Birth Order and Marriage

Yesterday my mother-in-law told me more about some traditional Lingayat beliefs surrounding marriage.

She told me that traditionally, birth order was strictly followed.  This was especially true for girls.  If a younger sister got married before the older, people would ask, “What is wrong with the older sister?” The older sister’s chances at marriage decreased.  For men, this was followed more loosely. 

Another belief is that it is not good for the last child to remain unmarried for long after the older siblings are married.  Often, parents would wait until siblings could be married together or shortly after each other.  This is so that if anything happens to the parents, none of the grown children would be left alone in life.

After all the grown children are married, the parents relax more.  They believe their children will be more secure and less lonely. This last view isn’t so very different from beliefs in the U.S.  Most parents do want their children to settle down with a family.

This all emphasized to me again the importance of family.