The concept of arranged marriages is a widespread belief with deep roots in Indian culture. Typically, Indian marriage arrangements happen between two people that belong to the same religion, caste, and culture. The union is also considered advantageous if the boy or the boy’s family is financially stable. Similarly, fair skin tones are much sought after in girls. Some families also use horoscope matching to measure compatibility.
Arranged marriages in Imperial China were used as political tools to strengthen alliances between families. Among the lower class that worked for the wealthy, families married off their daughters to gain economic security. The Marriage Law of 1950 outlawed arranged marriages, but parental involvement in marriage unions is still common in modern-day China.
Arranged marriages in Pakistan typically begin with a proposal, and if the girl accepts, an engagement ceremony and wedding then follow. These marriages are usually governed by Islamic marital jurisprudence and are common even among overseas communities. However, Pakistani arranged marriages are sometimes forced marriages that infringe on human rights.
The Japanese have a name for their marriage arrangements - omiai. Traditionally, the practice of omiai involves a go-between that sets up matchmaking meetings for Japanese men and women. Today, there are even companies and businesses that offer these dating and matchmaking services. However, the percentage of arranged marriages in Japan is declining.
Traditionally, arranged marriages in Iran are initiated by the groom’s family through a formal marriage proposal. However, to keep up with modern times, the Iranian government has introduced a Muslim dating app. This state-approved app is specifically designed to preserve Iranian family values and culture.
Iraq is a country of many traditionalists and where women typically have a lower status than men. Therefore, some arranged marriages tend to be oppressive to women, who often find themselves in child marriages and forced marriages. This is common in other Arab arranged marriage countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine.
Arranged marriages in Indonesia are common in rural areas and are sometimes child marriages. This is why Indonesia’s parliament had to amend the country’s Marriage Act and raise the legal age a girl can marry to 19 years. Most arranged marriages in rural Indonesia happen for economic reasons.
Bangladesh is also one of the arranged marriage countries where forced marriages are a concern. Arranged marriages have existed for hundreds of years in Bangladesh and symbolize the alliance of two families. They also involve the concept of bridewealth or dowry, which is property or money that a women’s family gives to her husband on their marriage.
Arranged marriages are a deeply-rooted traditional belief in South Korea that’s still prevalent in rural communities. Although couples have more freedom when choosing their marriage partner, parental approval of the union is still highly regarded. Sometimes, marriage brokers are employed to make the necessary arrangements. These marriage brokers help parents ensure their children’s spouses are from an acceptable economic and cultural background.