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Marriages in Heaven

Marriages in Heaven - Image Produced by Annada D. Rathi.
26 min. Color. 2001.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: No
Catalog #: 0099
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Sale Price: $195.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

Arranged marriages have been an important aspect of traditional Indian culture since ancient times, and they are still common today. In an arranged marriage, parents find a groom for their daughter or a bride for their son. These matches are typically initiated and arranged by parents‚ social contacts, or matchmakers. But times have changed. In the last 20 to 30 years, there has been a widespread exodus from the villages to the cities, and significant emigration, most notably to the United States. Men have moved away from their homes in search of better education and employment, and more women are working, which increases their opportunities to find spouses on their own. Such marriages are referred to as "love marriages."

This illuminating documentary explores the ways in which globalization and modernization are affecting young people and changing the traditions of marriage among Indians living both in India and in America. The film examines marriages representing groups from a variety of regions of India, and includes an array of fascinating interviews with parents, matchmakers, astrologers, and of course young brides and grooms.

By focusing on an event of interest to all young people, "Marriages in Heaven" provides compelling material to stimulate discussion in a wide range of classes in Asian and Indian studies, sociology and social psychology, gender studies, and cultural anthropology. It was produced by Annada D. Rathi.


"Illuminating, subtle, and finely textured. By choosing thoughtful and articulate subjects, the film enables us to see the complex nature of marriage-making in diasporic South Asia with all of its attendant anxiety and anticipation, tension and romance." -- Raka Ray, Assoc. Prof. of Sociology and South and Southeast Asian Studies, Univ. of California, Berkeley

"A very colorful portrayal of marriages among Indian immigrants representing various regions of the country. It is very well documented, beautifully produced, and... truly engaging. In a classroom situation, the academician can derive many powerful elements of arranged marriage among the diasporic South Asians. I would highly recommend this video for undergraduate classes in South Asian Studies." -- Annapurna Pandey, Lecturer in Anthropology, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz

"This video could be used in courses on either Indian or Asian American culture. The production is very good, the interviews are fascinating, and the content is just right for undergraduate and sophisticated high school audiences. The video seeks to present the marriages of Indian Americans in a positive light in order to counter stereotypes and negative experiences that are sometimes reported. Therefore, it focuses on successful engagement and marriage experiences of several young couples. It reports on a wide range of marriages, arranged as well as 'love' marriages, and some that fall in between. It covers Sikh as well as Hindu marriages, and a good cross-section of Indian society is represented. In addition, actual wedding ceremonies are presented, and some of the activities and symbols are explained." -- Chris Jochim, Prof. of Comparative Religion and Coordinator, Asian Studies Program, San Jose State Univ.

"This visually pleasing and compact film will serve well to stimulate classroom discussion." -- Karen Leonard, Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of California, Irvine


  • Assn. for Asian Studies honoree
  • "Grand Festival Award in Ethnography," Berkeley Film and Video Festival
  • Film Arts Foundation Festival honoree



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