Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Father Matchmaker

Spero News has a neat story about a Carmelite priest who runs a matrimonial website in Kerala (south India). (Online matchmaking sites are big business in India, and in the Indian diaspora, where most marriages are arranged by parents and families.)
Brokers prefer to arrange marriages for the rich because they get a certain percent of the dowry as their fee. Dowry is cash or materials such as jewelry the bride's family gives to the groom's family as a pre-condition for marriage.

On the other hand, the website charges 1,500 rupees (about US$40) as a registration fee, which a candidate can renew after six months for an additional 100 rupees. Registered candidates have a password and access to a variety of profiles. They can also check profiles manually at the center's offices. Once a month, Father Puthuparambil also arranges a meeting for parents and candidates.
And while there is no mention made of it in the article, I would hope that a church-affiliated website would disallow caste-based listings, the kind that one still sees in the Times of India matrimonials: "Brahmin Catholic boy looking for Brahmin Catholic girl."

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