ensures a longer fertile period and a better chance of having kids. This does have something of a historical baggage. In the past, infant mortality was high and families tried to have as many kids as possible.
Today, when people with access to good healthcare stop at 2 or 3 kids, a younger bride does not offer a significant advantage. However, the age difference has become socially entrenched now so that an older bride just doesn’t ‘feel right’ to people. It becomes a topic of gossip and name calling.
This comes down to the peoples’ psychology and in Indian arranged marriage system, the bride is supposed to be docile and submissive to the groom and his family. It is easier to achieve this if she is younger. A younger bride is likely to be more respectful due to the emphasis Indian culture places on age-based respect. She is also likely to be financially dependent and has less life experience making her more accepting of the groom’s authority.
Well, these reasons look quite convincing but are rather advantageous to men than women. While the first one is apparently good, the second reason is totally unfair to women.