Our country's culture and traditions are known for its richness. However, some are unusual and strange while some are just plain awesome. For instance: Garasia tribe from the northwestern state of Rajasthan has allowed live-in relationships outside wedlock for 1000s of years.
Couples from the Garasia tribe live together and only marry their partners when they have a fair amount of money.
It was surprising for visitors when they witnessed the marriage of a 70 year old man Naniya Garasia with his 60 year old live-in partner Kaali. His three sons also married their live-in partners on the same day. They have been living with partners for years and their children had all been born out of wedlock.
Astonished? Read on.
The tribe also has a tradition in which the teenage children befriend their partner of choice at 'a two-day courtship fair', held in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. They, then elope and return to live together, without having to marry each other. Also, when they return, the boy's family pays a sum of money to the bride's family before the couple start living-in together.
Not only this, the groom's family bears all the expenses of the marriage and the rituals are performed at the house of the groom.
The practice might seem unusual but you will be surprised to know that these traditions of the Garasia tribe have resulted in less incidents of dowry death and rapes in their community.
According to social scientist Rajiv Gupta, "their culture believes in the 'the right to choose and the right to reject'. They do not find the modern society’s marriage system worthy, as it brings with it several impositions, especially on women".
Women have equal or even higher status than men in this matrilineal tribe of Rajasthan.
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