Marriage is celebrated in Punjab still with great gusto.
Until a few decades ago a marriage celebration meant a long chain of ceremonies
and rituals but now it has become a comparatively simple affair. Nevertheless
marriage still means rituals and festivity.
Generally a girl has no say in the choice of her husband.
Formerly it was the Parohat (priest) or Nai (barber) of the family
who negotiated with the boy's family on behalf of the girl's family, or
vice versa. If what he fixed up met with the approval of the girl's parents
the matters were finalised. This procedure is still followed by some orthodox
families, but the more advanced ones almost always take the girl's consent
before making a commitment.
Choice of a bride or bridegroom
Of the various considerations that influence the choice of a bride or
bridegroom, caste and clan are the most important. Normally out of the
caste marriages are not allowed. The Khatris marry their daughters into
Khatri families only, but its is very interesting that they do not mind
taking a bride from another caste, like the Aroras. There is a system
of social graduation in accordance with which certain Khatri tribes refuse
to inter-marry, except in a certain specified few of their fellow
tribes, such as Dhaighare, Charzati, Khukhrian, Bahri etc. Thus, for instance,
a Dhaighara( literally, two and a half houses) Khatri marries only
in one of three castes-Kapurs, Khannas, and Mehras or Malhotras.
The Jats are also very particular about their got (clans)
and do not marry into the gots of the parents and grand parents on both
sides. The villages of the Punjab are exogamous units and marry their
children in villages which are near about. "Each village is said
to have a traditional set of villages to which its girls regularly go
in marriage and another set from which it regularly receives wives".