Marriage in early twentieth century Northern India : Hindi literature vis-à-vis social transformations

in: Asian journal of women's studies
2016 , Heft: no. 1 , 35-47
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Einrichtung: Frauensolidarität | Wien
Verfasst von: Wiśniewska-Singh, Justyna
In: Asian journal of women's studies
Jahr: 2016
Heft: no. 1
Sprache: Englisch
This paper explores how a changing social situation in late colonial northern India influenced issues related to marriage. The most controversial matters, also reflected in Hindi literature of the time, were: proper age at marriage, ritual concerns, marriage expenses as well as effects of child marriage and child widows. The paper draws mainly on Hindi novels by Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay and Kishorilal Goswami, published in the beginning of the twentieth century. For the most part, conservative and didactic in their outlook, they put forward interesting postulates concerning disputable matters. Some of the ideas, like reducing unnecessary wedding expenses, are worth considering even today. The analysis of literary sources also reveals the expectations of future brides and grooms. The attention paid by Hindi writers to a number of marriage practices confirms the status of marriage as one of the most important social institutions.
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