Saturday, Jul 02, 2022
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If You Know Me By Now

Haryanvi lads end their search with Payyannur's girls

If You Know Me By Now K. Sasi

From Hissar, With Hope

  • Malayali women are educated and make good homemakers. They are also perceived to be loyal to their husbands.
  • Women from the economically backward classes find it difficult to get married in Kerala. If they stay single, they are seen as a burden by their own families.
  • Marriage to a Haryanvi is hassle-free. No matching of horoscopes, no dowry demands. And the groom picks up the tab for the simple marriage ceremony.

***

Why are Jat youths from Hissar, Haryana, journeying 3,000 km across the length of the country to find brides in Kerala? There are several explanations on offer at Payyannur, a sleepy town in north Kerala's Kannur district, some 340 km from Kochi. Among sociologists, it's a truism: it's got to do with female foeticide in Haryana. "There are more men than women...they have to find women somewhere," is the explanation. Others, not so well informed, take the reasoning to a more simplistic level: they say it's because women here are well educated and make loyal wives, good cooks. It may seem absurd, but whatever the reasons, Haryanvi men are breaking culture, language and caste barriers to find suitable brides in this southern tipping point.

In Payyannur, they call it the "Haryana kalyanam (marriage)". According to local estimates, over 100 women from Payyannur town and nearby villages have been given in marriage to men in Haryana. The latest wedding was between Jagbir Singh, 28, an electrician, and Kamala, 27, a Hindi graduate, on May 31. Jagbir hasn't come alone. The marriage of his friend Ajit Singh, 33, a baker, and Omana, 31, an anganwadi teacher, has been fixed for June 3.

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