In an arranged marriage, the bride and groom are selected by a third party rather than by each other. It is especially common in royal and aristocratic families around the world. Today, arranged marriage is largely practiced in South Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia and East Asia to some extent. Other groups that practice this custom include the Unification Church. It should not be confused with the practice of forced marriage. Arranged marriages are usually seen in Indian, Southeast Asian and African cultures, especially among royalty, and are usually set up by the parents or an older family member. The match could be selected by parents, a matchmaking agent, matrimonial site, or a trusted third party. In many communities, priests or religious leaders as well as relatives or family friends play a major role in matchmaking.
Arranged marriages vary in nature and in how much time elapses between meeting and engagement. In an "introduction only" arranged marriage, the parents may only introduce their son or daughter to a potential spouse. From that point on, it is up to the children to manage the relationship and make a final choice. There is no set time period. This is common in the rural parts of South America and especially in India and Pakistan. The same also occurs in Japan. This type of arranged marriage is very common in Iran under the name of khastegari.
Factors considered in matchmaking 
In India, some of the factors to be considered in some order of priority may be taken into account for the purpose of matchmaking:
- Religion: The religious and spiritual beliefs can play a large role in finding a suitable spouse
- Caste and culture: Usually, first preference is given to the same caste. The ancestry of the individual and the family's culture and traditions also play an important part. Usually, prospective spouses are looked for from families belonging to the same region and having the same language and food habits.
- Reputation of the family and friends with power over that child.
- Wealth: Families holding substantial assets may prefer to marry to another wealthy family.
- Vocation: For a groom, the profession of doctor, accountant, lawyer or engineer are traditionally valued as excellent spouse material. More recently, any profession commanding relatively high income is also given preference. Vocation is less important for a bride but it is not uncommon for two people of the same vocation to be matched. Some preferred vocations for a bride include the profession of teacher, doctor, or lawyer.
- Physical fitness and Psychological health of the individual is taken into account in some cases.
- Horoscope: Numerology and the positions of stars at birth is often used in Indian culture to predict the success of a particular match. Horoscope becomes a determining factor if one of the partners is Mângalik (lit., negatively influenced by Mars).
Clan links 
Among most Indian and Nepalese Hindus, the hereditary system of caste (Hindi: jâti) is an extremely important factor in arranged marriage. Arranged marriages, and parents, almost always require that the married persons should be of the same caste. Sometimes inter-caste marriage is one of the principal reasons of familial rejection or anjjjger with the marriage. The proof can be seen by the numerous Indian marriage websites on the internet, most of which are by caste. Even within the caste, there is obligation, followed strictly by many communities, to marry (their son/daughter) outside the gotra (sub-caste or clan). It must however be noted that modern India, being a democracy, does not prohibit inter-caste or intra-gotra marriage (by the Hindu Marriage Act). Arranged marriages are less common in the Hindu diaspora outside South Asia, although they have undergone a revival in the United Kingdom among Indian immigrants.
Similar clan-based arranged marriages have been reported in Mexican communities and Amerindians, particularly among the Triqui, including immigrants in the United States. Likewise, Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint (FLDS) groups, not to be confused with the LDS Church (Mormons), in the United States also practice arranged marriages by FLDS religious affiliation 
Arranged marriages are fairly common in Asia, particularly Pakistan, where rituals like Pait Likkhi involve marriage based on clan affiliations.
See also 
- ^ Divorce soars in India's middle class, Telegraph, October 1, 2005
- ^ Why cousin marriage matters in Iraq, csmonitor.com, December 26, 2006
- ^ Blunkett 'attacking Asian culture' with criticism of arranged marriages, The Independent, February 8, 2002
- ^ Chawkins, Steve (January 15, 2009). "Teen's arranged marriage is allowed in native Mexico". Los Angeles Times.
- ^ a b 
- ^ California dad accused of selling girl to teen for cash, beer – Houston Chronicle. Chron.com (2009-01-12). Retrieved on 2012-04-02.
- ^ Arranged Marriage: Trapped Between Two Cultures. NPR. Retrieved on 2012-04-02.
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