As a Western-raised member of this forum, I am stunned at the level of crass materialism that fills the mind of what is supposed to be Brahmin-oriented forum. I know several Westerners who married at a young age and have remained happily married even in this culture of rampant divorce. Perhaps marrying younger will give the young people a chance to grow and experience life together, making their bond stronger and less susceptible to failure. The girl can educate herself even after marriage if she and her husband feel it would be helpful. And, with today's salaries in India, I am sure that he can settle into a job quite easily.
I think our arranged marriages are full of ‘crass materialism’. To the core.
There is no place for the heart or feelings in most such instances. Let us go back 20 years and previously.
The groom side sat on their butts, while the poor girls’ dad literally roamed the country side in search of a groom. Normally he gathered a list and viewed the suitability re finance, status, boys’ job. Only if these were up to par, did he proceed to the next step of jadhaga porutham.
After the poNN paarkkal, came the ‘negotiations’. Yes that was the very word used.
The grooms side dreq up a list: How much dowry, jewellery, saris, paathrams, bed, scooter or car, watch, honey moon trip, set up of a clinic if the groom is a doctor, and so the list went on.
The bride’s side tried to whittle this down and if the final results fell within a bandwidth acceptable to both, ONLY then the marriage process went into the next stage.
Other factors influencing the decisions were: for an unusually good case (same word used ‘case’), the bride’s father even borrowed money to fulfil the groom’s side demands; the grooms side ‘stepped down’ if they were sufficiently wealthy and/or had a ‘sumaarana paiyyan’ qualification or complexion or characterwise, or if the bride was a beauty.
I could go on. Probably you could too.
Compared to this, I think, marriage contracted by western youth, is a little more simple in context. Or maybe not?