‘Inter-caste’ marriage or relationship are words you will hear in India and not in other countries. India is a land of diversity, from languages to cultures. While this diversity is what makes our country unique, there are challenges to face on the flip side. Caste-system is distinct to India and is a predominant factor in the social structure. Back in the days, inter-caste marriage was frowned upon and was a rarity to happen. I can go as far as to say people who were in inter-caste marriage were shunned from society.
Now, society has evolved, and education has played a crucial role in influencing this change. Inter-caste marriages are frequent. The present generation gives importance to the compatibility with their partner based on personality traits, common values, life goals rather than the background from which they hail.
Yet, the issue hasn’t been completely resolved. There are certain barriers to face when you are tying an inter-caste knot.
What Are The Barriers A Couple Has To Face In An Inter-Caste Marriage?
Family Acceptance Marriage
India is a family-driven society. Leaving your house when you turn 18 to live on your own is a foreign concept. There is no independence, but I would rather use the word-interdependence. The family stands beside you through thick and thin. And when it comes to the matter of choosing your spouse, family opinions are unavoidable.
In our sacred country, marriage isn’t an affair between two individuals; rather, a union of two families. Hence when your life partner you want to get married to isn’t from your caste, the family’s turbulences are sure to rise. Getting their consent is a herculean task, especially a love marriage, which turns out to be an inter-caste marriage. It is the first barrier in the long chain to expect.
The primary reason why family opposes an inter-caste marriage is because of their reputation. This is fundamental when it is between ‘higher and lower caste’ individuals. Either they would be against your decisions or despondently agree for the sake of their children.
Acceptance From Society
Disapproval from society is a barrier that keeps erecting even when you try to rest. Humans are social beings, and living away from society is an illogical thought. To live peacefully and carry out your married life in a safe mental space, you need to cultivate the art of ignorance. You shouldn’t pay any heed to their two cents of opinions. It is challenging, but with time it will get easy to filter out the trash and listen to suggestions that come from a good place. This is the only way to ensure that you do not get ostracized and turn into a hermit.
Finding Harmony In Each Other’s Culture
India is a melting pot of culture and people. For every 100 kilometres, you travel from north to south, or east to west point of the country, the culture changes. Imagine the dynamics of culture you would be presented within an inter-caste marriage. From wedding preparations to the rituals, patience will be tested.
Wedding is just the beginning, and you will be confronted with difficult situations ahead -from setting up your home when you co-habitat to the festival traditions. It will be a struggle at the start to find your common ground. No marriage is easy. Inter-caste marriage has its share of issues, but in the end, it will be worth the love you stand up for.
Impact On Your Lifestyle
Besides culture, there’s also a question of lifestyle both follow. A person’s upbringing influences their thoughts and decisions. Each caste has its own set of beliefs; when there are decisions that need to be taken that concern both of you, there might be chances you lock horns. Hence one needs to be open-minded and be amenable to adjust. Falling in love and living together with your loved one isn’t the same. Lifestyle differences only come to the spotlight when you start living together. This difference in lifestyle may also impact when raising children.
Test Your Mental And Emotional Strength
The success rate of inter-caste marriages is very low. There are incidents when an individual is given a hard choice of choosing either their family or the loved one. They are placed in a very tough spot, and taking any decision will hurt them a lot. The wounds are never completely healed. When they are faced with difficult situations, they don’t have their family to lean on. When they want to celebrate, they don’t have their close ones to break the good news.
Thus, such couples will have sacrificed a lot just for a slice of heaven. Inter-caste marriage demands mental strength and emotional endurance.
Rift Between Siblings And Friends
Due to family and society pressure, there will be a rift created between siblings. Younger siblings would be forced not to associate as the family considers being in an inter-caste marriage as equivalent to sin, and parents do not want other kids of theirs to follow in the same path. Friends also become estranged as they do not want to deal with the aftermath of the decisions, and their parents will have chastised them not to maintain such company around.
There are many barriers to face when you enter the sanctity of an inter-caste marriage. Difficulties are inescapable, but with your soulmate beside you, there are no challenges that you cannot face and no barriers that you cannot cross.