Hindu Marriages in the USA Starting in the nineteen sixties, thousands of Indian families have settled in various parts of the USA. Over the last 20 years, the second-generation young people, born and raised in America, are getting married in increasing numbers. They have strong ties with the Hindu Culture and the Hindu way of life, either through bring up at home, or with their participation in local cultural activities, or through their friends and yes, even through Bollywood movies. Many of them have chosen their soul mates, not only outside their own caste, religion and language but also from USA, England, Germany, Mexico and many other countries. All of them do feel that they should avail themselves of the rich and noble heritage of Hindu way of married life. I have put together this website to introduce them to the basics of the Hindu marriage ceremony and associated logistics.
Although the basic Hindu marriage ceremony is same across the breadth and width of India, the details can be different because of specific regional, local and even family traditions, within different parts of India. Further, many marriages in the USA are between an Indian and a non Indian. Hence, we need to blend the best of eastern traditions and western logistics in such a way that the overall ceremony is custom tailored and meaningful, not only to the bride and the groom but to the families on both sides and the invited guests.
The marriage ceremonies must address the social, religious and legal aspects of the marriage, which tend to be different in the USA than those observed in India. In general, more than 50% of marriages are between a Hindu and a non Hindu. The Pandit needs to be cognizant of these differences and tailor the celebrations accordingly.I have added a separate chapter for Hindu and non Hindu brides or grooms for their understanding of the basics of Hinduism. Further, for interfaith marriages, interfaithShaadi.org is a good source of your concerns and issues.