This shot is from the wedding of a close friend in Hyderabad. The veil is held between the bride and groom before being lowered with great drama and rejoicing. This was an arranged marriage, but it was clear immediately that it would be a great success. It took about three years to finalize, and the bride and groom met several times during that period. When the parents of the bride and groom care deeply about the welfare and happiness of their children, arranged marriages can be much more successful than love matches. On the other hand, if there is more concern about dowry, they can be a disaster. This was a wedding with no dowry. It was simply a superb match and everyone is really happy about it. The groom’s parents also had an arranged marriage (of course!), and it is one of the best marriages I know. Westerners are often horrified at the idea of arranged marriages, but if they are well thought out and done with the glad consent of the participants, they can be really excellent.

“It is well to know something of the manners of various peoples, in order more sanely to judge our own, and that we do not think that everything against our modes is ridiculous, and against reason, as those who have seen nothing are accustomed to think.” -Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)


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