Recession revises marriage choices in India


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Once, they were a prized catch.

Men who had everything an Indian woman wanted: a job, a house and a life of comfort in faraway lands. They had studied hard and landed top jobs in the West. On Wall Street. In Silicon Valley. In corporate boardrooms and college classrooms.

Every woman wanted a non-resident Indian or “NRI” groom.

Not anymore.

The economic slump has affected marriage traditions in India, forcing men and women to rethink their choices of a lifelong partner…

Shaadi.com is used by 14 million south Asians worldwide. Employee Gaurab Rakshit said the recession in the West has translated into more marriages in the East.

“What’s happened during this recession period is there are less women indicating a preference for NRI men on our site,” Rakshit said. “We see anywhere between a 20 to 30 percent drop off in demand…”

Leaner times has changed trends, too, among Indian men. In the past, many might have preferred a wife who stayed at home. Now, they are looking for women who work outside the home…

A wife who earns could help pay for the wedding, too. And that’s saying a lot in India, where marriages can be flamboyant and expensive affairs, though the economic slowdown has subdued them somewhat.

RTFA. A couple of wry anecdotes. Someday, of course, popular culture in India will move beyond arranged marriages.

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