”How do the cultural clashes between the traditional Indian culture and the emergence of technology such as text messaging and internet dating effect romantic relationships in India?”
This text is all about how I experience India. Everything I write is from my own perspective deriving from my own observations through my own lens of the world.
In the traditional Indian culture marriage is a symbol of adulthood. It is one of the greatest happenings in life and is celebrated with big parties where everyone are invited. The marriage is seen as essential for most of the people and are mostly arranged by bride -and groom’s parents. When looking for a bride or groom there are different important things to look for. Social status, wealth, and reproduction genes.
There are a lot of different ways and traditions when it comes to marriage depending on where in India you are from, and what kind of social status you have, rural or urban etc. Many parents start looking for a bride or groom when their child is between 17-23 but some decide when the child is new born. They ask their friends and relatives for tips or look in the newspapers for someone suitable. In the south it is even common to marry your cousin or uncle, which is often decided when the child is just a couple of years old. Some families arrange ”tours” where the son or daughter meet as many as possible. In the end either the parents or their child gets to decide who suits them best. There are both negative and positive things with this kind of relationship of course. I believe that many people in the west looks at the arranged marriages with disbelief. But still, this kind of relationship might be a deeper one that the ones we are used to in the west. There might be feelings that have been developed during many years without any disturbing affection that sometimes tells us a lie?
The matrimonial culture is deeply rooted within the Indian population and many girls know that they will never be able to date someone without permission from their parents. Sex is forbidden without marriage.
With this background in mind the new technology will twist a lot of things. There are still many Indians that have never used a computer or Internet. This because the range of computers is not enough. A computer is still very expensive for most of the people and Internet is not common if you are not in a bigger city. Basically, Internet in India is still public for a lot of people. When people can get online in private spaces a whole new world will open up. I believe that many people will start a search that has never been there before. The need for a husband or wife will be replaced by a want for something else. Something that will be available online. A superficial world that sometimes can be very shallow. The porn industry will get an opportunity to grow big, earning a lot of money. The ideals will change into something new. There will be no boundaries between countries which will give a new face to trafficking.
The arranged marriages are already on the Internet which means that more people will be able to see what kind of opportunities they have to chose. Facebook is huge in India and people are talking to eachother and new people each and every day. This will widen their thoughts about what love and sex is. Internet decreases the space we have between eachother. Men and women will be able to date people online without their parents knowing about it.
This will take a while since there are still so many places in rural India that won’t be able to use a computer in many years. A lot of Indians already have mobile phones, and those who don’t will have it in a couple of years since the prices are decreasing. Mobile phones will make people more reachable but also less reachable psysically. Laptops, mobile phones and tv’s could be a threat to relationships. Studies that have been made proves that just having a television in your bedroom can cut your sex life in half. If this problem gets to India, who are known to hold onto their family values, who would know what happens to the traditions. Anarchy?